The HR software market is thriving | 2018 HCM market guide published by Gartner

Jess Fuhl
Last updated on 5th November 2019
3 min read

“The broader HCM suite market is thriving,” explain analysts at Gartner in their 2018 market guide this year.

Gartner’s guide sets out current conditions in the HR software market.

It explores what’s what in the sector – both in terms of market analysis and direction, but also buying trends.

It’s also intended as an overview of human capital management (HCM) vendors.

From our perspective, two main buyer trends are noted in this year’s guide.


Firstly, it’s now rare for organizations to select on-premise products over cloud products, as the market continues its journey towards cloud-only options.

In fact, Gartner estimates that “by 2025, at least 50% of large enterprises in service-centric industries will successfully implement an ‘all in’ cloud SaaS strategy.”

It seems that organizations looking at new HCM solutions are continuing to prefer cloud suites over specialized, single solution products.

Gartner stated that: “In addition, it is now rare for customers to select on-premises products over cloud products as the HCM market continues its journey toward cloud-only options,” they write. “Rare exceptions to this rule are security-sensitive organizations, such as military.”

This is something that doesn’t surprise us at all. Organizations want to do away with disparate systems, and instead have one single source of the truth across all their HR and People activity.

“Another strong buyer persona is emerging — organizations with high-growth expectations have either outgrown their first HR and payroll application(s) or wish to consolidate disparate point solutions purchased in response to early growth pain points,” Gartner writes.

Gartner continues: “They are in need of administrative and compliance streamlining and are facing additional complexities around processes such as performance management or recruiting.” This is particularly the case for fast-growth organizations.

Advanced analytics

The second trend we see is the diverse range of reporting and data, driven by both local and global compliance issues, including more advanced analytics and dashboards.

“Leading-edge suite reporting may leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence or interactive bots to move beyond static reporting into suggesting or even executing possible actions,” Gartner explains.

Again, this echoes what we’re seeing in the sector. Progressive People Companies – organizations that really and truly value their people, and recognize their workforce as their biggest asset for growth – know the value of people analytics.

In fact, People Companies don’t just use people analytics. They go one step further than simply mining data and reporting it. They analyze data, gaining actionable insights to test hypotheses and identify solutions. At Sage People, we call this People Science.

How to transform HR technology

Gartner also makes a series of recommendations to leaders when it comes to HR technology transformations.

“Work with HR to develop your five-year HCM strategy,” explains Gartner. “Prioritize your processes based on the functional or technical superiority that makes a material difference to your organization.”

They add: “Ensure that HR and IT work together to identify additional regional, country-specific or industry specific vendors for potential evaluation.”

Listing vendors

Overall, the guide aims to inform HR and IT decision-makers looking for transformative HCM technology to support their organization’s growth. They explain, it is “not a reflection of their potential value, but of their product footprint, target market or product maturity.”

The guide is a practical tool that looks at key findings, provides recommendations, strategic planning assumptions, an overview of the market definition, direction and analysis, as well as a list of representative vendors.

At Sage People, we’ve further improved user experience with updates to the look and feel of the system, enhanced data protection measures and introduced new ways to communicate and gather feedback across the workforce in our latest product update.

Using HR technology to build better experiences as companies scale

We think that if companies get the right HR technology in place, then they can scale at a rapid rate, knowing they’re supporting one of their biggest assets for growth: their people.

It’s something we’ve found time and time again with our customers.

For example, a leading online retailer that’s grown from start-up to a global operation with nine e-commerce sites and 30% year on year growth, Lovehoney’s Head of HR Claire Webber knows how important attracting and retaining top talent is, to sustain success and meet ambitious future plans.

“Our people strategy – which encompasses being an employer of choice, identifying talent and giving opportunities for people to grow and develop – requires us to be inclusive and data driven,” she explains.

“We’re now managing the complete employee lifecycle on Sage People, and that has saved us time and money, as well as being able to meet local needs for our employees. Seeing all aspects of HR through the Sage People system means we have moved from being a transactional business unit, to a proactive, strategic one.”

Leading online personalized products retailer Photobox also recognizes the need to use HR technology to build solid foundations for growth. The company already employs over 1,000 people from 50 different nations across Europe and has ambitious plans for continued growth.

For Dora Kocur, Director of Employee Experience at Photobox, choosing HR technology came down to how it could not only support this growth – but enable it.

“We chose Sage People as it provides multi-country support, mobile app capability as well as instant accessibility,” she explains. “The Sage People team has been a great partner for us, helping us work though our challenges in a way that can future-proof our employee management.”

Discover how a global cloud HR and People system can build better experiences for your people, enabling growth. Request your personal demo of Sage People today.



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