Internet pension solutions may be costly mistakes

Major electronic human resources (HR) investments and internet-based pensions solutions could become costly mistakes for firms without the in-house technical
know-how to assess fully their benefits and drawbacks, according to consultants Watson Wyatt.

"In our experience, organisations' IT departments are not always able to
communicate effectively enough with HR and pensions managers in selecting
and implementing e-HR projects," says James Markham, a partner in Watson
Wyatt's Human Capital Consulting Practice.
"There is frequently a language and cultural gap. Few IT people have an understanding of the HR issues while HR people are rarely IT experts. But for successful e-HR selection and implementation, you need your HR and IT expertise to be able to work seamlessly together."

Markham says it is up to HR and pensions managers to improve their own understanding of IT in general and e-HR in particular, getting outside help and tuition where necessary.

"This is not always natural territory for HR managers," says Markham. "Until
now, a good knowledge of IT has not been important for a successful career
in HR - indeed, for some, people skills and IT skills have been seen as
opposite ends of a spectrum. Consequently, there are many HR departments
with dangerously little IT expertise or experience - including at senior
levels - making significant investment decisions on IT-based projects."

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