Choosing your company’s Employee Performance Management software can seem like a hefty task. After all, there are many process and business requirements to map out and details to consider before choosing the right vendor and platform. But in the midst of finalizing your requirements, don’t forget about I.T. What about your technical requirements? Your new software is after all a technical purchase and does require some technical consideration to ensure a smooth launch.
When it comes to mapping out technical requirements, there are 4 main questions you should be asking:
1. How much does my I.T. team need to be involved in set-up? To answer this, start by deciding which deployment option you prefer –
Hosted (SaaS): where the hosting and maintenance is handled by the software vendor.
On-Premise: where the software is installed on your company’s technical infrastructure.
Many businesses prefer the low-maintenance and quick set-up of a hosted solution however there are some organizations whose technical infrastructure can support an on-premise solution or whose regulatory environment insists that all data be stored on-site. If you are free to decide, choose a software platform that requires minimal tech support (and I’m sure your I.T. team would agree). The best and more versatile hosted platforms may require I.T. assistance for the initial set up. But after that, a great system allows modifications to forms and workflows with limited I.T. involvement.
2. Is the software a fit for my technical needs? Don’t worry, few people outside your technical team are able to answer this with certainty. We recommend that you involve your I.T. staff in the selection process by asking them to outline the technical requirements for either a hosted or on-premise solution and by asking them to revise any technical terms of the contract as needed. Some common technical elements include hardware requirements, single-sign on requirements, browser compatibility, encryption and backup requirements.
3. Does the software need to integrate with any existing HR Systems? We can sometimes get so wrapped up in the promise of automation that we sometimes forgot to consider logistics – and in the case of HR software, that means ‘data’. If you are a relatively smaller company with a few hundred employees and low turnover, data input might be as simple as manual entry or imports with a few updates throughout the year. But other companies with thousands of employees whose vital details might be changing daily, how do you ensure all of this is updated in your shiny new performance management software? The answer to this might be integrating with current HR Systems, like Payroll of HRIS to ensure that any changes made to your master database of employee information is also pushed along to your performance management system. Before selecting a software vendor, determine if you will require an integration and if so, what key pieces of information should be synced. When that’s decided, ensure your vendor of choice offers a reliable and proven integration methodology for your particular solution and determine if your I.T. team will need to be involved and when for set-up of the integration.
4. How will I need my I.T. team on an ongoing basis? Look into the future and determine how you’ll handle software upgrades & maintenance. Any good software vendor is continually working to update and improve its offering and this requires updates and patches to be applied throughout the year (hopefully no more than once every 12 months). Hosted solutions require very little I.T. support after installation as updates are handled automatically in the cloud; however if your software is deployed on-premise, your I.T. team will need to be roped into any upgrades sent along throughout the year by the vendor. Be sure to ask potential vendors how often they release upgrades and when during the year so you can properly coordinate with I.T. to ensure all upgrades will be pushed though. Make sure any I.T. time required is outlined and agreed upon before implementing your software – that way your tech team is aware of what they are responsible for during and after implementation.
Choosing a performance management software platform can sometimes sound a lot more complicated that it has to be. Ask yourself these 4 questions and at least technical fit will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about. Don’t forget that you don’t have to go at this alone – the right vendor will work with you from the beginning to determine your exact requirements (business and technical) and guide you through the process so don’t be afraid to ask.
To learn more, visit: https://employee-performance.com/deployment_options.html