Should the HR tech stack be owned by an IT team with a specialty in HR, or by an HR IT team?

I think it is about enablement. One of the pieces of friction that I've typically seen is in how much of the HR tech stack should fundamentally be owned by an IT team which has specialism in HR, versus an HR IT team. There's no right answer to that in my viewpoint, but I do think there's been too much of a disconnect in how that's done. There hasn’t been a real template across companies. And I think that's a problem. The analogy I would give is something like cloud operations. Cloud operations may well be owned by a dev ops and an engineering organization, or it may be owned as part of an IT team. If I think about finance, for example, it's actually very common that you start a company with having someone who owns finance systems, but it's very logical that that will basically be morphed into the IT team to be able to be run. But that doesn't seem to happen with HR. And I think that's down to confidentiality, culture, lack of alignment, lack of actually understanding the business context, probably lack of history, to be perfectly honest. I think initially the finance tech stack if you think about CIO, CIOs have actually built their careers, especially in the UK, came from implementing finance systems. There were a lot of people who had a finance background who had implemented Sage or Oracle at that time. And their objective was to implement that system, and then to say, "Well, now we're going to be implementing a bunch of other systems and we need actually to have a central IT department and have ownership around and leadership around that." That didn't happen as fast in the HR tech stack. And I think therefore, as a result, that gulf between IT leaders and HR leaders became wider. And I think that's basically been a major problem.

Anonymous Author
I think it is about enablement. One of the pieces of friction that I've typically seen is in how much of the HR tech stack should fundamentally be owned by an IT team which has specialism in HR, versus an HR IT team. There's no right answer to that in my viewpoint, but I do think there's been too much of a disconnect in how that's done. There hasn’t been a real template across companies. And I think that's a problem. The analogy I would give is something like cloud operations. Cloud operations may well be owned by a dev ops and an engineering organization, or it may be owned as part of an IT team. If I think about finance, for example, it's actually very common that you start a company with having someone who owns finance systems, but it's very logical that that will basically be morphed into the IT team to be able to be run. But that doesn't seem to happen with HR. And I think that's down to confidentiality, culture, lack of alignment, lack of actually understanding the business context, probably lack of history, to be perfectly honest. I think initially the finance tech stack if you think about CIO, CIOs have actually built their careers, especially in the UK, came from implementing finance systems. There were a lot of people who had a finance background who had implemented Sage or Oracle at that time. And their objective was to implement that system, and then to say, "Well, now we're going to be implementing a bunch of other systems and we need actually to have a central IT department and have ownership around and leadership around that." That didn't happen as fast in the HR tech stack. And I think therefore, as a result, that gulf between IT leaders and HR leaders became wider. And I think that's basically been a major problem.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Ownership is a strong word here, especially since the question over looks data (or is that implied in the "tech stack"). First, let's touch on data. Specifically employee data (excluding payroll as that is financial). Employee data is owned by the employees themselves, the HR team is a custodian of it on behalf of the business. They should be following the policies, procedures, and standards defined by the CISO and Chief Data Officer (CDO)in this role. Now for the tech stack, and again coming back to ownership as a term. I tend to look at this in the lens of RACI (responsible, accountable, consult, inform). In this context the Chief HR officer holds the R and the A, but must consult with the CISO, CIO/CTO and CDO on the standards, policies, processes, and procedures that are needed to run a tech environment. Otherwise where do you stop? IT owning the marketing tools? CRM? finance platform? At the end of the day IT is an enabler. They shouldn't be responsible for everything, but they should be well informed.
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