Bersin by Deloitte Research: Pressure to Strengthen Leadership Pipeline Drives Demand for Succession Software

One-third of organizations surveyed plan to replace their succession management software by year-end

Apr 08, 2015, 08:45 ET from Bersin by Deloitte

OAKLAND, Calif., April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mounting pressure to strengthen leadership pipelines in organizations around the world is driving demand for succession planning software, according to new research from Bersin by Deloitte. Summarized in a complimentary "WhatWorks® Market Brief," the research findings appear in Bersin by Deloitte's new study "The Guide to Succession Management Technology 2015: Managing Succession with Software."

Succession management – a strategic process that minimizes gaps for critical positions in an organization – remains a priority for human resource and business leaders, 86 percent of whom cited it as a top issue this year according to the recently-published Deloitte "Global Human Capital Trends 2015" report. However, use of technology to manage succession planning in many organizations is limited and relatively recent. Bersin by Deloitte's new succession management technology research shows that 46 percent of those surveyed still use no software in managing succession. One quarter (25 percent) of respondents had purchased their succession management software within the past three years. One-third (33 percent) of responding organizations indicated that they will replace their succession management software by the end of 2015.

"Organizations increasingly view succession management as more than an annual exercise for identifying and developing successors for executive-level positions," said Katherine Jones, Ph.D., vice president, HCM Technology Research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Succession management has evolved to become a continuous, strategic, integrated approach for mobilizing talent at all levels to fill critical positions in an organization. This evolution is driven in part by the need for organizations to mitigate the risk of business disruption caused by losing key employees."

Surprisingly, nearly half of the companies surveyed indicated that their succession management processes or applications are home-grown or proprietary.

"Such proprietary systems contribute to the problem of integration," soh aid Jones. "Fifty-eight percent of talent management suite buyers indicated that they sought integration of succession management and talent reviews with that purchase. Twenty-one percent said they sought the addition of a new succession management module to an existing talent management suite." 

Software helps in many steps of the succession planning process, including talent review, lending consistency and repeatability to the process. Solution providers increasingly are moving to support such processes. The Bersin by Deloitte research found that, among those surveyed:

  • 85 percent provide applications that enable managers to see successors nominated by other managers for key positions under their control; and
  • 81 percent offer software to allow creation of multiple talent review cycles to accommodate an organization's succession management practices.
  • 74 percent provide dashboards with analytics and metrics at the group, divisional and company levels; and
  • 59 percent provide software that enables HR and practitioners to share succession scenarios with other managers for talent review discussions.

The new research also provides key points to consider when evaluating current succession processes and related technologies. For example:

  • Are current processes "future-proofing" the organization with the leadership pipeline required for business continuity?
  • Has the organization created succession pipelines for pivotal positions in the company beyond the executive team?
  • Does the organization's current succession planning solution allow planners to see critical skills across the organization paired with an individual's career goals and preferences?

Register to join Katherine Jones for an online webinar, "Success at Succession: How Today's Technology Can Help," May 7, 2 p.m. EDT/19:00 BST.

Those interested in learning more about Bersin by Deloitte or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call +1 510 251 4400.

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