The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

systematicHR Avatar

I often get the question about how to deploy HR technology services.  People still seem to be in love with discovering the “best practices” in the industry, not realizing that they are general guidelines of what seems to be working for a decent population of companies in the current historical moment.  In fact, the “best practice” is never a best, but more of a leading practice that is ever changing.  What works as a leading practice will really only fit 10% of the organizations out there without some adaptation.  However, companies and clients of mine still seem to want to know what a best practice is without a design effort to see what is most suitable for them.

Indeed, I think that delivering a HR technology deployment strategy really sounds like a basic service delivery project, but with a focus on HR technologies.  However, even as I said there are not real leading practices, the general practice would be one of the following:

  1. To allow HR technologies to be housed in existing IT data centers (so if IT service delivery is regionalized into shared services, it would be the same) or
  2. To follow HR service delivery practices (utilize HR shared services hubs if they exist) or
  3. Allow each country/region to determine what to do on their own.

As you can see, the approaches vary widely based on the technical infrastructure that has already been set up.  Indeed, the corporate strategy may not fit the current state technology infrastructure either, and may require some significant retooling.  However, before embarking on trying to adjust the global HR technology deployment approach, I think that they need to answer several philosophical questions first:

  1. What is there HR service delivery approach, and thereby what is their HR technology service delivery approach?
  2. What is the scope of services that will be provided either globally or regionally?
  3. What populations can be regionalized or aggregated to make some system and staff consolidation feasible?
  4. What are you really looking to achieve in terms of end user experience?
  5. What are your data goals?

Every other company I talk to says, “we’re going to global shared services in 5 distinct regional centers” which barely makes sense when I look at their technology and population profiles.  I’m going to urge everyone to get out of the “best practice” mindset and try to figure out what will really work for your organization.  Once you’re global, you really are kind of unique, because nobody is global in quite the same way.

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systematicHR Avatar

2 responses to “Staffing for Global IT Models”

  1. Lexy Martin Avatar

    I couldn’t agree with you more that each organization is unique in where it is and where it wants to go. BUT, benchmark information that can get to that level of granularity can help be a call to arms — a catalyst for action. It can be used to identify gaps in an application portfolio, for example, which can point out potential areas of process inefficiencies. It can point out the competitive value of these process/applications and help an organization understand a path towards excellence. It can also point out a different end state that the organization might aspire to to gain competitive advantage.