Beyond payroll automation: Balaji Ganesh
Organisations are looking at shared services to reduce time-to-market and improve operational efficiency
The rising demand to do more with less, evolving role of the HR function, and the increasing need for information, are shaping the product portfolio of HR shared services in India. HR shared services in India has graduated from simple payroll automation, on to managing high-end human capital management tasks, such as customer management and goal-setting.
HR shared services: the evolving demand
The demand for HR shared services in India was typically comprised of automating administrative and repetitive tasks such as payroll. Over the years, the demand has evolved to include other aspects of HR operations, and organizations are increasingly looking at HR shared services to manage more critical tasks. Administrative convenience and efficiency are the key factors that companies in India are looking at from HR technology. Accordingly, more and more organizations are looking at shared services to reduce time-to-market and improve internal operational efficiency. For example, leveraging technology to increase the efficiency and reduce the performance management cycle is seen as a key trend in Indian organizations.
From tactical to strategic
More and more shared services providers are claiming to offer services that are strategic, as there is an increasing hype around the HR function to influence business. The word “strategic” however, is often used wrongly. Strategic partnership involves partnering with business strategy to improve business efficiency. For HR leaders to make a strategic impact through shared services, they need to understand what technology can and cannot do. With the increasing proliferation of technology in every job, HR professionals can now clearly recognize and visualize what technology can do.
Increasing familiarity with technology
The familiarity with technology has improved among HR professionals across the last few years. The common notion about HR professionals being technology averse is no longer true in today’s professional environment, as knowledge and penetration of technology continues to go up. What this means for a shared services provider, is that conversations with HR professionals are now much easier and cohesive.
The cloud and social-media hype
The proliferation of cloud technologies, social-media, and end-user computing is compelling organizations to respond favorably toward technology. Studies indicate that technology has become one of the most important drivers for engagement and EVP across industries, geographies, and organizations.
From delivery to outcomes
HR is increasingly witnessing the shifting management focus from HR delivery toward talent outcomes. This automatically compels HR to shift focus away from process and operations delivery toward business strategy. With the heightened need for automated process efficiency, the reliance toward technology, services, innovation, and outcomes are increasing.
The right time for technology
Technology adoption in all economies and industries follow a common pattern and the Indian industry is no different. Barring a few progressive organizations, the Indian industry has been a laggard in terms of technology adoption and implementation. At this stage when technology has essentially covered all business constituencies and functions, organizations are beginning to start investigating the depth of efficiencies that they can realize with technology. Shared services is, therefore, getting employed to execute more specialized components of HR operations, such as recruitments, employee relations, andcustomer relationship management.
While the shared service landscape continues to evolve, organizations must guard against implementing a technology relying on hype and base decisions with a careful and objective view of enterprise requirements.