The role of HR Technology has shifted from data management and process automation to enhancing productivity, engagement and ultimately business success. And with the second wave of technology –AI, machine learning, and cognition, re-defining the way we look at work, both the objective and nature of the HR Technology implementation is set for continuous disruption. According to the latest Sierra-Cedar research, HR Technology buyers are now looking beyond features/functions and are focusing on the new non-negotiables including user experience, roadmap strategy, and tailored relationships.
HR software and tools today represent a $14 billion market. Parallel to the shift in the need for HR technology, the HR marketplace has also transitioned from a phase where there were only big standardized technological solutions available for the talent challenges to an evolved ecosystem with highly customized and specific solutions. While this seems like a perfect place to be for the talent leaders, the expansion in the number of available vendors and solutions leads to another challenge – the problem of plenty. As per the latest research by PwC, 40% of the respondents are looking at reducing the number of their current vendors and hence moving towards consolidation.
To help talent leaders make the decision wisely and drive the maximum value of the technology implementation, here is a guide:
Engage your vendor in the discovery process: While the RFPs from vendors may present the solution to the business challenge, adding that layer of discovery is essential to step out of the traditional box of features/functions and explore “what is possible.” The most successful stories and engagements with customers happen when they involve the vendor in a discovery process. During this phase, understanding the vendor’s long term product strategy and portfolio will also lead to a stronger partnership.
Meet the people at the company: Customers should meet pre-sales team members and consultants who are going to be working on the project. This step helps you understand the vendor’s process, work and its helps in setting the right expectations from a people and support standpoint. On the other hand, it serves as an opportunity for the technology vendor to build a relationship with the wider team members.
Map your pain points to technology: For a partnership to be successful, leaders should openly share their challenges and business pain points with the vendors so that they can be mapped into the software. This step also helps clarify what can and cannot be architected through technology and which pain points are best addressed without the use of technology. An insight into the pain points is crucial to define your goals and objectives.
Take ownership of project success: The vendor is your partner in the journey. As much as they engage and work with you, the ownership of the project success benchmarks should lie with the customer. And as a customer, you own 51 percent of the solution set, it ensures that there is a common success story.
Build a governance process: To keep track of the successes, risks, and ownership, a defined governance process including priorities, standards and project review cadence should be designed to ensure maximum value out of the technology implementation.
The business challenge that the organization is solving through the HR Technology is best known to the talent leaders within the organization. It is essential to conduct internal focused group discussions and in-depth analysis to frame the right objectives that technology is expected to achieve. Once the objectives are set and the business ecosystem is assessed, it also provides clarity on the types of vendors that can suit this requirement – example, is an enterprise-wide system or a subscription based model or per employee based model a solution to the problem?
As the HR Technology landscape evolves, investing resources to ensure that the implemented solutions yield the right business impact is quintessential for talent leaders. And having clarity and partnering for success with the vendor are two critical success factors that will define this journey.