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Survey shows workforce technologies are a business imperative
November 15, 2004
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Baltimore, Md .-- The evolution of business processes and executive expectations are driving the view of workforce technologies as an essential tool for organizations' survival. According to the Cedar 2004 Workforce Technologies Survey, Seventh Annual Edition, released today, the use of technology to support the transformation of HR to a strategic business function is linked to increased operating income growth and improved organizational performance. The survey, conducted by The Cedar Group, reflects the strategies, use and plans for technologies that directly impact financial performance and workforce productivity in organizations around the world.

"This year's survey highlights the vital role that HR and IT continue to play in delivering cost-effective services that provide a foundation for enterprises to successfully compete and thrive in today's competitive market," says Neil Boyer, General Manager of The Cedar Group. "The results show that these technologies are not only expected from employees and executives, but that the return on investment has been proven over and over and again in terms of business improvement and employee satisfaction."

Springboarding from data collected in 2003, the adoption of workforce technologies in 2004 has increased both in the number of organizations adopting and in the depth of the application functionality being implemented. In fact, the implementation of employee and manager productivity applications has reached 50 percent penetration in 2004. In addition, analytics applications are reported as the fastest growth technology arena--up 30 percent from 2003.

The reported goal of implementing more functionality is to provide strategic HR value to the organization and to gain the ability to measure and plan for talent requirements. In addition, manager acceptance of self service is escalating--a significant milestone because manager productivity applications generate the largest return on investment.

Early adopters of workforce technologies have already proven ROI and are now reporting continued, incremental improvements to bottom-line figures. Specifically, survey results indicate that Web self service and service center adoption significantly impact the HR/employee staff ratio. This enables the organization to serve more employees with fewer HR specialists and allows HR to focus on participating as a strategic business partner. Three applications, including Reporting, Training Enrollment, and Competency Management, are positively linked to operating income growth.

Successful organizations are both building strong business justification and conducting after-the-fact proof of success in response to an increase in corporate-level funding and project initiation. Organizations are also standardizing and centralizing business processes and data to streamline service delivery costs.

Survey results show that while investments in technology are increasing, success is also dependent on effective change management. Successful organizations report committing time and energy to communicate the change and advantages of workforce technologies to employees in order to ensure the full ROI potential

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