More companies in Asia Pacific are considering SaaS for HR management, according to an annual survey conducted by Towers Watson, a professional service company.

The 17th annual HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey, conducted in March 2014, indicated that 46% of Asia Pacific companies are adopting the HR-related manager self-service software, an increase from 35% last year.

The adoption rate is relatively low compared with Europe (53%) and North America (71%). But 78% of APAC organizations that have decided the type of technologies they will adopt have chosen SaaS, the survey shows. Respondents cited better functionality as the major expected benefit.

Among the companies that are planning to change their HR structure, 54% are doing it to seek greater efficiencies, while just under half (45%) cite quality improvements. More than a third of respondents (37%) cited a change of business strategy as the reason.

According to Towers Watson, the main providers in the region include SAP's SuccessFactors, Oracle's HCM Cloud and Workday.

The Asia Pacific findings appear to match with the global average. The study -- which surveyed 1,048 companies with 523 of them based in the region--indicates that one-third (33%) of the respondents are planning to increase spending in HR technology. Some 40% are saying they are considering SaaS as their only solution. Nearly half of the respondents (46%) reported using mobile technologies for HR transactions, an increase from 36% in 2013.

"Companies are seeing the value that smartphone and other consumer-grade technology brings to HR, with an increased appetite to make strategic investments that can adapt and grow with the business over time," said Jonathan Lo, regional practice leader- HR service delivery Asia Pacific, Towers Waston.

"We attribute this shift to high-impact HR investments, such as streamlining business processes and implementing manager self-service, to a commitment towards running the HR function more like a business."