HR Technology Investment Plans for 2021

Two recent surveys indicate thatcompanies continue to invest in select HR technologies despite economic uncertainties.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shift investment priories away from traditional HR technology spending toward remote-working tools and infrastructure.  The recently released Sapient Insights Group 2020–2021 HR Systems Survey conducted by Harris found 15 percent of organizations plan to decrease traditional HR technology spending in 2021 by an average of 23 percent of their current budgets. But another 28 percent plan to increase investments in nontraditional HR technology.  HR help desk and case management applications emerged as mission-critical tools to support COVID-19 initiatives and track critical issues. Thirty-five percent of respondents said at least half of their workforces will continue to work remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The poll results also indicated that said 37 percent of respondents were evaluating or looking to replace learning technologies, 31 percent were doing the same for workforce management systems and 30 percent were rethinking their recruiting systems. The Harris survey also found 14 percent of organizations plan to move to newer time management applications over the next 24 months, particularly if they use on-premises rather than cloud-based systems.

While the Gallagher 2019 HR Technology Pulse Survey found respondents were focused on talent attraction systems, in 2020 that shifted to payroll, timekeeping, employee communications and performance management systems, reinforcing the findings of the Harris poll. 

Spend Matters reports that in 2020 the capital investment for providers specialized in automating the AP function is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, P2P providers have made significant investments to expand their offering by including accounts payable functionality. Payment automation is a growing market, mainly for Small and Medium enterprises.