Workforce and Careers
Journey to a Digital HR

What Research Tells Us About Implementing A New HRIS

A number of talent trends are challenging HR to modernize – from the increased use of social media for recruitment, to the rise of the “digital natives” in the workforce and the business demand for predictive people analytics. These are all leading organizations to question how best to meet these needs and expectations through the use of HR technology.

Mercer’s recent research investigated HR Technology buying trends and examined the drivers of change, the choice of cloud vs on-premise systems, and the implementation challenges often faced by organizations.

Mercer, in partnership with Human Capital Media, the research arm of Workforce magazine, conducted a global survey of HR executives in 19 countries on the state of their current or planned HRIS transformation. Out of the 500 respondents, 43% indicated that they intend to purchase a new HRIS within the next three years  and 45% had implemented a new HRIS within the last five years. The predominant driver was the desire for a single system of record for all HR data globally. Moving to a single unified system allows organizations to leverage the latest technology to support service delivery and improve the employee experience. Without standardized technology, it is exceedingly complex (if not impossible) for HR leaders to deliver the workforce optimization support and the quality of service on which the success of their organization relies.

Top 5 Drivers for Replacing an HRIS


Planning For Change


A smooth implementation that delivers intended results requires careful preparation. Fifty-six percent used the business case for a new HRIS as motivation to create an overarching HR technology strategy, and others took it one step further to total HR reorganization and process redesign. The most common changes to the HR business model were:

When Plans Go Awry


Interestingly, these same HR business model changes were stated as the biggest challenges in a company’s HRIS implementation. Despite these and other roadblocks, it took the majority of organizations less than 12 months from signing the initial contract to fully implementing their new cloud-based HRIS system, and half of the organizations took less than nine months. This is a far cry from the multi-year implementations that characterized on-premise and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions of the past.

The Path Forward


Organizations differ — a truism, perhaps, but one that is far too infrequently applied to an organization’s readiness for change. How a company approaches its business requirements and people needs requires a disciplined review before technology decisions are made. Download the full article from the link on the right side of this page to learn more about Mercer’s recommendations on:

  • Questions to consider when selecting the right HRIS
  • 10 tips for implementation and change management success
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