About one-third of Asia Pacific-based companies plan to make significant changes to their human resources strategies in the coming days to improve operational efficiency, a survey report said.

A majority of Asia Pacific-based companies are seeking greater efficiencies to improve the processes within the function, global professional services company Towers Watson said in its survey.

The 2013 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey, which covered 1,025 companies, including 578 based in Asia Pacific, found that 33 per cent of the respondents are likely to make a change to their HR structure by the end of the next year. While 51 per cent of companies in Asia Pacific already have a defined HR strategy in place, a further 31 per cent of entities plan to implement such strategies within the next 18 months.

Among companies changing their HR structure, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) are doing so to realise further operational efficiencies, over half (52 per cent) are doing so to improve quality and 38 per cent are pursuing a change in business strategy or seeking to achieve cost savings (24 per cent).

“Without question, HR service delivery is in a state of change,” Towers Watson’s Asia Pacific HR Service Delivery practice director Robert Zampetti said.

“What is really interesting is the continued trend towards replacing core HR systems, and a willingness to invest in new technology and a growing shift towards software-as-a-service,” he added. For the Asia-Pacific region, the survey said the spending on HR technology remains steady and strong despite cost reductions in other areas of HR.

More than half of organisations (53 per cent) indicated that their investment in HR technology this year will match last year’s investment levels, while more than a quarter (27 per cent) will either increase or significantly increase their HR technology investments.