Companies Shifting HR Tech Focus to Data

The latest Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey finds more companies are using HR tools for data analysis.
By: | October 11, 2018 • 3 min read

Overall HR tech spending is increasing, according to the results of Sierra-Cedar’s 2018–2019 HR Systems Survey, which was just released today during a session of the HR Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Stacey Harris, Sierra-Cedar vice president of research and analytics, says that increase also comes with more value per dollar.

“In other words,” she says, “more modules, more capabilities per dollar spent per employee.”

(Watch Stacey Harris discuss the latest findings during an HR Tech interview.)

The challenge with that, she says, is that “we’re also seeing a lot of organizations that are struggling with the skill sets and capabilities inside their companies to use all these assets and tools. So we have a real adoption issue that’s going on in organizations: HR technology outpaces the skill sets of the current technologists or tech roles in many of these organizations.”


In an effort to overcome that issue, the survey found 25 percent of all large organizations plan to add more HR data analytics workers, compared to 17 percent of medium-sized companies and 7 percent of small companies.

Harris says the report also highlights a shift from the focus in HR technology selection and the HR tech itself from the process and practices of HR to a focus on the data that’s required for HR and workforce intelligence.

“And that shift has been pretty a long transition,” she says, “but this year we’re definitely seeing the outcomes of organizations that are starting to make that shift and how they’re changing how they think about their HR systems.”

The 21st annual edition of the survey is the latest research installment of the longest-running research effort in the HR industry. It was conducted from April through June 2018, and is based on 1,312 unique organizations representing a total workforce of 17.7 million employees and contingent workers.