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Five Factors to Consider When Sourcing a New HRIS

Replacing legacy systems is critical in implementing broader organizational transformation strategies. For instance, Human Resources (HR) has shifted from a tactical operation to a strategic, consultative business component. As such, HR technology has experienced similar shifts resulting in an explosion in the technology market.

Emerging technologies have also caused HR to transform its technology blueprint by implementing newer, more robust Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). There are many systems in the market and selecting a vendor includes lots of research and sales pitches.

Before selecting your vendor, consider these five (5) factors when sourcing a new HRIS.

Customer vs. Vendor Responsibilities

Today's HR systems are robust and allow for increased customized configuration. Unless there's a system defect, adopting new features, reconfiguring processes, and troubleshooting architected solutions are often your responsibility. Work with your potential vendors to understand your organization's roles, responsibilities, and business processes and what services they will provide.

Relying on your project and program management resources will be vital to defining:

  • Milestones

  • Deliverables

  • Timelines

Your subject matter experts (SMEs) are critical to defining your processes. However, you should also establish an implementation team to spearhead the new system:

  • Design

  • Build

  • Testing

  • Cutover

  • Migration

Make sure change management, finance, user experience, Information Technology (IT), and security resources are included on the team.

Total Ownership Costs

HRIS implementations focus on system architecture. Implementation resources deliver contractual obligations for you to go live. Unless it’s included in your contractual agreement, system management is your responsibility after the system is live.

Post-implementation provides a stabilization period to:

  • Refine your support model

  • Educate end users

  • Assess system effectiveness

  • Focus on break fixes

  • Learn balancing techniques for business as usual

  • Optimize your system

  • Manage project work

If your team has never supported these efforts all at once, you’ll need time to adjust your resources to realize the actual total ownership costs. Remember, all of your cost savings will not be immediate, so prepare yourself for post-implementation expenditures.

Achieving Value & Cost Reductions

HRIS implementation is similar to the car buying process where the...

  • Salesperson helps you select the car

  • Lender assists with financing options to purchase the car

  • Mechanic is responsible for vehicle maintenance

Each person plays a role in the process, but they don't teach you how to drive the vehicle. Purchasing an HRIS is the same. Someone else may build or own the HRIS, but your organization is responsible for how it navigates your business’ HR technology pathway. Be prepared by staffing your team accordingly, ensuring team members know their roles and responsibilities, and are trained on the correct use of the HRIS.

Staff Assessments & Support Models - A Priority, Not Afterthought

Subject matter experts (SMEs) are critical to a successful implementation. While SMEs provide significant input during requirements gathering, design, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT), they will need to learn how to interact with the new technology.

A new HRIS requires innovative ways of working, thinking, behaving, troubleshooting, and engaging with others. For example, compared to previous technologies, today’s HRIS require HR to be responsible for data validation and data entry. Some HR teams are also responsible for technology troubleshooting, which requires advanced skill sets.

Leverage staff assessments to evaluate your team’s current and expected capabilities and address any existing gaps. Establish support models to assist your staff in understanding their role in interacting with the new HRIS.

When In Doubt, Hire A Consultant

Your team shouldn’t be tasked with managing operational tasks, break fixes, optimization, modernization, training, change management, and overall HRIS management. This is a recipe for overworked resources and underutilized technology, which can rapidly undermine your HRIS investment.

You can prevent staff burnout, low morale, and poor employee satisfaction by including an Independent Technical Systems Consultant on your implementation team as early as possible. One of the most significant resource gaps in new HRIS implementation is an Independent Technical Systems Consultant with business context and system expertise. This bridge resource is critical to translating your business needs and system capabilities to design solutions that work for your business. A Technical Systems Consultant can set pre-and post-implementation expectations, establish a baseline support model before going live, outline HRIS team interactions and serve as an advocate with your implementation partner during design.

Your system implementation partner is only with you for a limited time. Working with a Technical Systems Consultant equips you with the HRIS support needed for a smooth transition and is critical to your post-implementation stabilization period.

Interested in purchasing a new HRIS and not sure where to start? Looking to maximize your existing HRIS capabilities? Contact Abnormal Logic today to learn more at

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