28 Nov 2022
An integrated approach to HR
There are many options to consider when purchasing business systems, including the structure of a new solution, and there will always be debate around what represents the best solution for a business. Do you buy a single solution from a single vendor or a combination of best-of-breed software?
Single software vendor or best-of-breed?
The question of whether to choose a single vendor or a best-of-breed combination applies to buyers of HR and payroll solutions. Some suppliers combine different pieces of software, whilst others provide fully integrated single products. Sometimes, third-party software solutions are promoted by a vendor as their own – a process known as white-labelling.
But how can you tell the difference, and which is the best approach? Solutions comprising disparate software combinations risk information being scattered across multiple databases. Often, changes don’t update everywhere leading to conflicting versions of data with no way to know what is true. Correcting the resulting errors is time-consuming and disruptive to business.
Organisations using multiple software solutions must determine how to enact data changes across all their software, determine a source of truth for their data and implement interfaces to enable this. Then, where data structures change or software is replaced, organisations must reconfigure their interfaces. Fully integrated software solutions have one database to update, one source of truth. This approach minimises disruption and the risk of errors.
Security without complexity
System security ensures that the right users have access to the right data.For multiple vendor solutions, you may need multiple security credentials for authorised users to ensure they can access only the data they have permissions for within each piece of software. As software access controls will vary, this may prove challenging. Fully integrated solutions have one security profile per user so you can ensure separation of duties and give each user access only to their permitted data.
Audit controls will capture every transaction for easy reporting and, within an integrated solution, the auditing capability will report across every functional area and consistently present a complete picture of ‘before’ and ‘after’ data. HR software providers Frontier Software stress the importance of security and audit, “relevant stakeholders must share data and their actions on that shared data must be captured. So, when businesses decide to adopt a new solution or change providers, security and auditing should be among the key considerations…disparate software may capture and present audit data inconsistently”.
The big advantage
Integrated software works as a single solution. It has one database and need not share data as all modules form part of the whole. Data changes are universal and do not need mapping, eliminating the risk of data duplication or other errors. The system updates new codes or changes to codes everywhere in real-time. The big advantage of seeking an integrated solution is commonality. Integrated solutions will have common interfaces, reporting tools, menu structures and security access methodology.
The choice of multiple vendors vs fully integrated is not any easy decision to make, but here are 10 reasons to choose a fully integrated, single product solution for HR and payroll:
1. Cost-efficient and time-efficient
2. Minimise data issues relating to data mapping, warehousing or interfacing
3. Comprehensive and configurable security protocols
4. Complete, system-wide audit capability
5. One contract and one supplier relationship
6. Access to specialist consultants who understand the entire product configuration
7. Comprehensive reporting across the entire solution
8. Better user adoption via consistent user interface and experience
9. IT department buy-in to a single application provider
10. Senior management buy-in due to reduced risk perception
Article originally published on HR Grapevine November 2022.