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Conclusion

As with the evolution of traditional human resource information systems the initial focus of ESS was on efficiency in payroll processing and simple administrative tasks. This was due to the quick return on investment that can be calculated for administrative tasks. This is reinforced by a recent report from AMR Research (Carruso, 2002), which interviewed a number of companies who identified HR self-service applications as a way of increasing ROI on their ERP implementation. However, efficiency is believed by analysts to be only the starting point for these types of solutions. It is argued that solutions that improve efficiency together with employee development and loyalty is where the real success of these applications are (Dunford, 2002). Both the case studies could be considered early adopters of this technology as the ESS solution has only been available for approximately four years and these companies have installed this solution over the last two years. It would be expected that as the companies and their employees became more familiar with the ESS solution that more strategic functionality would be incorporated. This appears certainly the case for the bank.

It would have been easy for both companies to undervalue the role of change management for the implementation of the ESS solution. The solution was browser-based and therefore familiar to many employees and supposedly easy for the inexperienced to grasp the concepts. Also implied in the solution is that there are numerous reasons why employees would want to learn this technology. However, both companies emphasised the importance of change management in the implementation process. They still believed that their strategy could be improved as was evident by the number of issues they faced post-implementation.


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