I like your typology; monster systems.
Let's have a quick look how this monster thing was originated and what the
future will be.
Most HR pc applications were specialized on one type of functionality, for
instance training. because there was no interface between the various
systems, data had to be exported in a very primitive way to avoid
redundancy. Because this was rather difficult, only a few performed the
data export with the consequence that employee data was maintained in
Especially from the payroll point-of-view this was considered a
non-desirable situation. Suppliers of payroll software started to add
module that contained HR functionality to come to an integrated system.
The problem was that HR was looked from the payroll point of view. So the
functionality had a heavy registration input and not much room for HR
instruments. One can more or less exchange payroll with ERP.
Because of the changing role of HR more and more demands were defined
towards these systems, so they started adding functionality from a HR
instruments point-of-view, but often without support of HR domain experts.
It became a translation of wishes and the systems themselves became nearly
to heavy to implement.
A nice example of this 'strategy' is the transformation towards
client-server of a lot of these systems. You know that it is of the utmost
importance that privacy of the employee is guarded. So the integrated
systems had all kinds of authorizations built in their applications. That
was okay in the master-slave concept with a database that could not be
reached by the employee. But with c/s portability became an issue and the
suppliers forgot to extend the authorizations to the various databases
underneath the HR system. Some guys who knew something of SQL were now
able to enter the database by going around the application. This situation
is still at hand.
There is now a lot of criticism on these huge systems that are nearly
impossible to implement. Thanks to technology the next generation of these
systems will consist of component software. This means that you can
implement the various modules one at a time and it will also be possible
to interface in an easy way between the modules. There are some problems
to overcome because a number of HR instruments are the aggregated result
of other instruments. For instance: the combination of development, career
planning, training and flexible compensation&benefits. But I think that in
the next year we will see this new generation software on the market.
drs Gijs Houtzagers
Director Human Resources
Hora park 7, 6717 LZ EDE, The Netherlands
P.O. Box 250, 6710 BG EDE, The Netherlands
Telephone 31 (0)318 695382
Fax 31 (0)318 689339
Cellphone 31 (0)6 534 66 816
"drs G. Houtzagers" <G.Houtzagers@inter.nl.net>
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