resources technology trends in the coming year will be driven largely by the
need to control costs, as companies look to optimise their e-HR investments and
gain greater returns.
predicts global consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide which has compiled a
"top ten" list of trends for e-HR in 2002:
- Enhanced workplace
portals and intranets. As enterprise portals evolve into worker
productivity tools, several HR domains will benefit from new online
solutions, including e-health tools, defined contribution health care
models, compensation systems and performance management tools. Other
personalization features will continue to expand, with a new emphasis on
web services that provide data that organizations and their employees
- Increased technology
access to more workforce segments. Companies will continue initiatives
to get more employees web-connected, allowing greater access to corporate
systems and HR information from home or travel.
- Greater reliance on ROI
(return on investment) tools. Top management will exert more pressure on
HR to justify investments in HR technology through ROI analysis and
business case development.
- Growing focus on
optimising current HR systems. Sensibility will be the key factor as
companies seek system optimization and integration solutions. Optimisation
trends will include improving legacy systems and connecting existing
- Increased use of virtual
workplaces. With an eye toward increasing worker productivity,
approaches such as online meetings, project team workspaces, web
conferences and video conferencing will continue to gain popularity, with
the added benefits of controlling costs, employee safety and time
- Decision support tools.
Traditionally the province of financial departments, HR departments will
begin using analytical tools to measure the success of their HR practices
and to predict future results.
- Business continuance
planning. The 2001 terrorist attacks spurred a new understanding of
HR’s critical role in helping companies get their people back to work by
providing space, systems and support that employees need to be productive.
Look for sharpened HR involvement in employee communications and disaster
standardization of XML (extensible mark-up language) data schemes and
structure. Growing cooperation between organizations will continue the
trend of standards that are usable for HR domains. The HR-XML consortium http://www.hr-xml.org has already
completed schemas supporting recruiting, benefits enrollment, and time and
expense reporting, and plans more in 2002.
- Attention to small
cost-saving measures that add up. Following the substantial
cost-cutting measures many companies implemented in 2001, HR will focus on
the cumulative effect of additional process improvements and cost-saving
initiatives, such as technologies that improve data accuracy and ease data
- Demand for better
integration and collaboration between vendors. HR will carefully
select technologies to meet overall business needs and examine how vendor
services can be bundled. Vendor performance measurement and ease of
integration with other solutions will be critical factors.
Novak, senior e-HR consultant with Watson Wyatt, says that there will continue
to be significant innovation and application of HR technology, but companies
will do so sensibly.
the near future, optimisation of existing HR technology investments will take
precedence over new technology purchases after the recent period of heavy
technology innovation by most HR organizations," he concludes.