Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 16th Annual HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Apparently, HR Technology is hot –with over 8,000 participants attending and a sea of large vendor heavyweights jumping front and center into the HR Technology space including: ADP, Ceridian, Deloitte / Bersin, Equifax, Kronos, Oracle, Paychex, SAP, Ultimate and Workday. The vendors and potential buyers are proving out market predictions suggesting an $8.1BN market, replacing HR systems in 90% of Fortune1000 companies.
HR software is ripe for innovation. While current implementations are rather long-in-the tooth, (many cases representing PeopleSoft push in the 1990s and earlier), HR processes have shifted with technology trends — e-learning, web recruitment, enrollment to name a few. While in some cases point solutions (e.g., learning management, applicant tracking, benefits management) have been bolted on to systems, productivity begins to take shape with integrated offerings – reducing platforms to manage and offering simplification by connecting organizational views, insight into HR talent and processes across organizational silos. Indeed, Bersin analyst suggests that over 50% of buyers are now looking for integrated HR and talent solutions.
As well, compliance is proving a catalyst for improving human resource information systems. Affordable Care Act (i.e., US Healthcare Reform Act) appears to be a marketing hook for several vendors including ADP, Equifax and Workday. If history is any indication (e.g., Y2K, SOX) compliance will again support software upgrade and migration – this time for HR software.
With this upgrade, HR software is jumping to the Cloud improving scalability, feature rollout and practitioner usability – much the way we had seen a decade ago with CRM. Likewise, we are seeing the organic growth of HR data – potentially offering Big Data analytics for improving management of talent and HR assets. Indeed, analysts are already documenting the movement across HR analytic maturity models (i.e., operational reporting to ad-hoc strategic query) where Big Data may one day provide the HR holy grail – predictive analytics for human resource professional management.