Go on HR, free yourself from IT….
Hey HR, IT doesn’t have to own your technology.
It’s probably only fair that I follow up that statement with another. Hey HR, IT most likely doesn’t want to own or maintain your technology.
To get started, let’s address some common underlying reasons why HR has been so reliant on IT to acquire, customize, and maintain their applications.
Unfortunately for you HR, you’re rarely a profit center and are all too familiar with battling management to fork over capital budget to organizational departments that don’t correlate in plain sight to increased shareholder earnings. So after the obvious need for a main HRMS that holds the majority of must-have employee information, procuring additional HR technology can sometimes become more of a reliance on existing applications that IT owns. For example, I’ve come across a healthy share of HR departments who are forced to piggy back on IT’s help desk ticketing system to achieve some semblance of a case management tool. It’s like stuffing a size 10 foot in an 8.5 shoe. Sure, it’ll get you to and from the corner market without burning your feet on hot summer asphalt, but I wouldn’t start a daily jogging routine with them.
Some sizeable disadvantages to this scenario are:
1.) 9.9 times out of 10 an enterprise application that is customized to achieve shoe-horned HR functionality will require those same customizations to be replicated whenever the application undergoes a version upgrade. This is typically labor intensive, a.k.a. expensive and time consuming. After obtaining budget to bring in outside customization resources or scheduling internal resources, be prepared to wait until IT (and potentially others piggy backing on the system) replicates theirs first.
2.) Adjusting configurations or adding customizations on the fly to mirror HR business process change can be slowed down to painful speeds if having to invoke outside efforts or cut through internal red tape.
3.) Many applications are overly technical and complicated. Though more technical HR positions like HRIS mangers have become common place, these folks are often still assisted by IT when performing integrations, version upgrades, maybe some configurations, and certainly code driven customizations.
At this point you may be asking, “Is this guy going to offer a glimmer of hope or continue to depress me with this blog?” Yes, there is hope.
Thankfully best of breed applications that integrate with your current HR applications are becoming more plentiful. The biggest leap to enabling that separation from reliance on IT is the abundance of vendor “hosted” applications that no longer require IT to maintain your HR-specific applications. Most of these best of breed applications are also written using common coding languages that can be customized by a far more diverse work force, bringing costs down and reducing reliance on expensive vendor resources. Dovetail takes all of this a step further and actually architects our system from the ground up to nearly eliminate the need to replicate customizations after version upgrades. We also allow configurations to be performed easily, in plain English (not code) by anyone with administrative privileges. That’s right, no vendor professional service bills to configure the system and no waiting. Perform your desired change, click accept, and the new configuration specific to how you run your business is applied instantaneously across the board. Now that’s FAST and EASY!
So perform a little due diligence when shopping for a technology solution that you’re comfortable with on all levels. Make sure you think about total cost of ownership, the hidden stuff. Research the software carefully when it comes to how much you’ll have to involve IT and/or outside skill sets. Work with companies whose software doesn’t require rocket scientists to configure, customize, or cause you to remain under IT’s thumb for the duration of that sparkly new application’s life.