Blog Post

Open Architecture and HR tech: Everything you need to know

Cornerstone Editors

Employee experience and talent management are in the midst of digital transformation. In today's fast-paced workforce, it's essential to find ways to optimize core HR functions like recruiting, onboarding, learning, development, performance and career growth. Open architecture is an innovative technology that can help tackle these laborious tasks, deadlines and goals. In this article, we'll explore what open architecture is, how it differs from closed architecture and the key features that benefit organizations.

Open vs. closed architecture

Closed architecture refers to software applications built on a proprietary platform and not easily integrated with other systems. They are typically designed to work only with specific hardware or software configurations, which can limit their versatility and flexibility. Closed architecture is also more expensive and time-consuming to develop and maintain, as everything is done in-house.

A future-proof open architecture is built on open standards and protocols, making it easy to integrate with other systems, including those from different vendors. It’s designed to be modular, flexible, and interoperable, giving our customers the optionality of best-of-breed capabilities. This open architecture also allows for greater customization and agility, as organizations can choose which software components to use and how to combine them to suit their specific needs.

With seamless connectivity to HR and business applications across the ecosystem — from productivity tools to back-office ERP systems — the future-proof architecture at Cornerstone is the ideal solution for companies looking to improve efficiency, productivity and collaboration. The Cornerstone ecosystem is holistic and open, while others may be either holistic but closed, or open but fragmented.

Key features of open architecture

• Open-source software: Open architecture relies heavily on open-source software, which is freely available and can be modified to suit specific needs. This means that organizations can customize their software applications without relying on proprietary vendors or paying for expensive licenses.


• Application programming interface (API): Open architecture uses APIs to allow different software components to communicate with each other. APIs provide a standard way for software components to exchange data, essential for interoperability and integration.

• Workflows: Open architecture enables organizations to create workflows that automate processes and improve efficiency. Workflows are built using a combination of software components and APIs, allowing businesses to create custom workflows that meet their specific needs.

• Software as a service (SaaS): Open architecture can be used to create SaaS applications delivered over the internet and accessed through a web browser. SaaS applications are typically more affordable and more accessible to deploy than traditional software applications.

• Workforce agility: Open architecture enables organizations to quickly adapt to changing business needs and market conditions. It allows organizations to add or remove software components as needed, making it easier to scale up or down as required.

Big benefits in HR tech for workforce optimization

In conclusion, adopting open architecture can help CTOs, CHROs and CEOs address pain points related to interoperability, integration, customization and agility. By utilizing an open architecture platform, businesses can take advantage of open standards and protocols, open-source software, APIs, workflows and SaaS applications. This results in greater customization, agility and affordability, which can help organizations stay ahead of the competition in today's fast-paced market.

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