HR Systems ‘incompatible’: Oh when will they ever learn?

November 9, 2011
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Vendors and analysts and consultants and systems integrators have been talking about standards, interoperability, and compatibility for well over a decade now. XML has been around for more than a decade as well.

Vendors and analysts and consultants and systems integrators have been talking about standards, interoperability, and compatibility for well over a decade now. XML has been around for more than a decade as well.

ComputerWeekly’s Bill Goodwin reports from HR Tech Europe that even in this era of interoperability and standards, many HR system vendors have yet to develop compatible systems:

“Multinational enterprises often have hundreds of different HR systems, covering multiple countries and multiple HR functions, but struggle to get them to work together. Rob Visser, global head of HR-IT at financial services company ING, said suppliers should take the initiative to collaborate on developing common data standards. ‘I feel I am part of the vendor community, because a large amount of my budget is spent getting different vendors to work together,’ he said.”

The best analogy of the situation was offered by Gartner’s Thomas Otter, who likened integrating HR IT systems to “a vet sewing a tail back on a dog.” As he put it so well:

“Integration is easy if you know which is the dog and which is the tail. But you run into problems if you try to stitch two dogs together. The problem is that the vendors all think they are the dog.”

Thanks to Loraine Lawson for surfacing this report.