HRIS: developments and prospects for digital HR tools
The evolution of HRIS is not correlated to the evolution of the function itself but
more to technological developments in the field.
If we trace the evolution of HRIS since their introduction in companies, we can observe 6
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 IT services companies such as Sopra, Steria and EDS on the one hand, and publishers such as Cegedim, Cegid and ADP on the other.
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. The IT Department, for its part, was responsible for setting up the necessary infrastructure and people were joining the HR teams internally: this was the birth of the HRIS teams.
3 - More and more data
This was followed by the emergence of data servers and client-server architecture. These developments allow more data to be stored and reprocessed. These software packages combine several processes and are very popular with HR.
They can take care of payroll, training, mandatory interviews, declarations to the authorities and many other matters. We are beginning to see a dependence on few suppliers whoseon-premise solutions do not perform well in all areas covered (the multi-specialist model does not work).
4 - Internet, or mass data sharing :
The Internet has a big impact on the systems used in human resources. If at the beginning, applications are slower than internal systems, they allow for 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.
5 - New distributors on the market
Distributed architectures are gradually emerging, resulting in
innovations in HRIS. Thanks to these shared architectures, developers do not need to make customisations for each client. They do it for all of their clients if the companies want to. This is why costs go down.
The SaaS business model is now emerging. This model proposes to rent solutions with a price per user and no longer a global envelope with different intermediaries, publishers, IT services companies, integrators, etc. ....
From then on, "best of breed" solutions can be born, i.e. specialised in one field.
They compete with ERP systems that do a bit of everything. Today they are viewed favourably
by HR, for whom this was a major upheaval given 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 programmes. 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 users' end.
Among the players there is a double movement. The continuous creation of companies with good solutions is accompanied by a concentration of software. This can be seen at
with the case of Cegid, which bought Talentsoft.
6 - Continuous transformations of the model
Today, we are at a key moment. Even if there is a commercial war, there is a very important partnership logic so that the end user is not penalised by a closed system as has been the case until now. We are also seeing the appearance of marketplaces: that of SAP, Cornerstone, TalentSoft, SmartRecruiters, which present their partner solutions. This does not speak so much to HR functions unfortunately, 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.
A move towards HRMS:
HRIS are no longer tools that simply provide information but become management tools as soon as the data processed is of good quality. Typically, we see that annual interviews are no longer effective when they are conducted once a year.
The current challenge is to make tools where the employee, his manager and the HR sector see the evolution of skills and performance at a more regular pace. To achieve this, users must also be interested in and enjoy using their solutions:UX and gaming help them to use them more. It is developments like these that will transform our HR solutions in the years to come.
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