Human Resource Software - When the CHRO and CIO Disagree

2 min read
May 25, 2011

“When the elephants dance even the grass suffers”. 

HR SoftwareThis probably gives a clear mental image of what happens when senior executives disagree with one another.  One of the biggest issues we see as a software vendor is the disagreement between the CHRO and the CIO when it comes to selecting HR software solutions.

Often times, the CIO wants a fully integrated software package that provides an A to Z solution.  An “all-in-one” solution is typically perceived as easier to administer – fewer applications to maintain and fewer vendors to manage. However, we have found that CHROs aren’t always happy with an A to Z solution that doesn’t meet the unique needs of the company and its culture.  Unfortunately, this conflict ends up in the ‘C-suite dance’ also known as politicking.  All too often, the CHRO is overruled by the CIO.

We have seen requests from companies where the HR team is searching for software products with specifications that are unique to their company’s talent strategy.  The RFP process takes six months to a year to find a solution that fits.  A proposal is brought to the Executive Team and the CIO says his team can build the same solution with the existing systems that are in place.  Once again….the dance begins.  Our experience has shown that the systems are incapable of meeting HR’s needs and are poorly received and implemented.

Who suffers in examples similar to the above?  Everyone. Once again, the grass suffers. The controversy over using multiple vendors with best of breed solutions versus an integrated A to Z solution will probably go on for a long time.  In the end, the decision should be placed in the hands of the HR experts.  This is not only a technical decision.

Most software decisions are made based on cost/benefit analysis.  The calculations for these analyses are classic financial formulas.  What happens when the analysis doesn’t include: the loss of end user participation, lack of line management support of the roll out, or the loss of valuable information because critical data is missing?

The “War for Talent” is real and it is happening now.  As with any competitive situation, the one with the best information will win.  The issue here isn’t best of breed versus an A to Z solution.  It is what mix of applications will deliver the best reports and analytics about human capital.  Integration of HR systems is not difficult.  What is difficult is getting the elephants to stop dancing around with the future of their company. 

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts and comments with me.

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