The evolution of HRIS is not so much correlated to the evolution of the function itself, but rather to technological developments in the field, which may explain the variable level of equipment in different companies. More recently, the recognition of new needs, particularly in terms of employee empowerment, has accelerated the evolution of the offering.
What are the developments and prospects for HRIS?
Stage 1: The Beginning
The birth of HRIS dates back to the early 1970s. At that time, their objective was to record data and simply to produce pay slips. This activity is still highly sensitive today because of all the regulatory constraints. At that time, the companies that produced these payroll solutions were ESNs such as Sopra, Steria and EDS on the one hand, and publishers such as Cegedim, Cegid and ADP on the other.
Stage 2: the arrival of computers
In the mid-1980s, microcomputing was on the rise and HR was given the opportunity to develop its own applications. For its part, the IT department was in charge of setting up the necessary infrastructures and we saw people joining the HR teams internally: this was the birth of the HRIS teams.
Step 3: More and more data
We then observe the appearance of data servers and the client-server architecture. These developments allow for more data to be stored and reprocessed. These software packages combine several processes and are very popular with HR. They can handle payroll, training, mandatory interviews, declarations to the authorities and many other matters.
We are beginning to see a dependence on few suppliers whose"on-premise" solutions do not perform well in all areas covered (the multi-specialist model does not work).
Step 4: Internet, or mass data sharing
The Internet has a big impact on the systems used in human resources. If at the beginning, the applications are slower than the internal systems, they allow to have a more adapted and engaging ergonomics for the users.
The 35-hour work week is a real turning point for HRIS and its evolution. It is becoming imperative to give employees control over shared data and it is becoming clear that it is not only HR managers who can use this type of information system. The notion of self-service is emphasised in this generation of systems.
Step 5: New distributors in the market
Distributed architectures are gradually appearing, leading to innovations in HRIS. Thanks to these shared architectures, developers do not need to make customizations for each client. They do it for all of their customers if the companies want to. That's why costs go down.
The economic model of SaaS. This model proposes to rent solutions with a price per user and no longer a global envelope with different intermediaries publishers, software firms, integrators etc. ....
From then on, "best of breed" solutions can be born, i.e. specialized on a domain. They compete with ERPs that do a little bit of everything. Today, they are viewed positively by HR departments, for whom this was a major change in their habits. This also leads them to strengthen their collaboration with their IT departments to ensure that they have a coherent set of data that communicate with each other.
Currently, large publishers are taking HR start-ups under their wings through accelerator programs. This allows them to bundle good ideas into a single solution. This way, they ensure that their software integrates with the next generation of solutions and then buy them out if they have good traction. According to Arago, the On-premise vs. SaaS split is 50/50 in terms of solutions implemented at the user's end.
Among the players there is a double movement. The continuous creation of companies with good solutions is accompanied by a concentration of software.
Step 6: The emergence of open ecosystems
Today, we are at a key moment. Even if there is a commercial war, there is a very important logic of partnerships so that the end user is not penalized by a closed system as has been the case until now. We are also seeing the emergence of marketplaces, such as Neobrain, which has 30 partners. Unfortunately, this doesn't really speak to HR functions, but it is a version of the future we are heading towards.
A central solution and peripheral solutions that build on it. At the same time, even the Best of Breeds are expanding their scope of application due to the demands of customers: it is not easy for HR to see this clearly.
The current evolution: Talent Marketplaces
HRIS are no longer tools that simply provide information but become management tools as soon as the data processed is of high quality. Typically, we see that annual interviews are no longer effective when they are done once a year.
The current challenge is to offer tools where employees, their managers and HR teams can see changes in skills and performance at a more regular pace. To achieve this, users must also have an interest and pleasure in using their solutions: User Experience and gaming help them to use them more.
On the other hand, transparency on opportunities is a prerequisite, and it also goes hand in hand with taking into account the preferences of each individual. This is the promise of the Talent Marketplaces, which the main HR influencers have nothing but praise for.