This report lays out a new framework for evaluating people technology decisions in an age of increased demands on business results.  The document delivers comprehensive insight into emerging trends and actionable advice for technology and HR leaders as they make next-generation investment choices in the next three years.

A. Introduction

With mounting pressures on business leaders to get the most from their people to hit targets, technologies that manage and optimize people are increasingly at the forefront of strategic investments.  As a result, technology leaders will face significant HR technology decisions in the next three years.  However, legacy frameworks and decision criteria focus on HR itself – separate from business (see Figure 1).  The time has come to fully connect HR technology to the business.  What’s more, “HR” technology provides too limited a view of what needs to be achieved.  The technology picture needs to focus on infusing people decisions and business decisions together – focusing on solving business problems, not further enhancing HR capabilities.

Figure 1. What HR-Centric Technology Looks Like

B. New Framework Focuses on Impacting the Bottom Line

The shift from HR efficiency and effectiveness to business performance means it is no longer sufficient to bolt-on business users and solutions as an afterthought to HR technology.  Such a strategy is incomplete, relying on outdated frameworks to inform what is important to HR, but not to business success.  Instead, a more valuable framework for next-generation investment value will (see Figure 2.  A comprehensive framework and component details available in the official report):

  • Focus on business value first. Instead of aspiring to optimal HR service delivery, a next-generation technology framework aims to equip the business with first-rate people management tools in the context of overall business management.
  • Recognize business-oriented people applications as the drivers of business value. Instead of lumping high value business touch-points into a general talent management category, a next-generation framework differentiates tools for business users and optimizes how they interact with business technology.
  • View foundational elements – including data, transactions, and programs – in support of business focus. Foundational components continue to play an important role in next-generation investments, but differentiating characteristics, such as flexibility and integration, shift to support the ultimate goal of delivering business value.

What Business-Centric People Technology Looks like

C. Technology Leaders Can Expect Vendors to Respond

The race is on to build out proper platforms, innovate at the business effectiveness layer, and fill in the remaining layers organically or through acquisition and partnership.  There are 4 foundational elements for success:


  1. Business user design thinking orientation.
  2. Tighter integration with business systems.
  3. Pluggable integration with different components in the stack.
  4. Solid foundation.

D. Actionable Advice For HR Technology Leaders

As organizations look to take advantage of the latest developments in business-centric, people impact technology, they have the choice of two approaches.

  1. Update to an agile platform with a mind to innovate at the business effectiveness layer.
  2. Add value with planning & operations applications first, building a case for platform investment.

E. Report Links

Get the full framework with component details on what’s different and where the business benefits lay. Find out how vendors will need to respond – and what you should expect from them.

Buy the full research report on the Constellation Research website.

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