COVID-19 Redefines HR Tech Spend, 2020-2021 HR Systems Survey Finds

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Sapient Insights Research Tracks Impact of Investments in Top HR and Continuous Change Management Practices and Tools

The Annual HR Systems Survey has provided crucial insight and guidance for 23 years to HR practitioners and the vendors who serve them.

COVID-19 has disrupted and redefined virtually everything about the way we live and work. HR technology was no exception to that trend, according to new research from Sapient Insights Group. Their latest survey revealed that 15% of organizations are planning on decreasing traditional HR technology spend in 2021 by an average of 23% of their current budgets. For comparison, only 4% of organizations reported plans to reduce their spending in last year’s survey.

“COVID-19 efforts highlighted the importance of data governance, identifying critical job
roles, skills, and organizational adaptability,” said Stacey Harris, chief research officer & managing partner at Sapient Insights Group. “Organizations with Top Talent Management outcomes and practices were more likely to increase critical workers, increase salaries for essential roles, and increase infrastructure technology spending rather than furloughing or laying off employees, for example.”

The Sapient Insights 2020–2021 HR Systems Survey White Paper is the 23rd edition of this industry-benchmark report, which taps user-driven data to help companies make better investments in people, processes, and technology. In total, 1,900 unique organizations are represented, along with 27 million workers across 64 countries. The survey was conducted from May 11 to July 10, 2020.

This year’s report covers adoption and trends, deployment methods, voice of the customer feedback, expenditures, and value achieved for Core HR, Service Delivery, Time Management, Talent Management, Analytics, and Emerging Technology.

Survey Highlights

*No Turning Back From Remote Work: 35% of organizations plan to continue to have at least 50% of their workforce work remotely post Covid-19. 28% of organizations plan to increase spending in non-traditional HR Technology areas such as infrastructure and remote working tools.

*Overseeing a Complex System: Organizations are now managing an average of 10 major HR systems, 29 HR system integrations, and resourcing over 10½ weeks of system updates each year.

*Embracing Enterprise Workforce Planning: The need to quickly redeploy workforces and identify critical roles created a perfect storm for Enterprise Workforce Planning. The report found a 38% increase in the percentage of organizations conducting Enterprise Workforce Planning this year from last year.

*Rethinking LMS and TMS: 37% of organizations are either evaluating or replacing their current LMS, mainly in response to weaknesses exposed by COVID-19. Time Management Systems fared poorly, with 31% of organizations evaluating or replacing their TMS.

*Normalizing Analytics and Planning Platforms. 17% of organizations use standalone HR analytics platforms this year, and 55% use their HRMS Analytics packages — reducing the need for standalone data analysis tools.

“The Annual HR Systems Survey has provided crucial insight and guidance for 23 years to HR practitioners and the vendors who serve them,” said Susan Richards, founder and managing partner at Sapient Insights Group. “This report stands alone as a global view of the current and future plans for HR technology adoption, crucial practices, and emerging technology trends.”

“The long history of this survey allowed us to benchmark the impact that COVID and the resulting economic crisis has had on HR technology, as well as evaluate the impact of organizations’ previous investments in continuous change management practices and tools,” Richards added.

Visit our new Research Center to download the full report!

About Sapient Insights

Sapient Insights Group is a research and advisory firm focused on equipping clients with data and insights to drive enterprise-wide people and financial outcomes in their HR performance, change management, and technology transformation programs. Formerly known as SteelBridge Solutions, Inc., Sapient acquired the Sierra-Cedar research group earlier this year and will continue to publish its annual HR and Finance Systems surveys.

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Stacey Harris
@SapientInsights
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