Welcome to a series of blogs from Phase 3 discussing the latest trends in HR and payroll technology. Part three of the this HR Tech trends series covers the topic of integrations and partnerships.

I’ve recently written a whitepaper for CIPHR on the difference between best of breed and ERP solutions and never more prominent is the discussion of partnerships and integrations when speaking about BOB products.

Business leaders lose patience with pleas that people functions add strategic value unless we can draw a direct line of sight between how people strategies directly affect performance and the bottom line.

In order to understand and even access this level of information, our systems need to be integrated.

This means a push out into the organisation with systems that join up. Cross-functional networks are enabled by tech that’s capable of joining up people and processes. This means seeking solutions from providers working with app partners, offering a choice of ways to integrate, from the sophisticated API to the hard graft of manual co-operation.

No longer are our business systems sat in Silos, although a recent Phase 3 survey did find that only 20% of HR teams say their systems are fully integrated even with payroll.

SEE ALSO: Trends in HR and Payroll Technology: Performance Management is Being Replaced

Why are integrations important?

In the digital maturity journey of HR and payroll we need to be able to remove manual processing to deliver time saving, and also to ensure there is one consistent version of the truth from which to report on. Extend this to other business systems and we can start to develop our maturity from basic descriptive reports to more insightful people analytics.

Additionally, our employees expect to be able to self-serve, with single sign on and seamlessly passing from system to system with secure processes in place to pass data back and forth – I don’t want to have to send a certificate to my manager to confirm I have done some mandatory training for example.

The effort to integrate systems can be an initial headache but with massive benefits. There are many routes to integrate too, from simple download/upload to full on API or web services, there are many numerous options to pass data from system to system.

And with best of breed solutions in the marketplace for many business systems the principle of integrated systems isn’t out of reach. Eco systems of partners are emerging and partner managers are a feature of most HR and payroll tech companies in the modern world – understanding how the features of their products can complement each other and working to achieve open integration routes to allow customers much more choice on HR Technology. Vendors are also realising the benefits of independent third parties being added to the customer relationship – ensuring customer success through a triad of the customer, the partner and the supplier.

If you find that your systems aren’t integrated, or if you want to know more about how you could connect your HR and payroll to other business systems get in touch with us to learn more.

You might also find a session from our festival of knowledge useful – bringing your people and systems closer together. You can watch the video here.

SEE ALSO: Trends in HR and Payroll Technology: Automation in Payroll

For more tips and advice, make sure to visit our blog.

This blog series is written by James Proctor, Director of Consulting & Services at Phase 3.