From basic HRIS modules wherein HR technology focused only on being a depository of employee data, HR technology now integrates employee data with in-depth analysis and HR dashboards, which trend the HR scenario in the organization thereby helping the decision makers in evaluating the historical data, see the trends and also forecast future possibilities. Most of the HR processes have moved on-line, no longer relying on paper and pencil exercises. This includes modules for recruitment cycles, performance appraisals, compensation planning, and benefits management till the exit feedback.
Other than the introduction of various HR modules covering all functional sub areas in HR, HR technology is becoming more customized to the user organization rather than presenting a fixed module that needs to be adapted to.
The HR technology space in India, given India’s supremacy in the technology, has kept pace with the changing trends in the international market. In terms of players, we have all the major multinational players having their presence in India. We also have local players who are now MNCs and have patented their HR technologies and are selling to corporates across the globe. The other category would be primarily the local players who are smaller in size and entrepreneurial in nature. The international players and India MNCs have strong HR technology products, which are tried and tested in varied organizations and situations; these cater to the organizations that are open to investing serious money in the automation of their HR functions. The local players cater more to smaller size organizations, who may not have big HR budgets, but are looking at technology interface to meeting their HRIS and analytics needs by going in for a complete or specific modules custom made for their unique business scenarios. The overall space is maturing with customization becoming the key for the future, no matter how established the HR technology product.
Organizations have a plethora of options to choose from both Indian and International vendors in this space. Organizations typically scout the market for readymade products, wherein they invite the vendors to interact with them to understand their business and HR scenario and present on how their technology product meets the requirements and to what extent they can be customized for specific needs of the organization. They then evaluate on cost-benefit basis, the cost of the product including customization if needed. Investment in HR technology can really vary based on the vendor and the product, but in all cases ROI of technology would be the business demand, before they allow HR to buy the same. Hence, HR should have a clear strategy and deliverables on what they expect out of the technology and how it relates to returns. It could be in terms of headcount saving, time saving and also implementation of error-free and efficient HR processes within set timelines covering geographies. Enhancement of employee communication and also employee engagement, that can be measured amongst other measures by the attrition and retention rates and resultant cost saving are meaningful measures of ROI in technology.