Tying technology to the bottom line (Web Sight)

Human resource professionals, especially in large organizations, are familiar with the potential value of HR technologies. Taking time-consuming administrative tasks off the plates of HR professional frees up valuable time to be used in more productive ways. But the technology can be extremely costly and so proving return-on-investment is imperative. These Web sites provide tips and insights for HR technology ROI.

Hard to measure "soft" HR

This is the first in a series dealing with ROI for HRMS. This article looks at the reasons for measuring ROI and the necessity of being able to explain to the financial officers exactly how and when it will impact the bottom line. The author points out that it is difficult to justify investment in an HR management system, partly owing to the perception that HR is a “soft” discipline, and that “often, the HR implementation is competing for funding against other business systems for use by other disciplines.”

Return on investment red flags

An article from CFO Magazine looks at the relationship between companies and technology vendors in all streams of business. Closer to the end of the article, the author offers some helpful tips about vendor management and some red flags to look for when considering the ROI of any IT investment, including the misuse of ROI calculators and other vendor-provided tools.

The return on investment in online training

This paper, published by the Online University Consortium, looks at the ROI of online education. “HR (and training) will almost always be looked at as an expense if data are not available to show a contribution to the bottom line.” The paper details a method for preparing effective ROI analysis focused on education, although some of the tips can be applied to other HR technologies. It points out what to be suspicious of, what to look for, ROI evolution, contributing factors to ROI, and much more. There’s lots of useful information to be found in this paper.

A chief financial officer's take on e-HR

Another CFO Magazine article features insights into some ROI aspects of HR automation — sometimes called E-HR — from the perspective of the financial officers. It examines certain emerging workforce trends, for example teams spread out over large areas, working from home, and the increased used of non-salaried workers to name a few, and the burden this puts on an unprepared HR department. “The bottom line: human-capital management (HCM) is one facet of E-HR that demands senior-level attention now.” It looks at the issue from different angles, and uses examples to illustrate key points.

Vendors need to prove ROI too

This article highlights the difficulties companies face in trying to define ROI. Technology providers feel the effects of this as well. As one vendor puts it, “You have to be able to talk to the CFO. In some cases the CIO bears that same financial role, but you’ve got to be able to talk intelligently about the financial side of the transaction.” The article makes the point that technology sales are now more often made in the office of the CFO, not the CIO.

Shannon Simson is Canadian HR Reporter’s resource editor. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section. To share an interesting HR Web site, contact [email protected].

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