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The End of HRMS as We Know It

April 29, 2004
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It takes nerve to make this argument at a conference sponsored by Oracle, but the business outlook for human resource management software providers--and for many HR professionals--is gloomy and getting darker.

That's according to Naomi Lee Bloom, managing partner of Bloom & Wallace, a Fort Myers, Florida, HR technology consultancy. Bloom has been in the industry since the 1960s.

"Senior management has had it with one more business case on why HR needs more time, more money, more vendors and more consultants, just to sustain the HRM delivery system," Bloom told an audience of human resources executives at Oracle's Executive HR Forum in Las Vegas earlier this week. "To be strategic, HR needs to get out of the business of operations and stop being its own delivery system" for human resources data, she said.

Bloom compared her predicted switch from internal HRMS to business process outsourcing to the period three decades ago when companies stopped writing custom software for payroll and other processes and started buying packaged software products. HR practitioners will either have to get out in front of the current outsourcing trend, or be run over by it. The same goes for HR software companies, she said.

"If I were a software vendor, I'd work hard to make sure I was on the platform" of key HR outsourcing companies, Bloom said. "If I were selling software to hundreds and thousands of companies, I'd think about getting into another line of business."

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