None would be ideal. Startled? Think about the sound of the word integration. Inherent in it are notions of a seamless user experience and a system functioning perfectly, as one unit with nothing impeding its operation. Integration brings to mind harmony. But integration in practice usually looks and feels much different and tends to cause the very challenges it claims to solve. The best strategy? Eliminate integration wherever possible.
The Sound of Integration
Without an explanation, this reality can be confusing. Integration, after all, is a concept with positive connotations. Integration, the word, sounds good in advertising copy and, as a concept, tends to sell HCM technology. It symbolizes the idea of togetherness, synchronicity and coordination. Buyers hear the word integration and imagine intuitive functionality. By its label, integrated technology leads users to expect a hassle-free experience involving moving parts cooperating and understanding each other perfectly. Toss the cloud or the concept of SaaS into the equation, and integration sounds even better. But neither the connotations nor expectations reflect the reality of integrated HCM technology, not even when it’s cloud-based or SaaS-delivered.
The Look and Feel of Integration
The problem with integrated HCM technology is the very fact that it’s integrated. With very few exceptions (and, in full disclosure, Ceridian’s Dayforce HCM is one of them, to a degree), today’s integrated HCM platforms reflect many (sometimes dozens) of acquired products that have been cobbled together. Perceptions of integration mask the underlying pandemonium: a slew of applications struggling to work together behind the scenes. Only complex interfacing is capable of connecting everything—and just barely. These interfaces inhibit and run counter to the system’s ability to process data, introducing risks for error and resulting in unnecessary costs. With integrated applications running payroll and core HR, for instance, delays, inaccuracies, and manual workarounds are unavoidable. While on the surface the end user sees the appearances of unification, there are still different data models and program architectures that are being managed behind the scenes. Together, this all makes a seamless view very hard to obtain.
Eliminating Integration = Unified Experience + Lowered Cost + Increased User Adoption
You read that right. Only a system featuring as little integration as possible can deliver on the original promise of integration. A single application free from integration results in an experience that at once feels integrated and relieves users of the frustrations that actual integration brings. IT costs fall, too. Almost 70 percent of IT spending is invested in maintaining and navigating the intricacies of integrated legacy applications with their nearly untenable interfaces. By contrast, a seamless, unified system consisting of just one application dramatically reduces IT costs. That seamlessness draws more stakeholders into the fray, too, as they elect to use the technology to its fullest potential.
With the elimination of integration in HCM technology, an organization saves money and increases the benefits it experiences. The future (or lack thereof) of integration is worth embracing.