Where is HRMS going in 2017?

Two things happen in every field of human endeavor around this point on the calendar: ‘best of’ lists for the year just gone, and future-gazing predictions for the year to come. Here are a few thoughts on what 2017 holds for HR technology…

Greater convergence

A key theme at this year’s annual HR Technology Conference and Expo in Chicago was a push for system convergence. It’s less and less acceptable to have a variety of HR apps and systems working in isolation. If only from an efficiency point of view, all-in-one HRMS are better and easier. But best-of-breed applications are also increasingly easy to integrate – communicating, sharing data, and combining to produce reports and analytics with deeper, more relevant insights. In short, when buying HR technology in 2017, the question of integration will be as important as the price tag.

Focus on new performance management tools

According to the Bersin by Deloitte report, “Predictions for 2017: Everything is Becoming Digital”, the market is in store for a performance management revolution in the coming year. In terms of process, the trend for years has been moving away from top-down, once a year appraisals and toward more flexible systems with continuous performance feedback. Bersin says, technology will increasingly support this direction by incorporating the following features: “regular check-ins, OKR (objectives and key results) or agile goal practices, continuous coaching, and even models in which employees have one ‘sponsor’ and another ‘project manager’.”

Looking for up-to-the -minute performance management tools? This completely up-to-date HRMS vendor directory will point you in the right direction

Data and predictive analytics (again!)

When it comes to HRMS, it seems that no list of predictions would be complete without predictive HR analytics – it’s certainly shown up a few times over the last few years! However, this was another forward-look from 2016’s HR Technology Conference and Expo in Chicago. Data tools continue to evolve (albeit possibly more slowly than anyone would have predicted a few years ago!) and alongside that process, HR professionals are learning to use them to best advantage, which often requires closer collaboration with other corporate functions as data becomes less department-specific and more organization-wide.

In fact, this need for greater data-sharing may drive one final future possibility; one a little more ‘out there’ than the others: the end of HR technology as a separate category. Maybe it’s time to stop talking in terms of HRMS, ERP, CRM and so on and accept that as the ‘data barriers’ come down, there is a need for truly enterprise-focused systems, designed to be so from the ground up.

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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