A big driver of HR technology’s push for consumerization has been the cloud, said Pete Tiliakos, Atlanta-based principal analyst with market researcher NelsonHall.
In the past, employers purchased on-premise software and lived with it, for better or worse, because of the complexity and expense involved in replacing it. However, the cloud allows technology to be more flexible and more easily updated, so today’s solutions providers have become more attuned to customer service than their predecessors may have been.
Because customers expect their products to evolve with their needs, vendors “have to stay in front of what the next thing is to keep those customers sticky to their product,” Tiliakos said.
“We’re finally getting to where technology has created a customer service environment where the majority of what needs to be done is getting done on the front end, by the employee,” at what technical support professionals call “tier zero.”
Tier one, where users reach out to have basic questions resolved, is becoming less of an emphasis, allowing support staffs to spend time on more complex issues, Tiliakos said. Because employees have become empowered to address more of their own tasks directly, both in terms of self-service and support, “we’ve really created a point where tier zero is where it’s all kind of happening.”
In today’s environment, “the user and the client are really driving how the system is being shaped and how it’s being configured,” Tiliakos said. “Some [vendors] are boasting that 50-plus percent of their enhancements are coming directly from their users.”
As a result, “now more than ever they’re focused on going to the source and saying that they’re designing around the employee, or they’re designing around the practitioner, and they’re not designing around the process.”
Mark Feffer covers HR, analytics and related technologies from his base near Philadelphia. He is editor of the HCM Technology Report. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.