Unlocking horns: How IT and HR can get the best from each other during HR tech procurement

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Roly Walter
Roly Walter
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Founder and CEO
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min read
April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024
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In this article

How do you deal with the fact that HR are one of the biggest buying departments when it comes to SaaS and tech systems, yet IT are often needed to ensure a successful and secure roll-out and ongoing support?

We sometimes come across a situation where HR is keen to purchase a performance management system that will increase management capability, improve employee engagement and drive execution of the company's objectives - yet the process stalls when IT get involved.

Sometimes this is for very healthy reasons:

  • it's vital that any new tool is assessed for data processing and security compliance
  • there could be an ongoing impact on IT of supporting a new tool
  • the initial roll out could require IT's involvement to set up an integration with other tools eg Single Sign On or HRIS sync.
  • HR or IT could be planning a replacement for your main HRIS which may include a performance management module.

In some companies, IT are the gatekeepers for all new IT projects and support them by providing procurement and project management services. And I've seen for myself the money wasted by non-technical departments working on the side with a favoured technical supplier whose system turns out to be incompatible with the company's other systems.

The problem is that IT generally have a backlog of important projects and need to guard their resources carefully in order to keep existing plates spinning. And so a great initiative within HR to overhaul performance management can often stall meaning HR, employees and managers suffer from yet another year of meaningless appraisals and associated admin.

So how do you get the benefits of IT's wisdom without holding up the process? Here are some suggestions:

  • Show IT that you have a carefully selected list of requirements that you'll use to evaluate new software against. Ask them to include their requirements around data processing and security.
  • Clearly set out the case that HR, not IT, has the mandate to improve employee engagement and manage talent, and HR are the experts. IT should not be making decisions about people strategy and performance management is about people strategy first and software second.
  • Get to know the software's ongoing support requirements. Does the vendor guarantee to support end-users directly to ensure zero extra support resources are required from internal IT?
  • Learn about ISO27001 and other security certifications so that you can demonstrate your understanding of the importance of data security. Get to know IT's security questionnaires and get them to the supplier for completion early. A good supplier will be able to send you their ISO27001 certificate in minutes and complete any security questionnaire within a day or two.
  • Arrange a call between IT and the supplier's technical personnel early for a security interview. A good supplier should be able to give IT full confidence in their practices.
  • Run a trial or POC (proof of concept) with a handful of people over a few weeks. The Appraisd CS team can set up and run an effective POC for you quickly. This is not just about testing usability but also helps you test the vendor's helpfulness when it comes to security or IT issues.
  • If a new HRIS is in the pipeline, talk to your vendor about using your product for just 1 year. Are they willing to work on a shorter contract? Even one round of end-year reviews and talent management on Appraisd can save a huge amount of hassle in those awkward Christmas weeks. Employees are always happy to use a new system if it's better than the previous one.

The above applies to any vendor. In terms of Appraisd, I can add some additional specific information that will be relevant to IT:

  • Single Sign On (SSO) is not a big deal and typically takes about 15 minutes to set up during a phone call between IT and the Appraisd CSM (Customer Success Manager)
  • We are ISO27001 certified and have been for a number of years. We write about some of our security practices here: https://www.appraisd.com/legal/security-policy. You can send this on to your IT team.
  • We can often synchronise your HR data from your HRIS to Appraisd automatically using our HRIS native Integrations. This can be set up in minutes on the phone to your CSM. After that, all your people data will flow into Appraisd automatically meaning no admin for you to do.
  • If your HRIS is not supported, it is quite feasible run Appraisd for a 1,000 person company without an HRIS automatic sync by importing staff data manually using our CSV import/audit tool. This tool makes it easy to refresh an entire database in minutes. Some companies may even do this less than once a month because they don't expect people to have reviews or checkins more frequently than that.
  • We can set up and run a POC in a matter of days that lasts for a few weeks, all at a low cost. This will give you an excellent idea of how Appraisd works for employees, managers, HR and IT and requires very low time commitment from any of the participants.
  • We are fully GDPR compliant and publish our Data Processing Agreement / Addendum here: https://www.appraisd.com/legal/dpa.

Want to know more about Appraisd?


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