Until recently, many companies were operating with an HR technology strategy that had not been revised in five or ten years. Part of the problem was that the ERP systems employers implemented took so much time and energy to put in place. “The boom in HR application vendors and the growth of software as a service (SaaS) is changing this,” Expert says.

Software as a Service rising

Speaking of SaaS, recent HR technology study found that in the next two years, the use of SaaS applications will double. SaaS, in fact, will very shortly be the predominant way that a wide array of HR applications, including payroll, benefits, recruiting, training and analytics, are delivered. Hundreds of new service vendors are coming into the market, and this means more choices, greater variety, and products that are more specifically designed to address HR pain points.

Changing tech support models within HR organisations

In a related area, The growth of SaaS is shifting responsibility for HR tech support away from IT. There has always been a mix of people getting support from HRIS versus IT. But SaaS products are often not well supported by IT, so HR has to take that on to a greater extent.

The Cloud remains in the forecast

That HR is moving to the cloud is hardly new, but it’s still in its early adopter stage. Nearly every major HR software vendor is offering or making plans to offer its solution in the cloud. Cloud computing delivers increased flexibility, faster updates and innovation, and cost decreases. This is a real relief for HR managers who have to deal with the downtime and expense of upgrading a system every year or two, which will now be done automatically by the vendor. Core HR solutions on the cloud include ADP, Oracle, SAP, Workday, Ultimate Software and Infor, among others.

More integration, fewer ‘silos’ and risks

The Affordable Care Act has transformed what was once an annual enrollment event into a monthly process of tracking and reporting extensive data points for every employee in an applicable large-employer company. To comply with the law, various personnel in Tax, Finance, IT, Legal and HR who never had to share data may now need to partner to help ensure costly compliance penalties are avoided.

Gathering the required data from multiple systems can present a challenge, so it will be become even more important for businesses to consider an integrated human capital management solution.Employers often still use separate benefits administration, payroll and HR systems and maybe another vendor for learning management or applicant tracking. Although going the “best of breed” route does have advantages and may be right for some organizations, there are some disadvantages, including more vendors to manage and difficult to impossible integration.

Employee engagement and talent management software

Finding and keeping great talent has been a big concern for organisations over the last few years. Employers also are turning to technology to help with workforce learning and development. Shifting workforces are causing companies to look for ways to engage very different employee demographics. Technology can help. From stand-alone systems to integrated offerings, there are solutions available to meet every organisation’s talent needs.

Going mobile

Mobile app use within HR is still in its infancy. But with more SaaS and cloud-based apps appearing, this is starting to change. Employees have very high expectations in this area globally. The growing use of mobile apps will significantly improve the use of self-service, easing the administrative burden on HR.

“Digital natives” are the people applying for jobs and are doing so via mobile devices. To attract that talent, employers should be offering hiring and benefits information for mobile devices. Vendors are stepping up their mobile game as well — user interfaces are much more attractive and ease-of-use is improving.

Mobile apps, despite their upside, pose significant data privacy issues, particularly outside of the U.S. In Germany, for example, local laws can put serious constraints on the use mobile apps for employee data.

Master data management arrives

There will be a significant tech trend towards a greater focus on master data management. There’s been tremendous growth in the use of analytics over the past five years, but master data management solutions weren’t there. That is definitely changing, he explains. And as companies become aware of the power of analytics, they understand the need for data standardisation.

Increased need for data analytics tools

Speaking of analytics, the ability to collect, process and analyse “big data” is becoming a crucial factor in identifying and managing the business lifecycle challenges. Companies who are looking for a competitive edge increasingly need to use analytics to gain data-driven insights into workforce trends, and take action to refine recruitment, compensation and other performance incentives to meet employees’ evolving goals and interests.

Data can now be pulled from an organisation’s HR tech systems, and predictive algorithms are applied and used to make decisions for a hiring and managing the workforce. This could help increase productivity and decrease turnover – big wins.