Article: Effect of SMAC on talent & HR


Effect of SMAC on talent & HR

Hirak Kayal, VP – Applications Outbound Product Management, Oracle India, explains how SMAC has disrupted the customer experience for HR
Effect of SMAC on talent & HR

Traditional business applications fail most of the time in terms of driving the outcome in an organization as the employee adoption rate is low


Oracle has a very different view of SMAC from the rest of the world. While Social, Mobile and Analytics today are integrated with business applications and are changing the way we do business, Cloud is essentially a delivery mechanism but is essential to accelerate the pace of adoption of SMAC.

The growth rate of social adoption in India is highest in the world at 37 per cent year-on-year. At the same time, penetration in India is only 7.7 per cent, while the worldwide average is 22-23 per cent. But, there is a huge potential for India to grow as a market for business applications, where social will be an embedded functionality, as the user base is huge and can grow tremendously.

From an Oracle standpoint, it is not just an integration of a business application, but embedding it with the application itself especially in HR processes such as talent acquisition and employee engagement. If you compare the stock valuations of the S&P 500 companies and top 100 employers in the world with best in class employee engagement score, you would notice that the top 100 employers have been doing far better than the S&P 500 companies in the past decade.

Traditional business applications fail most of the time in terms of driving the outcome in an organization because the employee adoption rate has been quite low and they have not been trained on how to use those applications. So the question arose as to why business applications are not as engaging as Facebook or LinkedIn? We try to embed social channels in our Cloud HR applications and employees find those applications much more engaging, thereby increasing their adoption. This is how Social drives the adoption of business applications.

Not having embedded real time Analytics is like surgery being done blind-folded

Coming to analytics, the way it has been used is like carrying out surgery blind-folded. Take for example performance evaluation. Most of the companies today use the Bell Curve to measure performance. Through that, you will not know whether increasing or decreasing the rating of a person will have an impact on attrition of those measured employees. There is no real-time analytics to connect the attrition rate with their rating, or to find out how it impacts their performance or what it means when you say you want to change the rating or the compensation during such rating exercises.

In the absence of embedded real-time analytics in HR operations or strategic HR transactions are like doing the surgery blindfolded. So, finally you end up doing the postmortem to figure out what went wrong with your decision. We provide embedded analytics in the HR applications, which answers a lot of questions like what will happen if you change the compensation, location or manager of the particular employee and how does it impact the performance of the employee. This is the indirect outcome of analytics that you don’t measure, which drives the adoption of the HR system and thereby the embedded analytics.


The size of the mobility market is about $700 million, but penetration is just 50-51 per cent in India whereas it is 70 per cent in China. In the last few years, we have seen substantial growth in this space as companies have started the trend of BOYD (Bring Your Own Device), which significantly drives the productivity of the employees. For example, earlier you could access your office emails only during office hours on your office laptop. Since BYOD started, employees can now access office emails beyond working hours and that has increased productivity by at least 30 per cent. Employees found that by doing so they could get approvals faster, conduct analytics on their device and even do customer analyses.

In India, the adoption of such technologies is seeing a significant rate of growth and companies are increasingly discussing social, mobile and analytics capabilities with potential customers. Globally, the adoption rate is much faster especially in North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Effect on talent market and HR

There are two ways it affects the talent market. One is from a user perspective, while the other is from an IT perspective. In the former, the user base doesn’t need training as the current generation is very socially savvy. But, they too are looking for such functionality being embedded in the applications.

From the IT perspective, there is an impact as modern platforms for mobile, social content and analytics are being developed and you will need skillsets in these areas. They will soon become a challenge for on-premise deployment. If you talk about Cloud deployment, the need for such skillsets would reduce drastically.

SMAC has changed the way we do business and hence disruptions in the space are bound to happen. Disruption has been the most in customer experience: The entire way you carry out your business, be it customer service, commercial transaction, marketing and sales automation has changed. The second major space disrupted would be HR. The maximum impact has been on three major areas: The recruitment space; talent and performance management where analytics is playing a very significant role; and operational space such as employee engagement, which I think is relatively slower compared to the former two pillars of HR.

SMAC has made the employees smarter whether they are using it through business applications or consumer applications. Business becomes smarter when they think out of the box and have applications where Social, Mobile and Analytics is embedded.

As told to Anu Babu Kurian

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Topics: Technology, Talent Acquisition, #HRIndustry

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