HRIS - A Staying Strategy

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2025 , Published on 27 September 2012


If we analyse how firms (GE, BMW, DRL, and APPLE to name a few) stay competitive in such dynamic environment all around us, we would see firms with a competitive advantage offer value to customers- that is superior to the value competitors provide. In other words, it is- “Creating value for customers is the source of above-average returns for these firm.”

Indian Economy is a classy case itself to understand the dynamics of environment. Let us pick only one variable Demographics out of seven dimensions of environmental analysis and we will see how rapidly all are changed in last few years. Needless to say what impact technology ‘e’ has done to businesses. Staying competitive in Indian economy today can be possible with uniqueness of resources & capabilities of firm. And in a way how a firm manages its Human Resources. With my recent summer internship experience at BMW and a handful primary research with GE, I feel this humane alone can work wonders for an organization.

IT & Communication has changed the era completely. It is because of IT that today organizations, such as Infosys, MakeMyTrip, e-business firms and many more, are leveraging on their competencies to compete in Indian economy. Information technology and Information Systems (ITIS) has become a critical aspect of developing and using human resources management programs to better manage the human capital of an organization; and further evolving H.R related information systems (HRIS). Firm use this information technology for strategical, tactical, and operational decision making (e.g., planning for needed employees in a merger); to avoid litigation; to evaluate programs, policies, or practices (e.g., evaluating the effectiveness of a training program); and to support daily operations.

The field of HRIS now has seen the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) configuration in HRM with extensive use of manager and employee self-portals. Most critically, these changes ensure that firms can significantly advance in use of people knowledge in managerial decision. They can access people knowledge more rapidly with a higher degree of accuracy. Technology-driven automation (IT) processes certainly help reduce costs and cycle times as well as improve quality. Information System (IS) can further help decision makers to make and implement strategic decisions. The field of HRIS continues to evolve, so it is important to look at the environmental and the technological forces that will affect it in the coming years.

Recently I attended NHRD workshop having discussion on how ESSAR group is competing with their “e-Compass” aligning individuals to business goals strategically and building as a Talent Management company with I.T enabled HR framework.

HRIS and other information systems can be used to support a Talent Management Program. The importance of talent management is uttermost to get competitive advantage. Numerous researches speak the same too. A talent management program is a part of the human resource planning (HRP) function of an organization. Very few companies have quality Talent Management computer applications. Recruiting talented individually by using social networks has been increasing too.

Information systems can be found in every aspect of talent management, from conducting job analysis to focusing on the human capital demand and supply for current and future jobs, attracting the right talent in a specific location, hiring based on desired attributes, and retaining high performance employees. Ultimately, the HR department of an organization would use an HRIS to monitor and measure the overall contribution of talented employees with other result on balanced scorecard, and these results could affect the design of other HRM programs. The use of analytics in TM, particularly the use of business intelligence to produce TM analytics can provide company a competitive edge.

Perhaps one of the major obstacles in the use of an HRIS is its implementation. It is important for company to realize that the major challenge to successful implementation is more behavioural than technical. Organizations will surely move towards HRIS but to make it a strategic way, change management lessons must be applied here. The failure to implement information systems successfully has less to do with the hardware or software aspects of the new system and more to do with the skills if the change leader and with the people and organizational issues related to the change. Process re-engineering is a critical component in HRIS implementation.

To conclude, I strongly feel that there is a strong need of leveraging Human resources with I.T and communication management to sustain the competitive advantage for any firm. Being Information-Technology upgraded and communicating strategically with market (by scanning, monitoring, forecasting and assessing) can make a firm win such competition. If there is one central theme of our look toward the future, it is the importance of HR policies matched with organizational change and technology; this alignment will have the greatest impact on the future success of HRIS and the organizations investing in these systems.

This article has been authored by Vinod Gandhi from IMI Delhi.

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