Watson Wyatt: Employers likely to continue improvements to HR technology in 2010

by Editor 12/29/2009 8:08:00 AM

As companies prepare for the economic recovery, many are poised to enter 2010 with renewed interest in improving their HR technology systems, processes and organizational structures, according to experts at Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm.

“In the current economy, organizations will keep a watchful eye on their spending as they analyze their investments in HR technology,” said Steve Hitzeman, national leader for technology and administration solutions consulting at Watson Wyatt. “Employers are likely to continue or even increase their cost-savings initiatives by taking steps to globalize and streamline the HR function, scrutinize their vendor relationships and strengthen their service levels.” 

Watson Wyatt HR technology experts identify these emerging themes for 2010:

Scrutinizing vendor relationships and sourcing options. Employers with vendor contracts that are up for renewal will evaluate whether they have received optimal value from those relationships. For example, employers that aren’t satisfied with their HR business process outsourcing might decide whether to stay in their contracts next year, or revert to outsourcing to multiple vendors with specialized services.

“Rather than place all of their eggs in one basket, many companies will migrate to a blended, co-sourced service delivery model,” said Dan Vander Hey, senior technology consultant at Watson Wyatt.

As disenchantment with the time requirement and expense of platform hosting and technology upgrades grows, Watson Wyatt experts also expect many employers will continue to embrace software-as-a-service (SaaS) options. These options help reduce costs by providing access to software via an external provider.

Globalizing the HR function. A growing number of multinational organizations are expected to focus on standardizing their HR processes, organizational structure and systems, such as payroll, across borders. 

“In an increasingly global workplace, employers will be challenged to strike a balance between having consistent standards for their HR technology and processes across the different countries they operate in, while not losing sight of region-specific issues,” Hitzeman said.

Investing in a consumer-grade experience for workers. Companies will grow more comfortable with Web-based, consumer-oriented applications that convey HR information through interactive and self-service tools. Many will look to technology to boost employee collaboration and lower costs by expanding the use of social media or leveraging their portals.

“The recession spurred many employers to assess their technology capabilities and priorities,” said Hitzeman. “In the coming year, tight budgets and cautious spending will compel many companies to look for a strong business case that justifies taking action.”

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3/5/2010 4:52:18 AM

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