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Pathways to Building a Successful HR Technology Strategy

It’s no secret that organizations are increasingly buying and implementing new HR technology to improve their human resource processes. But, technology selection is only half the battle. Success of the system also depends on human engagement. To ensure strategic alignment on both fronts, organizations must design an HR technology plan that meets current and future business needs. Here are five steps to building the consummate HR technology strategy.

Embrace HR’s Strategic Role

Today’s organizations face a number of mounting pressures – such as increasing globalization, fiercer competition, rapid technological change and a high rate of organizational change. HR plays a vital role in guiding organizations through these transitions. When the need for new technology arises, HR must be prepared to lead, implement and maintain the strategy.

Assess the Current Environment

The framework for an HR technology strategy is similar to that of a business case, which explains the problem and justifies the solution. Start by examining the issues with your current HR system.

For example, you outsource payroll and use an on-premise HR solution, resulting in:

  • costly expenditures to maintain the in-house system’s hardware and software;
  • the need for ongoing IT support;
  • fragmented HR and payroll processes;
  • inadequate reporting and issues with compliance; and
  • poor employee retention rate due to lack of engagement tools.

Define Current and Future Needs

After evaluating your current system, strategize the outcome. For example:

  • Eliminate hardware and software expenses.
  • Get rid of costs associated with IT support.
  • Have one convenient platform for workforce administration, payroll, time and attendance, benefits administration, talent management, and HR analytics.
  • Be able to access a range of compliance and reporting tools.
  • Improve employee retention via feedback and self-service applications.

HR and technology are evolving swiftly, so a system that’s adaptable to future organizational changes is essential to maintaining a competitive edge. According to the Information Services Group (ISG), a future-state strategy includes a system that:

  • is highly configurable;
  • creates a positive user experience;
  • supports ongoing innovation;
  • provides analytics that reveal business outcomes; and
  • allows mobile access.

Aim for Shared Vision

Your HR technology strategy should be founded on a shared vision, which can give you greater insight into how the new technology will impact business goals. To achieve a shared vision:

  • Speak with stakeholders, including company executives and other HR leaders, to understand the company’s long- and short-term plans.
  • Ensure that HR’s goals are in sync with the company’s, including the implementation time frame and budget for the new technology.
  • Identify the functions of each business unit and their relation to HR. Then, gauge the effect of the new technology on related units.

If the strategy does not align with business goals, revisit the disparities with stakeholders to determine available recourses.

Prepare for Delivery

To help ensure a positive experience across the organization:

  • Keep stakeholders informed on the change and be receptive to their questions.
  • Ask the technology vendor detailed questions to learn the long-term value of the solution.
  • Be upfront with stakeholders and employees about the technology’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Provide training to employees; encourage their feedback.

Your HR technology strategy needs to clearly depict what HR processes need to change, why they should change, the role of technology in the change, and how the change aligns with organizational goals. Appropriate execution of the strategy, however, is the deciding factor of success.