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Demystifying IT for HR

Demystifying IT for HR

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Published by EazeWork
IT Applications for HR have undergone a rapid development over the recent years. This article explores the various types of HR applications and proposes a framework for classifying them. The article also highlights the role of various IT applications from a transactional support to a strategic tool.
IT Applications for HR have undergone a rapid development over the recent years. This article explores the various types of HR applications and proposes a framework for classifying them. The article also highlights the role of various IT applications from a transactional support to a strategic tool.

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Published by: EazeWork on May 25, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Application Classification
IT Applications for HR have undergone a rapiddevelopment over the recent years. This article exploresthe various types of HR applications and proposes aframework for classifying them.
Demystifying IT for HR
© 2010 Mobius Solutions Pvt Ltd Page 2
Background HR Applications- A Historical Perspective
HR as a functional domain has a low penetration of IT applications and systems
with theexception of Payroll (some argue that Payroll should be considered a part of Accounts). This isnot surprising since companies typically want to first implement Accounting, Sales and Inventorymanagement systems and try to gain business efficiencies from their IT investments. Only whentheir core business functions are IT enabled they focus on HR domain.However, over the past 10 years there has been a renewed interest in implementation of HRsystems more so in the larger and more mature companies. This has been driven by a need tohave employee centric processes, to maintain transparency, to provide higher quality of serviceand also to reduce costs and gain efficiencies.This article explores the various types of HR applications that are available in the market todayand tries to categorize them. Before we look at HR applications per se it is important tounderstand the various types of software applications which are available today, the table belowshows the different types of software applications.
SoftwareApplicationExamples AttributesInternet /Web based(hosted)applications
Email,Ecommerce,Online FilingsThese are standard applications which are normally freeand available for use through internet.
Tally, Oracle9i, MicrosoftOffice, SAPAgain standard applications which are not free but arelicensed. Customization to suit business requirements mayor may not be allowed. ERP falls in this category.
Custom builtApplications
Billing,Inventory,Attendance,CRMThis is a very large and diverse set; applications can be verysmall and do only one specific task
for example exportinvoice and document printing - or can be very large andcomplex
for example an application which includes sales,purchase, inventory, accounting and production.
Salesforce,EazeWork,Intuit,SuccessFactorsNew types of applications have been becoming verypopular with the businesses globally. These are availableon the internet and are not free but the fees are linked tousage.Traditionally HR has been divided into two domainsa)
Organizational Developmentb)
Personnel Management and Industrial RelationsMost of the HR applications are designed for PM&IR while OD which is more rooted inbehavioural science uses tools which can be deployed as standalone software.Human Resource Information System
HRIS in short has been the traditional name given to anyHR application implemented in a company. HRIS has been taught in colleges to MBAs and HRprofessionals and on the ground the implementations of HRIS had been widely varied in widthand depth. HRIS has been in vogue before 1980s when the IT applications were built usingCOBOL and there was no separate database and information was stored and managed locally.From mid 80s for a period of 20 years Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems dominatedthe market, most of the ERPs where built as Finance, Accounting, Sales applications and hadrelatively modest HR functionality. There were some specialist HR applications like PeopleSoft,Kronos, Lawson, these applications still exist are amongst the most popular ones.
© 2010 Mobius Solutions Pvt Ltd Page 3
Framework for CategorizingHR Applications
Competency / SkillsManagement PerformanceManagement 
1990s saw the growth of outsourcing industry HR processes started getting outsourced tocountries like India. A pre-requisite of outsourcing any process is having a well defined systemdriven process. During this period
payroll, benefit administration, compliance managementwere some of the HR processes which got outsourced and applications were built / modified tohandle these processes.We can classify the HR applications based on the nature of the application and its impact in theorganization. There are three levels in this classification-
Applications in this group are not used on a daily basis but once in 3-6 months oreven annually; these applications help the senior management in achieving mid to long termgoals.-
These applications are in the middle layer of the pyramid and are used by theManagers and Department Heads on monthly or need basis. These applications integratewith other areas internal or external to the organization and are critical to overallmanagerial control.-
At the bottom of the pyramid are the applications which help the HRprofessional, Employees and their Managers in completing transactions. These applicationswhen implement lead to significant improvements in efficiencies and lead to costreductions.Competency / Skills management application is used to1.
Understand the skills and competencies required by the organization and to map these asper different job roles2.
Evaluate employees on these competency dimensions and develop customized trainingprograms3.
Integrate with the Learning and Knowledge applicationOne of the toughest activity in any organization is the annual performance review, mostemployees feel that their ratings are unjustified and the resulting confusion leads to a lot of productive time being wasted. While Succession Planning works for senior employees a welldefined Performance Management process aided by an application increases employeesatisfaction and helps in retention.
These are the underlyingbuilding blocks for theseapplications.
HR Databases
Employee Information, Policies, Processes
SuccessionPlanningPerformanceManagementCompetency /Skills MgmtRegulatoryComplianceCompensationPlanningLearning &KnowledgeRecruitmentManagementPayroll BenefitsAdministrationEmployee Self ServiceFeedback &SurveysAttendance &Time Sheet
Rules Engine
Business rules, Alerts, WorkflowAccess and Security
Single Sign On, Web access, Role based accessStrategic AppsTransactional AppsFunctional Apps
Strategic Applications

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