The right ERP platform will make all the difference to the operational efficiency of your business. However, if you’re currently looking for an ERP system, you’ll know that it’s a long-term investment and thoroughly evaluating your options against your business needs is critical. Whether you are looking to switch to a more sophisticated and integrated solution or move from on-premises to the cloud, our competitor analysis series is here to help you understand how NetSuite stacks up against leading competitors. In this article, we’ll be comparing NetSuite vs Workday.

What is Workday?

Workday is a cloud-based ERP platform offering HR, finance and corporate planning in a single solution. In 2019, Workday reported that it had 3,000 customers. It’s suited for medium to large enterprises. While it does offer some financial capabilities, Workday is primarily a human capital management solution – helping employers manage and look after their employees.

What is NetSuite?

NetSuite is an ERP system offering a suite of cloud-based applications. 24,000 fast-growing businesses across the world use it to run key back-office operations, financial business processes, HR, professional services automation and omni-channel commerce.

The real question: HCM vs ERP?

Workday is a human capital management (HCM) solution while NetSuite is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Although they have crossover functionalities, closer inspection tells another story. In fact, their intended use is largely what sets them apart.

ERP systems integrate different facets of your business -  inventory, sales, business management and accounting systems - in order to share data and workflows. This makes it easy to manage day-to-day activities such as accounting, risk management, procurement and supply chain management - and in NetSuite’s case, eCommerce as well.

Conversely, HCM systems mainly focus on people. Or rather, helping employers manage and look after their employees. An HCM is designed to automate and simplify human resource functions, such as payroll and time management.

So does that mean you need an ERP and an HCM? Not necessarily. NetSuite offers a Human Resource Management System (HRMS), SuitePeople, which connects HR and payroll data with financial, project planning, budgeting and procurement processes. This eliminates the need for multiple systems while delivering a suite of capabilities that make HR service delivery easier. In fact, here’s how we at Annexa use SuitePeople’s employee directory and organisational chart in NetSuite.

NetSuite vs Workday for extensibility

Every business is different, with its own unique processes and workflows. Deploying a solution that is flexible and agile enough to be shaped around these needs is important. Particularly as the business evolves.

NetSuite’s value is extended with thousands of SuiteApps – each assuring compliance with best practices for development, privacy and security. Need better banking integration with NetSuite? Here’s an app to help. Want to better manage product fulfilment in NetSuite? There’s an app for that too. You get the gist. In fact, at Annexa, we have a growing range of in-house NetSuite apps that we’ve developed to meet our customers’ advanced industry and business-specific needs.

Workday Extend is the nearest equivalent to NetSuite’s matured development capabilities. Companies can use the platform to build apps to run within their Workday application. However, each app must be built by the organisation on their Workday instance.

NetSuite vs Workday for eCommerce 

While Workday offers no eCommerce functionality, SuiteCommerce is NetSuite’s integrated commerce suite. It’s suitable for both B2B and B2C customers. SuiteCommerce seamlessly integrates buying and selling with core operational business systems, and is used by leading Australian retailers – and Annexa customers - including Elizabeth Machines, T2 and Aesop.

NetSuite vs Workday features





  • Human capital management
  • Talent management
  • Enterprise planning
  • Payroll and workforce management
  • Professional services automation
  • Financial management
  • Spend management
  • Analytics and reporting

eCommerce Functionality

Choose from SuiteCommerce Standard or SuiteCommerce Advanced and integrate with a range of eCommerce apps

eCommerce not included


  • Continuous, dedicated security monitoring
  • Strong 256-bit encryption
  • Role-level access and idle disconnect
  • Location-based IP address restrictions
  • Application-only access
  • Strong password rules
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) 
  • Single-Sign-On support
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Workday native login
  • Step-up authentication

Customisation and integrations

Limitless options for integrations and customisations. NetSuite Connectors allow you to connect NetSuite with hundreds of apps - no coding required.

API framework provides cloud integrations, app development and a marketplace of pre-packaged connectors.

Software subscription

Subscription-based with price protection


The final word

If you need to unify departments and streamline company-wide workflows, then NetSuite offers all the advanced capabilities, plus everything you need to manage human resources and payroll with SuitePeople. If you are more focused on improving HR management and compliance only, then you may benefit from Workday.


Annexa is a leading NetSuite partner with extensive experience designing and implementing comprehensive and customised business systems, including payroll solutionsfinancial management, warehouse management and ecommerce solutions.