HR Technology & Digital Workplace Landscape


HRMS (Human Resource Management System), HRIS (Human Resource Information System), HCM (Human Capital Management) and HXM (Human Experience Management)- there are many appreviation and terminology used for HR Technology domain. For me, they are all different expressions or interpretations of the same thing.  HR Technology covers a wide rage of needs for an enterprise and all the employees are one or the other way users of HR technology. HR technology has many benefits, let me call out some here

  1.  System of record for all people data with the organisation
  2. Automate HR processes there by taking away admin from HR professionals
  3. Embed HR policy into the ways of working
  4. Improve productivity of employees by enabling data & analytics in their finger tip
  5. Improve business efficiency by sharing people data for enterprise wide automation
  6. Improve employee experience by providing consumer grade HR services

HR technology space has evolved over the years, in the past this space was ruled by 'On premise software vendors', currently all cutting edge 'Cloud vendors' are in this space. Social, Mobile, Cloud, Robotic Processs Automation, Artificial intelligence are all new norms in this evolving HR world. 

Below is a classification of HR technology and digital workplace landscape into different layers and sub layers

HR Technology Ecosystem, HR Technology Landscape

  • Employee Portal or the experience layer is the first interaction point for all users and one stop shop for all HR information, including policy, services, systems. Employees, candidates, managers, alumni's, HR, service partners & suppliers, all interact with this layer and it is important to have a consistent look and feel and enterprise branding for this layer
  • HR Service Delivery layer is the layer that enables digitial consumer grade HR services
    • Case management/ Customer service management tools for handling queries
    • Knowledge management tool for managing content, policy, learning, knowledge articles
    • Document management tool for managing personnel files and also generating letter like offer letters
    • Telephony for contacting HR helpdesk for inquiry
    • Smart forms for automating traditional paper based forms
    • HR chatbot - virtual assistant for users of HR services
    • Employee self service (ESS) for giving personal data control to employees
    • Manager self service (MSS) for empowering managers to own talent management themselves
    • Org chart for viewing entire organisation structure
  • Workforce management layer is the layer for managing HR admin heavy processes and transactions 
    • Core HR system for position management, HR transactions
    • Compensation system for automating salary review, bonus, long term incentive processes
    • Benefit administration for managing enrolment of benefits into pension, healthcare providers etc.
    • Flexible benefits for empowering employees to handle their own benefit distribution
    • Global mobility toolsets for managing international movements of employees
    • Payroll systems for processing payroll and ensuring employees are paid correctly
    • Leave management system for managing holidays , sick leave, etc.
    • Time & attendance system for managing time and tracking shift/ time worked
    • Contingent worker management system for handling flex workers or contractors
  • Talent Management layer is the most important part and is used to identify, attract, develop and retain top talents
    • Recruitment system for applicant tracking/ processing and managing agency relationship
    • Recruitment marketing /CRM for candidate relationship management and campaigns
    • Career site to attract job application from internal and external candidate
    • On-boarding / Off boarding tool to automate on-boarding paper work and also to engage employee to their new teams and connect with managers
    • Performance management tool for managing goal setting and performance reviews and feedback
    • Job profile for managing competency framework and linking of talent processes to core competencies, values and behaviours
    • Talent & Succession planning for managing talent reviews to identify top talent and to manage succession plan to ensure strong leadership benchstrength and business continuity
    • Career development solutions for managing career goals, career path and also to manage mentoring programs
    • Learning management system for managing training and learnings incl. classroom and elearnings
  • Social / Collaboration layer intend to enhance collaboration within teams across enterprise and encourage employees to build formal and informal network withinn and outside of the organisation
    • Mobile application to drive better engagement among millenials and make 9-5 life in line with our 5-9 life
    • Employee engaement tools to capture experience of employees and their engagement levels with culture pulse surveys, etc.
    • Collaboration platform to encourage formal and informal collaboration within teams to support initiatives like communities of practices and facebook like interactions
    • Social learning to bring social aspects of learning with gamification, commenting, replying, sharing to drive collective organisational learning
    • Social recognition / Reward to encourage peer to peer and team recognitions in both financial and non financial forms including discounted external services
    • Health / Well being platform to enhance awareness of health and wellbeing among workforce by sharing health content, encouraging gamification with the use of devices like fitbit, apple watch, etc.
    • Candidate experience platforms are platform to enhance candidate experience with the use of artificial intelligence or new cutting edge technologies
    • Alumni management tools to engage alumni who are the potential future talent that organisation may need to tap into
    • Volunteering tool to encourage community contribution and give back to the society
  • Data/Analytics/Planning layer to drive quality, compliant and reliable data to drive better decision making
    • Reporting tools to enable operational & regulatory standard and adhoc reporting needs
    • People analytics tools to meaure and track HR KPIs and to gain business insights combining people, financial, sales datasets. Includes data warehouse which is the foundation for good data analysis
    • Predictive analytics tools to model predictive models and predict flight risks and recommend actions
    • Strategic workforce planning tools to plan workforce needs for the future and forecasting the financial needs
    • Headcount planning tool for operational headcount planning to meet immediate business needs
    • Data purge/ scrambling tools to ensure compliance by hiding, scrambling and purging data ( as per data retention period rules) based on the regulatory requirements like GDPR
    • Master data management tools to manage master data and ensure consistency of people master data across the enterprise
    • Data science / Machine learning to enhance data engineering capability to create next generation predictive and actionable insights capabilities
    • Data access control to manage role based permissioning and ensure people get right access and only the required access to do their job
  • Productivity /Efficiency layer to enhace workforce productivity , efficiency of HR function and drive enterprise wide business efficiency
    • Digital workplace tools like meeting collaboration tool, next generation productivity tools to drive workplace productivity e.g. IOT devices, virtual workplace
    • Integration middleware tools to share data across the enterprise and outside in a seamless and secured way by using SFTP, APIs, etc.
    • Robotic Process Automation and articial intelligence tools to enhance productivity by further automation amd to bring cognitive aspects into automation and decision making
    • Business Process Management tools to document and manage HR business processes consistently with the help of process taxonomy tools or performance management toolsets
    • Process mining tools to perform process analysis and identify process issues requiring fix
    • Project portfolio management (PPM) tools to ensure HR projects are connected to strategic levers and to manage projects in a consistent way 
    • Scheduling tools for reporting scheduling or for scheduling of work to reduce manual interventions
    • Single Sign on tools to enable one logon for all HR systems using technologies like SAML 2.0
    • Walkthrough tools for just in time and context sensitive walk through help to drive better adoption of the technologies.



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