The evolution of HR management systems

Stuck between 2.0 and 3.0, HR reluctant to make the jump to the Internet
By Gerson Safran
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/12/2002

If "generation" has become the yardstick for measuring the life cycles of technology products, it can be said the modern human resources management system (HRMS) has reached generation 2.5. How HR responds to employee and manager self-service options will go a long way to determining the future evolution of systems.

Mini and mainframe HR systems existed prior to the introduction of desktop PCs, but the growth of HRMS products really began in the late 1980s with the introduction of DOS-based desktop systems (generation 1). Windows products replaced DOS systems in the early 1990s, but these were often just a reworking of features to take advantage of the new operating system without changing the functionality of the HR systems themselves.

By the mid to late 1990s however, HR systems had gone through significant redesigns to include new reporting capabilities, enhanced functionality, improved ease of use, multi-user distribution via LANs (local area networks), and the addition of new modules to satisfy the demands of HR users (generation 2).