The product choice open to the HR profession has truly opened up and continues to expand.  The traditional providers are now moving firmly into providing Software as a Service (SaaS) to compete with relatively new entrants like Workday.  Faced with a real choice….what factors should influence your decision?

If you are not already utilizing SaaS in the choice(s) you have to make, then this is one decision point that you probably cannot avoid.  Most on-premise systems providers are moving their offering to the cloud and if not today, then very likely they will do so in the future.

Whether looking to replace a complete HCM platform or augment your current platform with specialized Learning, Talent Management, or Compensation systems, you will find that many, if not all large scale systems are now offered as SaaS.

SaaS offers a number of advantages, see our blog on Why SaaS, Why Multicloud? but also brings challenges – gaps in requirements, business process reengineering, and integrations – so understanding these and how a SaaS product will fit into your current systems landscape is critical.

Meantime, you still have to select the vendor system that meets your business needs, delivers the performance and efficiencies that your requirements demand and hopefully delivers on your business case with cost reductions.

So, what to consider:

How visible are your current processes?

What is your business culture? Can you move business administration processes to the employee and managers? Many systems anticipate self-service processes to drive efficiencies

Do you already employ a system that it is claimed will integrate seamlessly with a new service? Integrations can be hard but don’t blindly trust the marketing from a vendor who is already a provider. Your IT people will need to interrogate all integration needs very thoroughly and you should take note of their advice if a system is going to need a large or complex integrations effort.

How future-proof is it going to be? If it’s not already delivered as SaaS, then how are new releases and product features delivered? Is there a commitment to continue to develop the platform? Is there a threat that they will move to SaaS in the future requiring you to pay for a huge upgrade – or move again?

How robust is the platform, what is the support provided by the vendor? HR systems are more critical than most consider, requiring 24/7/365 performance. Outages on HR systems are usually very visible and in the case of HCM platforms, can have very significant financial and reputational implications – Payroll, Financials, Regulatory reporting. Resiliency is paramount.