HRIS component software

I have been having some interesting discussions with John Macy over the last year or so about his activities related to the “Human Resource – Component Software Application Standard” (HR-CSAS), things are starting to get moving on the standard.

John has undertaken a significant amount of work on this with the recent release of the Global Component Exchange (GCX, you need to be registered to view this), which will eventually allow organisations to view different components and the vendors who provide them. Initially the GCX is being used in John’s course at NSW TAFE. I have been lucky enough to be able to view the GCX as EmployeeConnect is a company who John has been working with.

In quoting John from his draft standard HR-CSAS is “providing an infrastructure foundation layer to enable component based development (CBD) to operate. CBD, in turn, will enable Human Resource Management Systems to integrate component products from multiple vendors, for so long the Holy Grail of software development.” This means organisations can “plug and play” different components from vendors into their HRIS environment. If you are interested have a look at a presentation John has put together.

A component based architecture has some very exciting implications for all players in the HRIS begin to release products. Imagine an environment where you could purchase your payroll engine from one vendor, your performance management tool from another, and your recruitment from a third. You might think this is possible today, but it is only so if each vendor installs their own database, with it’s own data structure. Moving information between each system is an IT headache (read increased time and cost). Now what happens if you want to purchase a Workforce planning tool from a fourth vendor, you need to build integrations (again read increased time and cost) before you can use the solution effectively. In a component based environment this would not be required, as each vendor would know-how to work together, with a common database layer.

Ok, you might think I am off my tree but I believe that such an environment would do wonders for helping with the struggling ROI most HRIS projects seem to deliver (as different to promised).