Given the current market situation, it is important for HR technology companies to hold on to opportunities or risk demise
Last year, when we reviewed the HR tech landscape in India, most experts commented that the space was relatively less mature compared to the other segments. A massive shift appears to have taken place in this space in the last 12 months. While the segment is still far away from being termed ‘mature’, it cannot be denied that both buyers and suppliers of HR technology in India have taken several progressive steps reflecting key trends in the global HR technology market. Indian companies are increasingly talking about progressive terms like cloud, big data and analytics and social branding. These signals indicate that the maturity story of the HR technology space in India may turn out to be much different than the other segments.
The increasing influence of cloud and analytics
While cloud and cloud-based services was only a subject of discussion, the 12 months since Jan ’13 have seen the emergence of a huge wave of interest in this subject. Such is the magnitude of the interest in cloud that the market has seen several small and large players with the promise of a cloud-based offering. Limited knowledge and awareness about the subject, however, have confused buyers about what constitutes a cloud offering. Cloud simply does not imply a technology hosted on a data centre. A cloud-based offering should offer many benefits of administration and management which on-premise solutions could not offer earlier. The hype and talk about cloud, however, is a good sign for the Indian HR industry.
A cloud-based service firstly fits well into the new economic normal, which has come to be characterized by rising cost pressures and lofty business expectations. Secondly, cloud has the ability to offer a holistic sphere of human resource capabilities for intelligent HR administration. For example, cloud offers the ability for an organization to compare its human capital measures against industry and geography benchmarks. Such comparisons provide much more real and actionable information on human capital metrics compared to traditional point-in-time metrics. Consequently, cloud will only continue to increase its influence in the months to come.
Social continues to grow
The influence of social technologies in HR management has become hard to deny. Social technology, many claim, is threatening the very existence of several traditional services such as recruitment. While these fears are a little over-rated, it cannot be denied that both buyers and providers of HR technology in India are seriously looking at the element of social integration in the HR workflow. Social apps, social branding and social referrals are all hot terms in the HR technology space. The impact of social is also more pronounced because it has the potential answers to several economy-driven demands in the consumer space.
Technology companies to focus on the SME space
A leading number of companies are focusing their attention at the SME space because the age of big bang technology implementations are long gone. HR technology is, in fact, driving a sea change in the competitive space and levelling the playing field. As market conditions continue to become conducive for small business and the entrepreneur space, this space will account for a sizeable portion of the market in the coming months.
Traditional business models may become ineffective
With new demand and supply models emerging in this space, the pace at which traditional delivery models are being pushed out is rapid. Many predict that HR technology companies in India will have to be dynamic both in the way they continue to upgrade their product portfolios and also in their go-to-market strategy. While there is huge market opportunity for technology companies in market segments and their sub-segments, HR technology companies which fail to be adaptive will lose the race. Now is the time for technology companies to invest in both good product as well as marketing talent.
- Cloud-based technologies
- Socially-integrated products
- Dynamic demand landscape
- Finding key talent
- Low awareness of consumer market