Saturday, December 12, 2009

My predictions for 2010 (Global, Business Intelligence, and SOA)

William Tincup asked a bunch of people in our HR technology arena to make predictions for 2010 and I rose to the challenge. All the big HR technology analysts from IDC, Gartner, Forester, etc. have made predictions about the steep projected increase of adoption of cloud computing/SaaS, social networking, mobile devices being bigger than PCs, etc. etc. So, I thought I'd get a big more granular and talk about three trends I see from reviewing our CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey data -- my little corner of the world (or at least my world):

1. The trend towards “going global” with a single instance of a core HRMS and common processes will escalate rapidly. I think the past year of economic downturn has focused large global organizations on cutting costs, more than ever, by moving to a single workforce system of record and rationalizing processes. I do see that they are being much wiser in the process rationalization and realizing that some processes really do need variations by country or business unit. Processes like workforce administration, compensation and performance management which have been handled first will be followed by recruiting and learning management.

2. The trend towards adopting business intelligence and managing with metrics will take two forks as the market moves towards higher levels of adoption. One fork will be a continued adoption of BI middleware technologies such as Oracle’s OBIEE, along with packaged analytics solutions such as OBIA/HR Analytics. The other fork is one taken somewhat out of frustration in that the first fork is expensive and takes total organization commitment. This second fork is towards adopting a SaaS solution. This one leads organizations again towards packaged analytics solutions and I personally think is a temporary blip (until organizations get that they really need to institutionalize the delivery of metrics and need some heavy lifting technologies), but it will make many of the SaaS analytics providers look very good for the coming year.

3. SOA suites will take off. Given that so many large organizations have an HRMS from Oracle or SAP, these organizations have already started adopting SOA middleware. They have gotten how valuable it is to address certain processes with automated support. Pulling from the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey for 2009: Early adopter industries such as financial services are already using SOA technologies for core banking and to integrate disparate information sources to provide business intelligence. Higher education institutions, typically a laggard industry, are using SOA to integrate students with funding sources and to hook them up with back office services. SOA, most typically used for onboarding activities, will take off with other processes such as seniority handling, terminations (if these continue), and other work-life processes not already automated with the actual packaged applications.

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