Sierra-Cedar 2014–2015 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 17th Annual Edition was unveiled at the HR Technology® Conference, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas last Thursday (October 9th 2014).Published since 1997 it is recognised as the most highly respected annual HR Systems survey that tracks the adoption of, approaches to, and value generated by HR technologies. This year, 1063 organisations participated, representing a collective workforce of over 19 million. Almost a half of respondents represented companies with less than 2500 employees and 60% were global organisations or headquartered outside of the US.Amongst the key findings:– Adopting a culture of Change Management directly translates into a reduced costs of HR technology: £189 per employee for organisations with a continuous culture of change compared with £433 among those not practicing Change Management (figures converted from $ USD)– “Quantified organisations”, characterised by:1. Better HR processes.2. More managers with access to HR reports & analysis.3. More HR data categories/greater number of HR metrics.Have a 79% greater Return on Equity (ROE) than non-quantified organisations. In short, organisations which adopt HR technologies outperform those that do not by some margin.– Over 93% of those surveyed use dedicated HR technologies.– 38% of companies have already deployed cloud HR solutions.– HR departments with an up-to-date HR technology strategy are over a third more likely to be viewed by management as adding strategic value to their organisation in comparison to those who have no HR technology strategy in place.– By industry, organisations in the Financial Services, High-tech and Healthcare industries are amongst the most aggressive early adopters of HR technology.– Higher user experience scores are reported across the board from deploying cloud HR solutions. This in turn translates in to higher end user adoption rates.– Cloud HR solutions require a lower HR technology headcount for implementation and support.– Cloud HR technology records faster implementation times than on-premise solutions.– The top 3 key advantages of cloud HR solutions based on respondent data, in descending order are:1. Improved experience for HR, Managers and employees.2. Easier upgrades.3. Better functionality.– The top 3 concerns regarding cloud HR solutions based on respondent data, in descending order are:1. Concerns about service quality.2. Inability to customise solutions.3. Integrations complexity.An organisation’s approach to innovation can be the difference between riding a wave, missing a wave or “wipe out”, comments Sierra-Cedar research. Aggressive adopters choose innovative technologies, often without proof of value at the start, as they sense they will benefit from an early advantage over the competition. In 1997, when the first self-service HR systems became available, those who chose to adopt them were real pioneers meaning they held a great advantage. As always, however, the majority follows, and over time, improved results become the norm meaning there is no longer a competitive advantage to be gained from leveraging leading edge technologies. The moral of the story is that there is always an optimal window for technology adoption… shrewd advice indeed.