In the fast-paced world of HR, an organisation’s requirements today could be very different to those that emerge tomorrow. But how far ahead is it possible to realistically plan, and how does this influence the tech that an HR team needs to procure? Our CEO Oliver Shaw provides his thoughts…
“The desire to futureproof investments throughout any business, has become the norm for most organisations. Gone are the days when assets are procured on a whim. The recession forced a mindset shift that resulted, quite rightly, in a new-found level of due diligence. Investments, the return they are likely to generate, and over what payback period, are now scrutinised on an entirely different level before they are made. And emerging start-ups that have come to market since the recession, have never known an approach any different.
“This can be said for everything ranging from industrial machinery to business technologies, such as HR and payroll software. And it isn’t just the product itself that comes under the spotlight. The desire to futureproof the investment means that the supplier’s after sales service, industry knowledge and commitment to ongoing support, is also analysed in detail.
“This is exactly how such important purchases should be made. Assets such as these can have a demonstrable impact upon the efficiencies and performance of a company. Make the wrong choice and the consumption gap could prove incredibly costly, not only in terms of the need to potentially buy twice, but also when it comes to the lost time and resource spent researching, selecting, implementing and trying to utilise a system that is not fit for purpose.
“So, when it comes to investing in an HRMS – and organisations start to consider how their requirements will evolve, and what they need to purchase to futureproof their needs – how far should the business go? Invest in tech that only fulfils today’s objectives, and the system could soon become inadequate. Try to invest in tech that fulfils the predicted goals – and size – of the business in 10 years’ time and who is to say what the system needs to look like?
“The decision is particularly challenging for start-ups and micro-businesses just starting out on their commercial journey. But there are some interesting points of advice to note when navigating this procurement landscape:
“Generally speaking, when selecting a vendor, HR teams should be looking for a partner that can provide enough bandwidth to support the business for a 5-7 year period. However, this does come with its risks. The client will naturally build a significant level of IP into that solution, especially if the software is highly configurable. Companies that are truly thinking about the future, should therefore consider the onward compatibility of the tech and the ease with which it can integrate into different business systems.
“Some software partners can even offer a suite of products that enable the business to move to a more enterprise-style product when the time is right, which helps address this potential longer-term obstacle.
“There is no hard and fast rule as to how to futureproof the investment in HR tech but from entry to enterprise level software, it is possible to plan ahead and protect this all-important financial outlay.”