Workday again tops list of most popular HR apps

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Workday remains the most popular HR app as measured by the number of customer deployments, according to the sixth Businesses @ Work report based on data from 7,400 Okta customers.

The HR category is also growing relative to others in the burgeoning app marketplace, the annual research suggests. Kristina Johnson, chief people officer of Okta, notes that for the first time three of the top 10 apps overall by the number of users were HR-related, with Workday ranking number two, SAP SuccessFactors in eighth place, and Cornerstone OnDemand in ninth.

Workday, which was founded in 2005, has been listed for years in the Businesses @ Work report and has been a leader in the human capital management field, offering apps and tools to many of the world’s largest organizations.

“Workday offers its customers a one-stop-shop for business planning, financial management, and HCM,” Johnson says. “The convenience of being able to access all these resources from a single system makes the app sticky for organizations, not just HR pros.”

There’s also a competitive race for HR users unfolding among solutions in the next tier of popularity. One of the most notable developments over the past year was that BambooHR jumped ahead of UltiPro this year on the list of most popular HR tools as measured by the number of customers using these apps, Johnson explains.

“Both BambooHR and UltiPro have shown impressive growth over time, but BambooHR’s rise in popularity has been slightly stronger, growing by 286% over the past three years compared to UltiPro’s 226% growth,” she says.

See also: The 10 fastest-growing HR apps

Stellar track records from those companies reinforces HR leaders’ search for ways to automate time-intensive work and increase efficiencies, Johnson says. “Both tools offer a suite of services that allow HR leaders to streamline processes for everything from hiring and onboarding to payroll and benefits,” she says, noting how all-in-one services make lives easier.

M&A activity is also a factor to consider when assessing the rise of certain apps. She cites UltiPro growth as an example, noting how parent company Ultimate Software acquired PeopleDoc in 2018.

Other popular HR apps rounding out the top 10 list include SAP SuccessFactors, Namely, Culture Amp, Reflektive, iCIMS, 15Five and Halogen. Culture Amp and 15Five made their debut on the Businesses @ Work list, both focused on improving employee review processes. This shows that “companies are serious about helping employees advance their careers,” Johnson says. On the other end of the spectrum, she adds that WageWorks and Zenefits dropped off in popularity.

See also: McDonald’s app offers employees career advancement benefit

Another significant theme was the rise of best-in-breed solutions, with many companies double-dipping on workplace apps. For example, Johnson says they may use the Microsoft Office 365 product suite alongside apps with redundant functions like Slack and Zoom.

“While some teams might prefer going all-in on software suites, at the end of the day functionality and employee needs are driving purchasing decisions,” she says.

Meanwhile, venture capitalists are recognizing the potential for innovation in the HR space. Both Culture Amp and 15Five, newcomers to the top HR apps list, closed big funding rounds in 2019, while Namely also raised more than $200 million. “I’m excited to see how continued investment in HR technology will push the industry forward,” Johnson says.

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