Human resource management has become an indispensible company function all over the world to a greater degree than ever before. Regulations have been added and requirements increased and keeping track of all that is human resources management is just as challenging. Employee records, applicant processes, recruitment activity, policies and procedures, benefits, payroll, federal and state regulations, OSHA requirements, and any number of other data points, make human resource management software systems an absolute must. In the United States, HIPAA regulations regarding personal medical information dictate that records be stored in a way that best insures that employee health information remains private.
Human Resource Management and the Business of Business
Oracle has brought PeopleSoft and JD Edwards into the fold to meet the needs of the human resource management market. SAP’s payroll and human resources management modules are robust and sophisticated. There are third party applications like Ascentis, Sage and Kronos, that specialize in meeting the functionality needs of the human resource management software market. Small and medium businesses are being wooed by software development companies hoping to capitalize on the smaller market niche often ignored by megaliths like SAP and Oracle.
Human resource management looms large in the business plan of any company regardless of the size of the operation. Human resources manages vast amounts of data and human resource management software is an effective and essential tool for efficient management of that data. Data bits such as name, address, and social security numbers are only the beginning when it comes to human resource management. Payroll looks to HR records for time, attendance, tax information, deductions, and special programs and so on. Benefits packages and their administration, HIPAA, COBRA, family status, unemployment insurance, disability, training and certifications, PTO (paid time off) vacation, incentives, employee development plans bonuses, the list goes on and on.
Human resource management duties are sometimes outsourced. A company like Ceridian specializes in making its services available as an external resource for human resource management. While most companies choose to handle human resources due to the sensitivity of the information, routine tasks are being outsourced. Ceridian and its competitors exist to fill that niche market.
Small and midrange businesses often have less than deep pockets available to their IT budgets and the software industry has noticed. SAP and Oracle both require extensive investment in hardware infrastructure and the software packages themselves are very expensive. Implementation is labor intensive, time consuming and expensive. Administration, maintenance and support of a large traditional software system is also a very onerous responsibility requiring deep benches of highly skilled and highly priced IT personnel.
Alternatives to traditional erp systems are more available than ever before. SaaS (software as a service) and hosted software are viable choices for companies with stricter budgets. SaaS systems and hosted systems can effectively deliver all the functionality of traditional software solutions to organizations with small and midsized budgets. Implementation less expensive and time consuming and ongoing administration, maintenance and support remains the responsibility of the service provider and terms and conditions more flexible. Whether an organization chooses to retain all HR management duties or outsource them, effective human resource management is vital to business success.