A new survey of HR departments reveals many firms are looking to strike a balance between people, process and technology.
Towers Watson's 2014 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey shows one in three companies are set to boost their spending on HR technology in the coming year compared with the previous 12 months.
Some 23 per cent plan to raise their spending by as much as ten per cent, while only 15 per cent plan to spend less on HR technology.
The focus here is on new functionality such as HR portals, talent management solutions, mobile access services and leading software-as-a -service systems such as Workday.
HR data and analytics, portals and payroll figure in many organisations' investment plans, with one-third of respondents expecting to spend more in the coming year.
In addition, one in three companies plan to make changes to their HR structure during the next 12 months.
The survey of 1,048 organisations around the world shows that streamlining business processes was the number one initiative for business functions for the second year in a row.
More than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed reported reengineering key HR processes over the past 18 months, while around half (49 per cent) improved line managers' people management capabilities.
Business process reengineering and strategic decision-making are expected to feature prominently in efforts to ensure the HR function remains focused, efficient and effective.
Towers Watson suggests the trend for balance is due to a shift in streamlining business processes and a commitment to running the HR function like a business, with an effective mix of strategic perspective and operational discipline.
Mike DiClaudio, global leader of Towers Watson's HR Service Delivery practice, said: "Companies are realising the value that consumer-grade technology brings to HR and are willing to make smart investments that can grow and evolve with the business.
"It also appears that companies are splitting their investments between core HR systems such as talent management and payroll, and next-generation technology including HR data and analytics, and integrated talent management systems."