The HCM Technology Dilemma: 5 Critical Factors

Unused Computers

In this guest column, Tom English looks at five HCM technology implementation issues that often leave HR professionals, company executives and the workforce as a whole with a less-than-happy experience.

Human Capital Management is, for many, what HR used to be. Think of it as Human Resources for the modern age, focusing on recruitment, management, development and optimization of human capital—arguably the most important part of a business.

From a technology point of view, HCM solutions enable the efficient management and development of these resources across large and globally diverse organizations. They help optimize, manage and generally make more agile what could be thousands of employees.

5 blocks to #HCM tech adoption may be described as “implementation” problems, but they involve both human and technical issues. #HRTech #HR Click To Tweet

Technology and HCM

Arguably, HCM has revolutionized the world of the HR department, mostly for the better. Like all advances, however, it’s not without its critics. A 2016 study from KPMG found that up to 62 percent of HR leaders expected more from their HCM solution, while others pointed to widespread discontent with the technology itself.

Today, we’ll going to look at five critical factors in the implementation of HCM technology that are partly responsible for such reactions. While all of them can be described as “implementation” problems, they’re spread across human implementation and technical implementation. Let’s take a closer look.

Employees in the Dark

Research shows that many employees don’t understand how their HCM software works or that they can’t use significant parts of it. If you think about employees in terms of end users, this is a massive issue. If your employees are in the dark about a new solution, the responsibility lies with HR to shine some light.

In larger companies, especially global ones, this will be a huge undertaking. But for a successful rollout, education and training are essential.

HR’s Not Happy

Your IT department will have to play a significant role in the setup of your HCM technology, especially if you’re moving it to the cloud. That can leave HR feeling put-upon or excluded, and that’s something to watch out for.

If HR feels that your solution “belongs” to IT department, they’ll never make full use of it or feel the need to truly understand it. That won’t do anyone any good. HR and IT must work together to make the most of your investment.

The Challenge of Curation

The challenge of curation isn’t limited to those in HR, but it affects practitioners greatly. As modern life—and the recruitment and management processes—generate ever-increasing amounts of data (sometimes on paper!), knowing what to toss, what to keep and, more important, what to include in your HCM solutions implementation will be one of the biggest decisions you make.

The more extraneous data contained in your software solution, the harder it will be for the technology to be fast and effective. So, a little research into curation methods—and how to apply them to your circumstances—is highly recommended.

Sub-Par Cloud Migrations

When an organization migrates HCM to the cloud, it’s likely to see benefits in terms of security, efficiency and speed. Even so, the migration itself adds challenges to the mix. For example, your tech team must now keep an eye on the functioning of your solutions and the servers they’re hosted on.

Several tools will help IT by ensuring conformity across the infrastructure. In turn, this keeps the implementation secure and efficient. Still, you’ll also need a fairly talented team backing up your tech staff. Ironically, finding this cloud-savvy super team will require effort from—HR!

Synchronization Fails

When an organization has problems with synchronization across solutions, it’s usually the fault of the tech team that implemented it. If your HCM solution isn’t playing nice with other systems, it will steal valuable resources from those trying to use it. As it gathers information from many points around the organization, your HCM solution must work in tight synchronicity with the tools it interacts with.

Silos do no one any good, so if you fear this is happening in your organization, you should mobilize all resources to fix it. Quick intervention from IT will be essential.

Summing Up

By moving your HR processes to software-based tools, you’ll gain huge savings in time, efficiency and capacity. That’s great, as long as everyone involved respects the need for transparency, scalability and interoperability. Most problems in HCM operations stem from a lack of one or more of these aspects. Given the size and scale at which many organizations operate, problems can quickly compound.

Avoid HCM dilemmas by prioritizing transparency, scalability and interoperability from the get-go. Yes, it may add time and effort to the process, but by hashing out issues at the start—even if that means creating cross-departmental think tanks, reports and interviews—you’ll have a much better chance at success.

Tom English is an outreach specialist for Cloud Conformity, an SaaS tool that provides visibility, control, governance and reporting into public cloud infrastructures. Guest columns adhere to our editorial guidelines but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors.

Sign up for our newsletter here.

Image: iStock