The HRO Phrase of the Day – Integrated Ecosystem

Can extensive multi-process HRO (MPHRO) beat a well-managed internal HRIT and shared services organization? I believe it is possible, especially if the MPHRO provider is a leader in achieving integrated services.

I am a strong proponent of strategic HR that includes a strategic plan for HR technology, processes and services. Without that foundation and the business intelligence it can provide, “strategic” HR consulting is operating with one arm tied behind its back. Why limit your ability to drive business results and be viewed as a strategic asset when technology enablement and automation can help you get there?

While specific HRO provider case studies that prove the point are still needed, at the broader level it is possible to show that the investment in and use of an integrated set of HR technologies can make a measurable difference in business results. Set aside a few minutes to study the CedarCrestone 2010-2011 HR Systems Survey.

The CedarCrestone survey is not about HRO, but its messages apply just as much, if not more so, to MPHRO vendors. MPHRO providers need to show: 1) they are farther along the path; 2) offer the best balance of cost, time, effort and return to achieve the HR systems and services that deliver operational excellence at competitive operating expense; and 3) provide the HR platform for strategic talent management, workforce management and workforce optimization that increases the rate of sales growth and revenue per employee.

The HRO community has a moment in time opportunity before it. Some activities taken up as part of addressing the economic crisis need to be reinforced if they are to become part of the new normal in HR and business operations. We saw increased demand for workforce information; who, how many, at what cost and where? As a focus on the future returns, investments will still be lean and need to be targeted to achieve the largest impact – providing an excellent opportunity for strategic HR counsel supported by fact-based data and analytical projections.

The demand is already here, and HR consulting revenues are on the rise. This is an opportunity for MPHRO as well. Organizations that slapped together a set of individual technologies and providers may have limited ability to connect the dots across important HR and business data pools. To attain maximum results, everything needs to work together and connect to all the needed data sources and repositories.

I used the term integrated ecosystem in my blog title because it takes a variety of products and providers to assemble the needed systems and services. What is “behind the curtain” matters less if you have the right MPHRO vendor managing the integrations into a seamless user experience for your business. Building and managing the comprehensive systems outlined in the CedarCrestone study has a business impact for those few companies that are just about there, but few are at the stage of full optimization. Who better than an MPHRO partner to help you get there!

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

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One Comment on “The HRO Phrase of the Day – Integrated Ecosystem”


  1. […] I wrote about in last week’s blog on building an integrated HR ecosystem, it is the connectivity of a comprehensive set of tools and technologies that can unleash the true […]


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