31 Mar New Criteria for Selecting Extended Workforce Solutions
Organizations leverage consulting firms and managed service providers (MSPs) to help them select optimal technology for managing their extended workforce and achieving their talent strategy goals. These partners help to formally define an organization’s business needs as well as map out how different systems must interact to support the management of their extended workforce. But as technology evolves, so do the selection criteria that firms are using to better assess these technologies. A lot of items that used to be key criteria have now become table stakes, and technology selection teams are looking at updated criteria to determine which technology is the best fit. There are a number of vendor management systems (VMS) in the market today, and it’s important to find one that both fits a company’s specific technology strategy and the company’s culture.
Historically, the selection criteria for VMS technology have been focused on the comparison of each feature and functionality, experience with integrating with a specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and the security and localization of solutions. These are still important items that need to be included, however, they have become the minimum criteria for a viable and relevant product.
Minimum Selection Criteria for Extended Workforce Management Technology:
- Feature and Functionality: Ensuring that technology meets an organization’s functional requirements is always key. However, VMS technologies have been around for over 20 years and these features have now become table stakes. They represent what’s needed to have a minimum viable solution for basic use.
- Integration Experience: Integration with leading ERP systems such as SAP, Workday and Oracle is not enough. Each extended workforce system is designed for each client’s needs, and each implementation is unique. What matters now are time, effort and resources. The question is, “Which solution has the best tools to lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) to deploy and maintain integrations?”
- Security: Data privacy and security are vital. However, most software as a service (SaaS) provider outsources these services to leading data center providers and other third-party tools because it would otherwise be too expensive to maintain the required technology and certifications. In many cases, multiple VMS providers use the same data centers so there is really no difference.
- Localization: The ability to support local language and currencies has become table stakes. The ability to be able to be agile to customize unique workflows and bill/pay arrangements is what really defines a solution’s ability to be global.
New Criteria for Next-Generation Extended Workforce Management
As technology evolves, so have the tools needed to develop, maintain and evolve workforce solutions. These tools have increased productivity and reduced development times, which make it easier for technology to support what users require on a daily basis. Organizations need to add these additional criteria when determining which solutions meet their talent and technology strategies.
- Adaptability: The ability to be flexible in adapting to changing business needs is critical. Unforeseen events, such as a pandemic, can quickly occur and dramatically change the business landscape. Being able to adapt to these changes differentiates the leading businesses from those that lag.
- Interoperability: The increased adoption of technology by organizations requires the ability to easily integrate systems for an optimal user experience. At the same time, organizations need to continue mitigating risks while driving compliance. Organizations must rely on their technology partners to use industry-leading integration tools to minimize any custom application programming interface (API) development. All the major ERP providers such as SAP, Oracle, Workday, and PeopleSoft understand this. That’s why they partner with organizations such as Salesforce’s MuleSoft to maintain their APIs.
- Future-Proofing Agility: Choosing a solution that can evolve with changing technology is critical for future-minded businesses. Business leaders should ask questions about how much money they invest in new technology, how has a solution evolved over the past year, and how their roadmap supports the incorporation of new technology as it evolves.
As organizations transform and evaluate new ways of solving today’s problems, ensuring they select the right technology that fits their needs can be what defines success and failure. Flextrack recognizes how technology has evolved, and that’s why we built a next-generation VMS solution on Salesforce. The Salesforce platform allows us to use state-of-the-art infrastructure and build the VMS solution of today and tomorrow.
Mark has over 25 years of experience in the workforce solutions industry. Mark has been responsible for implementing, operating, and transforming contingent workforce solutions for hundreds of organizations worldwide. Mark has also led technology teams that built and managed VMS solutions and other technology solutions to digitize and transform extended workforce solutions