A #SHRM17 Interview with Vivek Patel

 

i don’t believe there is a more-progressive suite in the tech space than that of Human Resource related technology. Call it HCM or HRIS or HRIT, so much has happened so fast and there is a technical solution for every employee support function.

The questions can be daunting for an HR Professional seemingly forced to turn IT expert:

  • To Cloud or not to Cloud?
  • SSO or SAML?
  • Which system integrates with what?
  • Is there are element of gamification to jazz up the user experience?

Who better to address these questions than the non-partisan Society for Human Resource Management Director of Technical Solutions, Mr. Vivek Patel?

Vivek will be conducting the #SHRM17 session How to Evaluate the Right HR Technology Solutions for Your Organization for SHRM17 on Sunday, June 18 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Attendees eager to implement new HR Tech will leave this session ready to tackle the Exhibitor Hall with all the knowledge of a Human Capital Management Maverick.

We caught up with Vivek as he was packing his bags for New Orleans.

Tell us a little bit about the pre-conference workshop you are facilitating? Can anyone attend?

Over the last few years we have heard a lot from our members express their need to understand and participate in their respective organizations’ technology processes – be it the selection of the platform or operationalizing the technology for optimum benefit. This session presents such individuals an opportunity to participate in discussions with their peers and learn from their experience. Aliah Wright and I will share insights and specific information which can aide them in being more involved from a technical perspective to collaboratively work with their technology departments.

How has the relationship between IT & HR evolved? What can HR Pros do to better assist their colleagues in IT?

I have seen this relationship grow stronger and evolve over the last few years. Over the last decade rapid changes in technology have had a huge impact on businesses. Specifically within HR, major adjustments have presented huge demand around flexible work arrangements, fluid leave policies, comprehensive performance reviews etc. HR departments have realized the need to be closely tied with their IT staff in bringing in newer platforms and systems while at the same time getting more technology savvy themselves. In my opinion HR pros should make their IT department part of projects from the very beginning, bring them in early and let them help you fit the needs within the overall technology strategy from an organizational perspective. Also with advent of Cloud, Analytics, Big Data etc., there are huge concerns around privacy and security – having your IT teams as your equal partners may help you avoid some obvious pitfalls.

What trends have you see developing in Human Capital Management software space?

The biggest trend that I see in HCM software (and one that is going to be vital) is the idea of ‘self-service’. The concept of self-service becomes a bit tricky in the field of HR but all software generally is moving towards users managing their own ‘profiles’ and need within the system. I am excited to see how this aspect and demand is balanced within HCM.

The other trend that I am excited to see evolve is the idea of collaboration. With a geographically displaced workforce on the rise and social media bringing a whole new sophistication to ‘collaboration’, I want to see how the HR software evolves to balance this need.

When choosing a vendor, what are the key components HR Pros can use as evaluation criteria?

This would be true for anyone who is evaluating vendors or systems but more so for an HR Pro. While other technology selections and vendor relationships mostly deal with business processes, HR related vendors/technologies deal with actual ‘people’ within an organization. Some key things to keep in mind while evaluating vendors would be:

  • Integration – how will the new system interact and integrate with your existing technology?
  • Consolidation – if the goal is to consolidate systems and/or processes how well does the new system achieve that goal?
  • Automation – how far does the new system go in terms of eliminating manual work?
  • Security – is the new system secure from a data privacy and privilege perspective?
  • Data – this is one is of the utmost importance! Do you own all your data that you will ‘upload’ into the system? How flexible is the system in letting you pull your data out of it on-demand? This is often overlooked and a major ‘money drain’ once the system is in operation.

Any advice for HR Pros courting new vendors at SHRM17?

I would suggest 2 things:

  1. Do your MoSCoW matrix – in others words prioritize your base requirements. To the extent possible, know things/features that are critical ‘Must Haves’ vs. features that you ‘Should Have’. Additionally, there are features that are desirable and ‘Could Have’ and things that you are willing to live without and ‘Wont Have’. This will help you not to chase every shiny new thing out there
  2. Also if possible, have a discussion with your IT teams to understand the current systems landscape within your organization. This will help you ask intelligent questions of the vendors in terms of system integration, automation etc.

I feel better already!

Check out Vivek Patel’s Preconference Workshop: How to Evaluate the Right HR Technology Solutions for your Organization

Can’t attend this session? Need help evaluating your next HC Tech upgrade or installation? Feel free to submit your questions for Vivek in the comments section.

See you in New Orleans!

 

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.
COMMENTS 0

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below:
Image CAPTCHA