Systems Consideration in Human Resource Information System

Use the Internet to research and evaluate two (2) commercial Human Resources (HR) database systems for your organization. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each system and, based on your knowledge of human resources and database systems, propose one (1) package that would fit the needs of your organization. Suggest three (3) specific reasons why you would recommend that system over the other.

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A human resource (HR) database system is essentially a computer application used for collecting/assembling, and then processing data for the function of human resource management (Gueutal & Stone, 2005). HR databases have features that support users in their management. Most are designed in such a way that they manage different management functions, such as hiring, training, payroll, and so forth. An HRIS database system is intended to store and/or process data that are relevant to the system. After assessing various HR database systems, I settle on Oracle and Payroll as the commercial HR database systems to assess.

After careful consideration of the two, I settle on Payroll as the best-recommended database for data management. It is chosen due to the fact that it has a smooth HR solution with better recruitment management capabilities, including hiring and termination. Essentially, Payroll manages hiring, training, performance assessment, time and attendance monitoring, and benefits management. The database is well designed with comprehensive final user guides as well as easily implemented. Compared to Oracle, it is less costly; hence it is more affordable.

Oracle may contain a few other features that Payroll does not have, such as Business Intelligence (BIS). Payroll provides smoothness in information transfer and paperless offices. Being less costly, more efficient, and effective, Payroll is a better database management system for commercial purposes (Hendrickson, 2003).

Suggest three (3) efficiencies that an organization would gain from using Software as a Service (SAAS) for its Human Resources Information System (HRIS) needs and three (3) inefficiencies from maintaining an MS Access-based database application.

The usage of the software as a Service (SAAS) began as a response to ineffective in-house applications, which required full on-premise system installations. SAASs have many advantages when they are used as an HR database management system. The main advantage is that it is cost-effective as compared to traditional on-premise installations. In their implementation as well as maintenance, they are much cheaper compared to the traditional Personal Computer-based software. They are also delivered quickly, allowing users to access the Human Resource Information Service information on the Internet. In essence, the vendor provides remote access to the SAAS and be able to maintain it as well as upgrade. All of these occur at minimal fees (Hendrickson, 2003).

A SAAS operation has an extra advantage as it allows the user to transfer the risk burden to the third-party providers or vendors, unlike the traditional PC software. This eliminates the danger of blame games and hostility during IT mishaps. Finally, SAAS does not require extra purchases of hardware, complicated fancy customizations, or the hiring of expensive IT specialists for support purposes (Walker, 1993).

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An MS-Access based database system maintenance is proved to be inefficient in the following ways. It is difficult to maintain a database system that does not support Internet integration in its functions. MS Access database system is only a file-based system, and it lacks server features, such as those that are present in Oracle or Structured Query Language Server (SQL). For efficient management and operation, databases need web database management; access databases need web solutions, especially with less number of users (Walker, 1993).

Another let-down is that the MS Access database cannot properly handle sensitive data, such as medical, financial, or Social Security Numbers (SSNs), among others. Finally, the MS Access database cannot support huge data amounts and actually can slow down if large amounts of data flow through the database. All these make Access an inefficient system in regards to the discussion.

Assess the (3) most significant risks associated with combining products from multiple vendors into one (1) HRIS.

The combination of products from multiple vendors is called best of the breed (BOB) and involves a technical infrastructure. There are three risks involved when combining products from multiple vendors. One such risk is that there may not be a perceived need for the solution. If at any time one engages in the purchase of a product for speculation purposes, without first scanning for the real problem, the product becomes useless. For example, buying CDs and DVDs for use with a VCR player obviously will make the DVD unusable as VCR machines mostly support Compact Disks.

The other eminent risk is that it may not support the international guides on interoperability. Applications must be in compliance with the international guides so that they are able to be recognized. This exists at syntactical and semantic levels so as to provide interface descriptions better. Syntactic refers to base interface descriptions. Here, for communication of two applications, data must be shared. The sharing is achievable with databases, XML files, and text files such as MS Excel. For example, XML has a syntax that is structured, which describes elements of data contained in the Human Resource Information System. There is a risk that these technical requirements may not be understood and hence combining them is not advisable.

Therefore, it is better for one to select robust systems that support many features regardless of vendors (Kavanagh, Thite & Johnson, 2012).

There is also a possibility that applications from multiple vendors may not have similar sets of the semantics of data. For example, a time-keeping system may lack the payroll application, which can lead to differences while printing employee’s information. If the system has differences in types/kinds of information held, then there are risks abound to the same. It should have similar data and information, such as names, addresses, date of births, phone numbers, locations, and others, for an effective HRIS (Kavanagh, Thite & Johnson, 2012).

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Predict three (3) unintended consequences of not managing an HR database properly and how you would circumvent (prevent) those situations from occurring.

Poor management of the HR database may lead to unintended consequences, such as unnecessary exposure of people’s privacy. There are areas and institutions that require high standard protection of database systems, such as the military and hospitals. Therefore, the information in such systems needs to be guarded in a strict sense and only be provided upon authorized request for the same. Any other provision of data through mishandling would amount to espionage or leakage, depending on the scenario. Interested parties that get such HR database information will automatically misuse it as well as endanger the information of owners (Hendrickson, 2003).

Poor database management may lead to a breach of confidentiality, thereby bringing about collateral, social problems. For example, ubiquitous breaches of information in the medical field have led to the illegal exchange of personal health information containing patient records to pharmaceutical firms for selfish, insensitive campaigns. At some other point, political careers have been ruined since if rival political opponents get hold of sensitive information, they always misuse it. This is a scenario where confidentiality is compromised due to poor database management. On the same note, in most cases, information, especially of HIV/AIDS, has been abused, damaging, and affecting the patients.

Finally, the mismanagement of the database will automatically lead to inaccuracies of information. This is always a huge issue and concern. Sensitive and important data/information needs outright protection so that it cannot be altered or changed in any way. The best way to address any of the above scenarios from occurring is to put in place the best administrative and information management techniques. It is also prudent to provide the necessary education to employees and system administrators regarding information handling. Finally, there should be a disciplinary proceeding for people found to mismanage databases, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

References

Gueutal H., & Stone, D. (2005). The brave new world of eHR: Human resources management in the digital age. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hendrickson, A. R. (2003). Human resource information systems: Backbone technology of contemporary human resources. Journal of Labor Research, 24(3), 381–394.

Kavanagh, M. J., Thite, M., & Johnson, R. D. (2012). Human Resource Information Systems. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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Walker, A. (1993). Handbook of Human Resource Information Systems: Reshaping the Human Resource Function with Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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