Article: Role of Information Technology as a facilitating tool for HR

Technology

Role of Information Technology as a facilitating tool for HR

Information technology is one thing that has practically invaded every possible profession which we can think of, be it management, medicine, Human Resources etc
Role of Information Technology as a facilitating tool for HR
 

Technology definitely is a good tool and let us leave it at that and use it as that only. Let it not become our master.

 

If we look around today we notice that technology and particularly information technology is one thing that has practically invaded every possible profession which we can think of, be it management, medicine, Human Resources, and so on.

Technology has influenced every aspect of human life, for instance in the domain of communication, email has practically made surface mail redundant, mobile phones can make us talk to any one instantly by click of a button & through video conferencing we can actually see and partially experience people whom we are talking to. In the field of teaching with the advent of e-learning, technology has tremendously increased our reach. It will not be wrong to state that as a tool it has really revived the way of living as a whole for the entire mankind.

Having said all this, we also need to take a pause, reflect & ask, is technology in general and information technology in particular is panacea to all human problems? As a HR professional I really don’t think so. I am particularly referring to this because today you do come across some highly tech savvy HR professionals who do think that technology & technology driven analytics can provide solutions to many HR problems. I am reminded of an example, when about three decades back, we were still in the era of large main frame systems like IBM 1401, Burroughs 6700 & 6800 etc., and all these IT driven applications had just started & were  in their infancy stage, one of my  colleagues from IT domain commented that in few years the whole field of HR will become redundant as technology would be able to resolve many of the HR problems, mainly because with automation requirement of such a large work force would reduce & thus one would face lesser HR problems and almost no requirement of HR professionals.

Contrary to this, the reality check tells us that technology driven organizations have thrown much more complex problems with newer HR challenges. For example, in pre-technology era one could not have imagined the kinds of problems/issues which virtual teams could have and more so if the teams are geographically at different locations, similarly the HR challenges faced by ERP implementation etc. All these kinds of interventions have led to re - examination of earlier systems and structures and adjustment problems caused by these. As a result of this some of the dormant or not so much visible HR domains like OD, L & D etc., these earlier existed in text books but were not so much in forefront as they are today. Today one does require these interventions to manage or deal with change caused by ERP etc. interventions. In fact in this sense IT/Technology has made HR much richer and meaningful.

To cut the story short, I wish as some of my young HR friends feel, that through algorithms and other analytical models we can solve all human & HR problems. I wish all kind of teaching in HR could be replaced by computers, but we must not forget that in HR/HRD/OB there are also softer emotional & feelings domains which perhaps cannot be handled by technology, in spite of the fact that even in such domains technology may provide networking platforms, but how people will use them, greatly depends on their personality and their beliefs, attitudes, values etc. As an illustration, technology has provided networking platforms like WhatsApp, hike etc., but here also it has been observed that in the case of such alumni groups, the maximum participation is by those people only who were social and active in face to face mode while in the campus. This in itself proves that to facilitate networking though technology is able to provide a platform but technology cannot go beyond this. In fact in that sense, technology is a good enabling tool, it can never be a master. HR as a domain will always have some softer and humane aspects which give HR its unique identity and let us not try to turn these into mathematical and mechanical models. The day that will happen, that would lead to robertisation and perhaps that would be the saddest day for HR as a profession as it would lose its humane touch.

Technology definitely is a good tool and let us leave it at that and use it as that only. Let it not become our master.

Read full story

Topics: Technology, Learning & Development

Did you find this story helpful?

Author


QUICK POLL

What is key to enabling a hybrid future of work?

2 months free subscription
q_auto,f_auto/v1604322197/mag-november-2020.png

Subscribe to all new People Matters HR Magazine

.

Subscribe
And Save 59% plus Two months free

Subscribe now

How likely are you to recommend our content to a friend or colleague?

01
10
Selected Score :