Five benefits of a fully integrated HRMS

When you’re looking at new HR technology solutions, a fundamental question is whether to go for a collection of separate best-of-breed options (and then integrate them with a series of interfaces) or opt for the convenience of an all-in-one integrated HRMS. While having the best learning management system, the best recruitment app, the best workforce planning, etc. has an obvious appeal, there is much to be said for convenience.

1. Out-of-the-box compatibility

First of all, there is no guarantee that your choice of best-of-breed apps can be easily combined. In fact, you could even say that a principle of ‘deliberate incompatibility’ is part of the design (the big example would be Apple and Microsoft – a user literate in one system is practically starting from scratch with the other). Basic marketing means a vendor wants you to buy their whole suite of solutions rather than just one, and one tactic is to make those solutions incompatible with the competition. That problem doesn’t exist with an end-to-end HRMS solution.

2. Making life easier for your IT team

A follow-on from the fact that an integrated HRMS is ready-to-use is less work for your IT people. An all-in-one solution is a much easier implementation from a technical point of view. No need to design interfaces and connections, or to oversee their design by consultants. Also, in terms of maintenance and updating over the system’s life cycle, the IT department doesn’t have to support various program languages, operating systems or databases.

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3. Simpler employee training

Implementing any new technology means training users. While a single best-of-breed system can benefit from shorter, more focused training sessions, installing a suite of them can be a training scheduler’s nightmare. An integrated HRMS is far simpler to learn from the users’ perspective.

4. Better user experience

Another major plus for the user is that an integrated HRMS will have a single login procedure, and is usually accessed via a single homepage or dashboard. Given that a major determinant of system success is whether it’s used or not, and easy, straightforward and intuitive user experience is a significant plus.

5. Easier reporting and statistics

Integrating different best-of-breed solutions so that the data can be pooled, correlated, crunched and used to produce insightful reports and analytics is not always easy, it requires a degree of translation between the differing systems. It can be done but it’s not necessarily straightforward. One advantage of having all your functionality in a single integrated system is that all the different parts are already speaking the same language and the reporting function is specifically designed to use what the system has to offer.

One word of warning to finish with… if you decide an integrated HRMS is right for your business, make sure you ask a few searching questions during the shortlisting and demo stages. Some systems are more integrated than others and many of the above advantages are lost if you buy what turns out to be a collection of best-of-breed standalone apps loosely ‘stitched together’.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall