Navigo Blog

HR Technology Solution Architectures – Part 1

Written by Peter

Peter is Navigo's founder and Managing Director. Peter is passionate about building and running businesses, finding solutions to business process problems and new trends in HR Technology.

November 12, 2014

A four part series – we look at the common solution architectures for an organisations HR Technology landscape.  In this part 1, we look at the first option – using an “all in one” platform.

When it comes to working out your HR Technology landscape (or to use the technical term – solution architecture), there is no one size fits all approach.

Each organisation chooses an architecture that fits with their overall strategic direction, current landscape, culture, management attitudes and other factors.

Additionally, you can’t always choose your landscape – most organisations aren’t in the position to start from scratch and need to deal with legacy apps.

Typical architectures

Here at Navigo Research we see the following architectures playing out:

  • An “All in one” platform – A solution that covers 70-80% of your HR functionality requirements with some point solutions filling the gaps
  • Dual Platform – two big platforms, usually HRIS and Talent Management doing most of the work
  • Master and slaves – One main platform doing 40-60% of your HR functionality with a lot of Best of Breeds in place


Regardless of the option a common approach to Business Intelligence/Reporting and Integration will be required.

Each of the three options are not mutually exclusive and your company may end up with a mixed-style environment.

We’ll cover factors determining your architecture, reporting and integration in our final part of the series.

But let’s take a look at the first option – the “all in one” platform.

One system to rule them all

This option sees a single all in one solution covering Payroll, Core HR and Talent Management. This solution may also be part of a broader ERP covering finance and other functional areas.

An “all in one” should aim to deliver 80% of all functionality needed reducing application management complexity.

Where functionality within this solution does not meet the needs of the organisation, best of breed applications can then be purchased to fill the gaps.

Organisations should decide on Reporting and Integration Frameworks before making any purchases so that these new solutions can plug into a broader architectural framework

HR Technology Solution Architecture

HR Technology Solution Architecture – All in one model

Benefits of an all in one

Limited vendors to manage

No context switching for users – they stay in one system for their HR business processes

Very little integration to manage as it’s one source of truth and usually part of a larger ERP.

Simplified IT footprint if on-premise solution.

Potential alignment with other departments, particularly Finance

The downsides

If moving to this model replacing payroll is costly and takes significant time and resources.

All in one solutions potentially involve hefty implementation fees.

Potentially offer less of a functional match than other solutions – they tick the box on some functionality but don’t do it well.

Greater change management to align with the ‘ERP-way’

Who uses them?

You tend to see all in one solutions where an organisation is going through major growth and there is a full scale program of new systems.

Mining companies that are in pre-operating stage who scale from 200 employees to 2500 employees may choose an “all in one” as solutions have been specifically built/configured for their industry (think SAP).

Vendors that come to mind in this space include – Workday (doesn’t do Australian Payroll), SAP, Oracle at the top end.  In the mid enterprise space Technology One and in the small business space solutions like PeoplesHR.


In our second part of the series we’ll look at the next option which is a dual platform approach.



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