ok - so there's been extra money in the HR budget for a few years as the economy is generally picking up, and HR "has a seat at the table." Years ago, HR could make purchasing decisions pretty much on their own and they would have to live with the ramifactions of bad software or vendors. This has all changed. Now that HR "has a seat at the table" and are considered "strategic" many of the larger HR purchasing decisions seem to be more regimented in the corporate purchasing policy. Gone are the days when HR is able to make quick HRMS decisions within their budget. More visible strategy work = more scrutinized purchasing and more compliance like Sarbanes Oxley = more scrutinized purchasing
All in all, it just seems to me that as HR tries to take more control over its desitiny, some of that is diluted as we get bogged down in corporate beauracracy.