What To Do About Your Aging Legacy Payroll System
By Chris Klein, SVP, Global HR & Payroll Solutions

May 22, 2017 | Payroll | 0 comments


Let’s face it, payroll systems are not exciting. Those of us in the industry might get excited about the next new technology or legislative change, but at the end of the day payroll systems are intended to do just one thing – make sure your employees get paid on time and accurately.

So, why are there so many choices? Well, every company has different needs. It’s not unlike buying a new car. Any one of them will provide you with transportation, but how you get there varies immensely. The options you choose and your experience owning it depends largely on the service provided by the manufacturer you choose. How often you replace your car also varies depending on your experience and your preferences. Do you want basic transportation or a shiny new luxury model? Again, payroll systems are the same.

Many organizations have made it their mission to stay on top of technological advances in payroll systems. They are diligent about their upgrades, they evaluate functionality, they put pressure on their outsourced providers (or internal support departments) to remain compliant and offer best practices. However, there are many organizations that have not taken this approach and while they may have had a shiny new “payroll car” many years ago, today it feels dated and might not actually even be up to snuff with things it should be!

OK, enough with the car analogies. What do you do if your organization is on a dying platform?   Many vendors call this “sunsetting platforms.” Basically, they don’t want to support it anymore because they have invested heavily in newer technologies and they want their customers to move to them instead. It’s very expensive for payroll suppliers to keep multiple versions of their products compliant and supported so this makes a lot of sense. Right now there are several very popular platforms that are showing their age. One in particular is PeopleSoft. At one time that platform was the rage of the industry and one of the must have technologies for many of the largest companies in the world. These days it still has a large customer base, but the platform is being put to pasture. Effective January 2018 customers will most likely no longer receive any support. That may change, but are you willing to risk the accuracy of your payroll? Most of the largest payroll providers have similar products that they are trying to sunset, so make sure you know if you’re on one of them!

So, what do you do? Here at Spencer Thomas Group we are in tune with all of the industry changes going on. We understand payroll, we understand payroll technology and we know what is going on across the globe with all of the major platforms. As a result we can help your organization assess your current situation and build a plan for your future. Whether you have an old technology, newer technology, outsourced payroll or even a decades old in-house developed solution we know how to get you where you need to be.

There are a lot of choices out there and it can become quickly overwhelming. Do you evaluate a managed service or do you plan to manage it yourself? Do you try to buy an integrated HR and payroll solution or integrate the two separately? Are you global or in a single country? This is what STG does everyday and we have done it for nearly 20 years. Here is how we view things:

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Notice the top three swim lanes carry across the entire life cycle. That’s because they are important at every stage! In particular, Organizational Change Management is critical in legacy system migrations. People have been doing things a certain way for a long time and coming up to a new system, new processes, new potential everything can be disruptive! We know this and have built this element of (OCM) into our approach to effectively manage the alignment, awareness, training and adoption for all relevant parties and stakeholders involved in the change.

To learn more about our OCM thoughts related to HCM payroll you can read more about that here.

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