Off the shelf Vs Customised HRIS
There are a number of HRIMS vendors operating in the Australian marketplace. These vendors offer a
variety of off-the-shelf and customised systems. These systems range from simple automation of a few key HR processes to enterprise-wide HRIS that automate and manage a significant number of complex HR processes, analytics and reporting.
Regardless of its design, the HRMIS can become a tool which not only provides basic information, but also aids decision making. Nankervis, Compton and Baird (2008) suggest that the most effective HRMIS are those which:
- Contain accurate employee and job data
- Are sufficiently flexible to adapt to both present and future requirements
- Clearly link with, and contribute to, HR plans
- Are modular, but integrated in design, allowing multiple input and access
- Allow clear control of human resource costs.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both off-the-shelf, and customised HRIMS – below provides an overview of these.
OFF THE SHELF ADVANTAGES
- Usually a lower initial investment (money, time and resources)
- Sometimes there will be a free trial or money back guarantee period
- Usually quicker to implement and roll-out across organisation
- May provide access to a community of users
- Upgrades are generally available (at an additional cost)
- Customer support should always be readily available
- If a cloud based HRIMS, you will likely not require any installation of hardware/software.
OFF THE SHELF DISADVANTAGES
- Designed to meet the basic needs of organisations, across a variety of industries – standard templates, interface etc
- Unique HRIMS goal and business needs will likely not be met
- Additional features may be provided that organisation does not need or want (but will still have to pay for)
- The HRIMS may be a good option for today, but depending on a variety of factors (technology advancements, business structure change, acquisition etc) it may not met organisations future needs.
- Should be designed to meet HRIMS goal, and unique business needs
- Should be able to be adjusted to meet future goals and business needs
- HRIMS can be built to exact requirements – including templates, interface
- In turn stakeholders often quicker to buy-in and engage with HRIMS – as designed specifically for them and their needs
- Customised HRIMS is usually scalable and additional ‘compartments’ should be able to be easily added when organisation is ready
- Usually a higher initial investment (money, time, resources)
- Potential that organisation will not get what was expected or paid for (why project managing is essential, and ensuring an experienced and capable developer crucial to HRIMS success)
- No user community as designed especially for organisation
- Unlikely to be able to simply return product if dissatisfied.
When considering the advantages and disadvantages of both off-the-shelf and customised HRIMS, keep in mind that if the product does not fit the goal of its implementation and the unique needs of the business, it isn’t the right solution, no matter how affordable it is. Couple the above information with a thorough examination of both solutions to ensure the most powerful platform is chosen.