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HR technology spend sees spike across ME, Europe

Wigley … increased focus on HR technology in the GCC.

HR technology spend sees spike across ME, Europe

DUBAI, 1 days ago

Nine out of 10 firms in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region plan to spend the same or more on HR technology this year than they did last year, a report said, adding that 12 per cent of them will hike investment by more than a fifth.

The most popular way for HR departments to spend this year’s tech budget is to replace their core HR management system, with over a third of companies planning to do so in this region, marking an all-time high, according to the 2015 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey by global professional services company Towers Watson.

However, despite recording overwhelming satisfaction with new technologies, the survey highlighted a clear opportunity for HR to automate more to increase efficiency and drive down costs.

For example, nearly a third of companies are still using manual or paper methods to manage bonuses and other variable pay and 39 per cent of companies continuing to use paper-based systems to process new joiners, the survey found.

Stuart Wigley, HR technology Consultant in Dubai, UAE, said: “With the survey in its 18th year, we have seen a record number of participants in the GCC.”

“The results show us that organizations in the region are starting to address many of the same challenges as their global counterparts. Common trends in the region include redesign of the HR function to increase organizational effectiveness, increased spending on HR technology, and increased interest in the advantages of deploying an HR portal.

“Consistent with our global data, we have also seen increased regional focus on Software-as-a-Service as the preferred deployment model for HR technology, as organizations start to think about moving away from the legacy on-premise model,” he added.

“Upgrading and consolidating technology is becoming a major priority for HR,” said Tim Richard, EMEA leader of Towers Watson’s HR Service Delivery practice.

“While in the past, companies have mostly invested in separate technology for talent, compensation and performance management, there has been a dramatic shift to investing in an overarching IT system with the functionality to take care of all of these areas. Many organisations are now looking at cloud-based solutions to replace traditional HR platforms.

“That said, while many HR organisations are embracing change and capitalising on the opportunities presented by new technologies, the extent to which legacy paper systems prevail is startling. I expect as more positive case studies of tech adoption are shared with peers, confidence will naturally grow and the use of paper systems will significantly decline during the next few years,” he added.

The survey also revealed that employer interest continues to grow in the use of mobile technologies for HR purposes with almost two-thirds of companies already using such applications or planning to introduce them in the next 12 to 18 months.

In addition, 90 per cent of companies in this region now have in place or are developing a HR portal, which is a web-based self-service site that brings together information, systems and processes in one secure location.

Key findings:

•    Changing HR Structures – A growing number (42 per cent) of companies are changing their HR structures in the next two years to increase efficiency and quality

•    Shared Services – Shared services is the HR delivery model of choice, with 9 out of 10 HR enquiries now being solved in this way or via self-service

•    Employee engagement surveys – The majority of companies in EMEA (41 per cent) currently conduct an employee engagement survey at least annually

•    Payroll – Most companies are processing payroll in-house using an automated solution both in the country where they are based (55 per cent) and in other locations (38 per cent). – TradeArabia News Service

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