Headlines, Recommendations from CedarCrestone Survey

Perhaps the biggest headlines coming out of the CedarCrestone 2011-2012 HR Systems Survey, officially unveiled Monday at the HR Technology® Conference, are that Software-as-a-Service users are now plentiful enough to be included as meaningful statistics and, no surprise, Workday is rising.

Presenting this year’s survey results (downloadable here), Lexy Martin, director of research and analytics at Alpharetta, Ga.-based CedarCrestone, laid out the current assessment of, and future roadmap for, HR technologies based on 727 responses representing almost 18 million employees.

While her company noted an overall 10-percent growth between 2010 and 2011 across the 40-plus HR technology applications it tracks, “perhaps the most notable difference from 2010,” she said at her session to announce the study, “was that we finally have enough SaaS consumers to contrast and compare.”

And pretty much across the board, those organizations using Saas, she said, “need fewer IT and HRIT people … so it’s clearly cheaper … and are spending less and getting better business results.”

Though licensed, on-premise applications are still leading in technology deployment, at 44 percent of users last year, “they are starting to decline,” said Martin, with 42 percent showing use today and 38 percent planned for next year. Likewise, SaaS services jumped from 12 percent of users in 2010 to 18 percent today and 27 percent planned for next year. The latter number represents a 50-percent jump. Clearly, said Martin, the leaders today “are being taken over by SaaS.”

Another front-runner in human resource management system adoption, PeopleSoft, at 32 percent use, shows no projected increase in the next year, whereas Workday — albeit still in its early stages of growth — jumped from 2 percent of systems in place today to 7 percent planned for the future.

“I would have to say the big news this year,” Martin said, “is that Workday is picking up customers … [and] is being strongly considered for its integrated talent management.”

Also worth noting is that 21 percent of respondents are replacing their HRMS systems, up from 9 percent in 2010. “That was a huge leap from last year,” she said.

Martin relayed a myriad other trends and observations, not the least of which are the increasing applications of social media, particularly in the area of recruiting, and all of which can be found through the link above.

She did caution HR to evaluate the mobile and social tools from current vendors first to avoid later integration costs.

“What we are seeing is that uses of HR technology continue to [garner] better business results,” she said … “and we wouldn’t be CedarCrestone if we didn’t recommend that you always keep a strong focus on change management” throughout all purchases, decisions and implementations