Premise-based vs SaaS – Your HCM system has left the building

August 27, 2018

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“Build it and they will come” is an age old speculative phrase that has been thrown around when attempting to justify new retail centers, sports venues, business complexes and more.   However that same philosophy of “build” is on the wane as it relates to today’s business systems, and more specifically HCM solutions.

I have had the opportunity to visit with several HR and Project leaders over the past several years who have been confronted with the question of build versus buy as it relates to the upgrade of their existing HCM platform. Of course the actual thought here is to decide between a premise-based solution (which believe it or not, a lot of organizations still use), or a SaaS (Software as a Service) model. SaaS is synonymous with cloud based or hosted solutions.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with one of my HRchitect colleagues on a client scoping call. This particular client is in the market for a new HCM solution and had only envisioned a premise based solution.   Why? Because their history has been with premise based solutions only therefore familiarity was prevailing here. Well a detailed overview by my colleague of the SaaS model was a game changer. The benefits realized by the client of the SaaS model were:

–          A predictable cost of ownership

–          Easily scalable as the organization’s workforce changes

–          Fewer internal resources for system management

These aforementioned benefits were high level goals for the client therefore SaaS just happened to be the better long term solution. This is not to indicate that premise based should never be considered as there are organizations whose requirements make for a better fit. A need for ongoing customization is one thought there.

Finally, as I have observed the impact of cloud based solutions in the world of HCM over the past few years, I draw a parallel to another industry that has experienced a greater impact……telecommunications. Many of the benefits of cloud based solutions in telecom have been realized in HCM in recent years, and continue to evolve.   I can only imagine that in the near term, organizations that have been utilizing cloud base telephony, but still on-premise with HCM, will draw that same parallel when it comes to evaluating their HCM technology strategy.

With over a thousand successful HCM implementation projects over the past two decades, HRchitect is widely considered one of the best strategic technology consulting firms and your best insurance policy for success with any HCM project. Our services span from helping organizations create HCM technology strategic plans (including decisions around on-premise vs. SaaS), evaluation and selection services for new or replacement systems, change management, implementation services, project management and ongoing support.


About Reggie Wilson

Reggie has over 20 years of technology sales experience that ranges from Telecom to Human Capital Management systems. He joined HRchitect in 2013 as a Regional Sales Manager, and leads the sales efforts in the 15 state central region of the US as well as central Canada. Reggie has worked with clients from mid-market to enterprise scale, who have deployed solutions ranging from Workforce Management to Core HR systems.