Last week, I wrote about my vision of integration’s future: as little of it as possible. There’s a desire percolating to leave behind functionality-sapping, overly integrated human capital management technology. But what does it take to start over? Well, that is what it often takes—starting over. And starting over takes courage.
Cloud, SaaS and Integration: Having Courage at the Crossroads
So, let’s say your HCM system is integrated to the hilt. It’s clunky. And your legacy HCM technology goes way back, too, and none of it is in the cloud or delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). Costs associated with the upkeep of an outdated or clunky system are holding you back. And that’s the upkeep that’s still possible to perform: Many companies use systems with no vendor-provided support at all!
You need to make a change, and you know it. But you’re having trouble building the business case. Plus, what if you do receive the green light? The last thing you want is to end up with a SaaS-delivered, cloud-based solution that’s still overly integrated, instead of unified. Who wants to trade one set of frustrations for another just as annoying?
Investing in Unified HCM Tech Saves Money and Beats Inertia, Hands-Down
This is where courage comes in. It takes courage to ask your CFO to invest in unified HCM technology when you’ve repeatedly asked for dollars to keep old systems creaking along. But let’s set aside the issue of money, as pressing as it is. You still need courage. Why? Inertia sets in. It’s easier to stay with the status quo. What will it take to tear down a sprawling legacy system? Just the thought can be daunting, and that’s stressful.
Change Is Tough, but the Status Quo Might Be Tougher
Just as with anything else requiring courage, a clear vision keeps everyone focused on enduring the pain of change. But here’s the thing: Even with just payroll, an error rate as little as 1 percent can find you bleeding more than $100,000 for every $10 million of payroll processed companywide. And that’s the best-case scenario: The payroll error rate is up to 8 percent, according to the American Payroll Association. Bring other elements of HCM into the fold, and the administrative costs just continue to accelerate.
Many integrated systems are dysfunctional, breeding grounds for errors. They can’t function in a unified way. Only manual workarounds can get data across silos to communicated properly. Human error enters the equation. Plus, that doesn’t even take into account upgrades for on-premise systems, whose upgrades are costly and not even guaranteed to be successful.
Courageous Action Avoids Frustration
Sometimes you know instinctively that trying to work within the status quo just isn’t going to fly. No matter how hard you try, you’ll end up frustrated. By leapfrogging to the most modern technology, you’ll have to take risks, but the benefits will ultimately pay off.