December 31, 2020

How to Choose the Technology Stack Strategy That’s Right for You

2020 put standard business procedures under a magnifying glass. As organizations of all sizes, across all industries, needed to adapt, it has become painfully clear that now is the time to work smarter. That doesn’t just apply to work from home policies and flexibility for those juggling their children’s remote learning schedule; it also applies to the workforce management tools that HR departments are using to get their own job done.

Many large enterprises have wide-reaching business systems in place that cover many functional areas but don’t excel in all of them, especially when it comes to data and time tracking. Ask yourself:

How much time would payroll automation and true workforce management save my organization?
Should we leave time collection to our current generalized Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Human Capital Management (HCM) system, or is it time to go with a best-of-breed approach that allows us to leverage a depth of functionality that a single system is unlikely to have?
If your responses to these questions lean towards upscaling your systems, read on.

How Do You Determine a Strategy for Your Technology Stack?

Not all business systems are created equal, and not every business has the same needs and strategies.

To determine if you have the right tools to support your business objectives, you need to spend time understanding the needs of your organization. Are you a small shop that would benefit from a breadth of functionality, even if some of those functions aren’t as customized to your business’s needs? Or are you a more complex organization that needs more specialized tools to ensure that every area of your workforce management strategy is performing to its fullest extent? Answering these questions will give you the foundation you need to set the right strategy.

When Is the Right Time to Pursue a Systems Integration Strategy?

In life, timing is everything—and systems integration projects are no exception. In order to truly see the reward of a well-executed systems integration strategy, your business and the processes that you use should have reached a maturity level that justifies fully integrated, sophisticated business technology. You must also be confident that your processes have matured along with the rest of your organization; automating bad processes only guarantees those inefficiencies are repeated every time. The real benefit of automation comes when processes are refined.

When Is a Best-of-Breed Strategy the Right Choice?

After you’ve decided it’s time to up level your technology stack, you must decide what path to take: you can find one provider that delivers everything, build a technology stack that prioritizes point-solution functionality over system integration or pursue a combined strategy.

Finding one provider to deliver everything your organization needs often creates a “mile wide but inch deep” deployment. Different areas of the business can work off the same set of data points, creating uniformity and a single source of truth in the organization—but it’s inevitable that some of the solution’s competencies will be better than others, and you’ll need to prioritize where you need the best functionality.

Building a non-integrated tech stack that leverages the best tool for every job creates the exact opposite scenario. This strategy often creates highly complex IT environments that may deliver strong functionality from every solution—but the whole is nearly guaranteed to be less than the sum of its parts. In addition to having siloed data housed in many different solutions, you’ll grapple with the steep learning curve and high expenses that come from having to be trained on and maintain too many different platforms.

A best-of-breed strategy provides the best of both worlds. A solution designed to cover core business functions—such as an ERP, accounting/payroll system, HCM, etc.—sits at the center, supported by integrations that will extend the functionality of your core systems in the areas you need it most. For example, you can add a better time collection solution to supplement your existing labor management strategy, or build a system that automates processes related to collecting and managing employee time and attendance so that your payroll processes can be sufficiently and completely automated with minimal effort from your team.

“In the best-of-breed approach, the organization and its users often get newer, more innovative, more modern solutions for their specific functional areas,” said HRE columnist Steve Boese. “It is argued, by those favoring the best of breed approach, that having the ‘best’ solutions for each functional area is better than having all solutions reside in one suite, which often comes with tradeoffs and decreased capability. Best-of-breed vendors are fully dedicated to just one main process area and can create solutions that offer the newest and best features and design, providing a superior user experience and better outcomes overall than more generic single-suite solutions.”

How Can TCP Work with Your Core Business Solutions?

TCP’s flexibility makes it a good candidate for a best-of-breed approach, allowing your business to reap the rewards of a purpose-built solution while also benefiting from the broader functionality of systems like ADP, PeopleSoft, Workday and Oracle HCM. TCP can create custom-built payroll or ERP/HCM integration modules in a matter of weeks that will integrate with your existing software to meet your organization’s specific needs. TCP provides a dedicated team to support you from the beginning of the build and development process through the rollout and testing to deployment at your site, guiding you through the process and minimizing disruption to your business.

Partnering with TCP to add best-in-breed time collection to your already established business system allows you to round out your time and labor strategy with a more comprehensive solution. Empowering your business with the best tools available will allow employees to work better, helping you and your organization achieve your business goals in the way that works best for you.