Technology permeates every aspect of business today. Even the more traditional people-centric processes of human resources (HR) and payroll have benefited from automation, machine-learning, and the like. The challenge lies in whether organisations can keep up with this rapidly evolving landscape, especially in a mobile-centric environment such as South Africa, declares Ian McAlister, General Manager of CRS Technologies South Africa.

Thanks to improved mobile connectivity, employees are starting to put pressure on organisations to give them more flexibility when it comes to their working location. While this has not quite reached the stage of complete telecommuting, spending the odd day working from home does translate into value-added benefits the employer can offer.

In such a dynamic new environment, HR and payroll integration is essential. But successful integration with existing business platforms such as enterprise resource planning systems and other bespoke solutions is not without its challenges. There will always be security considerations and availability concerns when such a transition takes place but, says McAlister, a willingness from management to embrace such a change generally results in a more positive environment in which to make the move. This also sees more resources committed to making the shift as smooth as possible.

“Realistically, not many organisations can lay claim to having completely mobile-friendly HR and payroll systems in place. This is where cloud-based platforms become increasingly important. Of course, there is a natural sensitivity around moving confidential information (such as employee records) into a public cloud environment. Fortunately, there are hybrid or private cloud offerings that can cater for a more mobile-friendly HR and payroll platform.”

Overcoming traditional HR & Payroll tech implementations

Traditionally, HR and payroll implementations were all about automating processes and storing data in a secure and accessible place. The strategy behind this was to work smarter to free up time for strategy. This meant the environment was very much bound by careful mapping and maintenance of data.

“In a way, this stifled innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. In South Africa, this mindset remains the foundation on which many HR and payroll strategies are still developed today. However, if decision-makers start factoring in an always-on way of thinking when it comes to data availability, things will start changing for the better.”

In fact, using big data and analytics as drivers for innovation in HR and payroll will see these strategies keep up with technology innovations.

“Embracing always-on technology that is intuitive and enhances the wellbeing of employer-employee relationships and workplace productivity will be a critical part of HR and payroll in 2019,” McAlister predicts.

Having employees that can continually access the work environment irrespective of their location will also result in improved engagement. This, in turn, will give rise to better service levels and create happier customers less likely to leave for competitors.

“So, while HR and payroll might seem like only about ticking boxes, the resultant technology innovations create ripple effects in the organisation far beyond those traditional views,” he concludes.

Contact us or visit our website for more information on how CRS can take your payroll into the digital future.