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Which HR Technology Should I buy?

Marc Havercroft , VP - HCM, Cloud & Digital Strategy And Transformation, SAP

Marc Havercroft , VP - HCM, Cloud & Digital Strategy And Transformation, SAP

One of the big questions I frequently get is “What technology should we use, Marc?” I always answer, “Well, what’s the business/ people strategy?” Eight times out of ten they respond they don’t have one, the problem is more a process issue, and they inevitably say, “I have got vendor blur, all the technology seems to do the same thing – just tell who I should go with!”

"Despite The Entry Of Computers, Mobile Phones, And Internet, HR Work Has Not Moved Beyond Its Focus On Administration Role"

Of course you would imagine I would say SAP right? Well, as I have actually told those of you who know me: technology is a key element, a critical one at that, but you have to have a plan. You can take a bad HR process, put it on lovely SAP success factors technology, and guess what? It will still be a bad process.

In this article, I hope to help you avoid vendor blur and understand what you are buying when you get HR cloud technology, and also to help you understand its advantages over the pre-digital way of doing things.

I recently came across a great study by Gallup that looked at HR over the last twenty years. According to it, despite the entry of computers, mobile phones, and Internet, HR work has not moved beyond its focus on administration role. “Wow,” I’m sure you must be thinking, “Now tell me something I don’t know.”

The reason why I bring this up is that the change has finally come. With the new SAP digital hub, we have got the new workforce covered. HR technology is no more about a standalone core system that polices and processes.

Today’s platform needs to be predictive, constantly upgraded, mobile-enabled, central to company's systems, and should also provide a great user-experience and seamless data flow.

For instance, the modern HR managers should be able to input an employee’s leave time and hire a new contingent worker–while booking a last minute holiday with their family–on their mobile phones while dropping the kids off at preschool. Does this sound like the future of work? It’s not–that was my morning today. And with my two-year old and four-year old sons, trust me, this was amazing.

The world changes at a rapid pace, and it’s only getting more rapid. Here are three principles I urge you to consider when asking yourself the ‘what technology should I be using’ question.

1. When you’re buying a service (SaaS), you’re buying into a company that is going to be (hopefully) bringing constant innovation to the software that will help you meet employee needs. So look into their research and development spend, whether or not they have been receiving awards and plaudits for their user experience. Check to see if they’re commercially stable and have proven domain experience. Finally, make sure they have partnerships with other vendors – that’s a sign of industry trust.

2. Does the technology have connectivity or ‘integration’ to the wider technology eco-system? Does it hook up with finance, e-commerce, and the internet of things? Is it mobile first?

Finally, when all is said and done, can you see yourself having a positive ongoing relationship with the organization? Have they understood your business, and do they stand out in the independent analyst reports? Here’s the clincher: Would you buy shares in them for your retirement?

Remember, it’s no longer a purchase for this year or the next three. The world is changing, three years in the modern world is what 30 years used to be. So pick a trusted technology partner that not only provides the platform, but also business insights and experience that will ensure your business can concentrate on doing what it needs to, not only what the internal systems let it do.

SAP SE (NYSE:SAP) is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.

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