Everyone Wants to be a Platform

Explore the shift from specialized solutions to comprehensive platforms in HR Tech. This month, we analyze Lattice's and Workable's transformations into full-scale HR platforms. Discover their strategic expansions, challenges against industry giants, and the future of specialized solutions. Stay ahead with our insights.

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
May 20, 2024
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In this month’s exploration of the HR Tech world, we're looking at a fascinating trend that’s shaping the landscape of our industry: the unmistakable shift from specialized point solutions to all-encompassing platforms.

In an era where economic scrutiny is intense, the maxim "Become a platform or die" seems to be driving the product roadmap for companies that were recently considered point solution specialists.

The Evolving Landscapes of Lattice and Workable

Our focus this month is on two innovators, Lattice and Workable, who have made significant strides beyond their original market offerings. Lattice, which burst onto the scene in 2015, initially carved out a niche in performance management and goal alignment. Meanwhile, Workable has been a beacon in recruiting efficiency since 2012, streamlining the hiring process with its robust applicant tracking system.

Despite thriving in their respective domains, both companies anticipated the need for a more integrated approach to HR technologies. This foresight has led them down the path of transformation into comprehensive HR platforms.

Workable’s Strategic Expansion into HRIS

Last year, Workable launched its own basic HRIS platform, initially laying down the groundwork with essential functions like new hire onboarding and employee data management; Workable is ambitiously gearing up to launch a performance management suite in 2024, with advanced timekeeping functionalities on the horizon.

Lattice’s Bold Leap into Full-Scale HRIS

Not to be outdone, Lattice is making even more headlines with its impending public launch of a full-scale HRIS platform, building on its strong foundation in talent management. The platform will build off of their expertise in performance, compensation, and engagement and will soon encompass time and attendance, with payroll functionalities set to be rolled out over the next twelve months. This expansion is a testament to Lattice’s commitment to providing a holistic HR solution.

Strategic Implications and Industry Forecast

The pivot by Lattice and Workable from niche solutions to comprehensive platforms is not just a change in product offerings but a strategic realignment to meet evolving market demands. This shift raises several critical considerations for the future of HR tech:

The Challenge of Unseating the Giants

One of the most pressing questions is whether newcomers like Lattice and Workable can truly compete against the titans of the industry—firms like ADP, Paylocity, and Paycom—who have dominated the space with extensive, integrated solutions. Will Lattice and Workable carve out a new niche, or will they follow in the footsteps of BambooHR and Rippling, which provide excellent employee interfaces but have limitations in being a true one-stop-shop for organizations with even the slightest bit of payroll complexity.

The Future of Specialized Solutions

As platforms become the new normal, what becomes of specialized solutions like performance management leaders like Culture Amp and 15Five or Greenhouse or Ashby, which have excelled in recruitment? Will the market pressure them to expand their offerings, or will there remain a sustainable niche for focused, best-in-class functionalities?

A Potential Return to Specialization?

Lastly, we must consider whether the current trend toward all-in-one platforms is a permanent shift or merely a phase. Could there be a cyclical return to specialization, where depth in specific functionalities regains its appeal, particularly if platforms like Lattice and Workable overextend themselves and dilute their core competencies?

Wrapping Up

As Lattice and Workable continue to expand their platform capabilities, redefine their business models and challenge the traditional dynamics of the HR tech market, we will be watching closely.

This evolution from point solutions to platforms underscores a broader industry trend towards consolidation and integration, driven by a desire for efficiency and comprehensive service delivery.

As we navigate these changes, staying informed and agile will be key to leveraging opportunities in this new era of HR tech. Join us next month as we continue to delve into these trends, providing insights that keep you at the cutting edge of our industry

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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