Workforce Management Applications Are Addressing Global Talent Shortage, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – May 30, 2000 – Workforce management applications represent one of the hottest segments of the business applications market. Worldwide, IDC expects revenues in this segment will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39% to over $4 billion in 2003. In comparison, the overall business applications market will increase at a CAGR of 15%. Workforce management applications' share of business applications revenues will increase from 1.8% in 1999 to 3.4% in 2003.

"The lack of data on employee skills, characteristics, goals, experience level, and performance history has spurred the emergence of application vendors to address these issues," said Brian McDonough, senior research analyst with IDC's Applications and Information Access research group. "In today's highly competitive business environment, a business needs to capture more specific data that can help it better plan its future workforce needs and execute on this plan by recruiting, deploying, and retaining talent. Workforce management applications can help in this endeavor."

According to IDC, workforce management applications include collaborative, transactional, and analytic software that help in the hiring, deployment, and retaining of employees. These solutions automate processes that were previously solved manually by human resource department employees, administrative personnel, or by employees themselves.

"These solutions are intended for organizations in which the effective management of knowledge workers is of paramount concern," McDonough said.

IDC believes the first of these applications to be adopted will include self-service procurement, expense management, time and attendance, and life-events management. Later, the emerging collaborative applications that address skills management, performance reviews, collaborative hiring, and job requisition management will increasingly be adopted.

However, before workforce management applications can take off, extensive education will be required. "Vendors need to convince firms of the benefits of workforce management applications. The problem lies in entrenched processes that will require significant change," McDonough said. "Vendors need to deliver the message that these solutions automate the processes involved in managing workforces and avoid implying that technology is the way to manage the direction of human beings."

IDC recently published a report titled Workforce Management Applications in 2000: Overview and Vendor Strategies (IDC #B22169). This report defines workforce management applications and analyzes the market's landscape. The report discusses the market's solutions and aligning these solutions with specific business problems. Vendor strategies are discussed, and snapshots of most vendors competing in the market are provided. The report forecasts revenues in the market through 2003. To order a copy, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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