HR leaders have been discussing about transforming the function for years, whether it is about reducing costs or improving productivity and efficiency. These initiatives can’t succeed in isolation and have to be tied to business objectives to succeed. But transforming the HR function is not just about making it more effective, it is about creating the value for business.
Today, many organizations look at adopting technologies without first addressing the most basic questions there is: What is the business problem that the organization is trying to solve through the technology? What is the business need for change? What are the business problems that we are trying to tackle? What is the strategy? Who will be involved in executing this strategy? The business leaders need to clear about what is that they are trying to solve before the discussion on how to leverage technology even begins. And therein began our journey to find out what the business community is looking at when they talk about technology.
As a part of our build-up for the TechHR Conference 2015, we started a series of conversations with the CXOs of various companies across industries to capture the burning issues that ail organizations today and how HR can address those issues through technology. We wanted the TechHR Conference 2015, which is scheduled on the 19th and 20th of August in Gurgaon, to address those concerns and issues. The Conference with the theme “Diving on Digital” will be the largest confluence of Business, HR and Technology leaders in the country and will bring speakers from across the world.
In each of these conversations, we asked the leaders to share their questions, dilemmas, challenges with the intent to bring together answers, along with an opportunity to build perspectives. The objective is to co-create the agenda for the conference, by the community for the community.
Here are some of the questions from our 1st roundtable discussion:
- The need and strategy for technology adoption and digitization. From leaders, managers and HR to the employees themselves – how comfortable are we with using technology at work? Technology innovations are rampant today and the organizations are unable to keep up with them. The questions are — Who is the customer for HR technology? What are their needs and their priorities? Who will be the owner of this change? Who are the stakeholders? How to initiate change? How do we mitigate risks of failed technology adoption?
- Is ROI of HR technology just a number? Building a business case is not just about coming up with a number, but it is about identifying the problems of the organization and how it is trying to solve them along with ascertaining how technology or digitalization can contribute towards a solution.
- Output: Productivity, connect, learning, collaboration and more. Diversified and globalized workforce, complexity of information and specialized skillsets along with decision-making power demand a decentralized power of communication, collaboration and learning. How can technology enable that? What has and can work?
- Challenges: Tech gap between buyer and user of HR Technology. Younger generation today form a greater part of the workforce and are expert users of technology. However, the older generation leads and manages this younger generation. This dichotomy creates a difference when buying decisions and familiarity related to technology is concerned. Is there a disconnect between what we are buying and what users want?
- HR Transformation: Leveraging technology and analytics for a step change in the HR Function. What does HR transformation mean in our context? What capabilities does the HR need for the future? How do we build predictability in HR levers? Do we go incremental or disruptive? What will work for our business needs? Who are the stakeholders of HR transformation?
Join us at #TechHR15 on twitter to share your organization’s burning issues — Questions that matter to you and would like the conference to address.
Also share your ideas on how to make this conference more relevant and impactful.
Acknowledgement to Pranav Gupta, People Matters, for his support in putting this article together.
Special thanks to our advisory group in Mumbai for their invaluable inputs. Rajesh Lele, Seema Arora Nambiar, Kavi Arasu, Alok Sheopurkar, Ratish Jha, Sanjay Sinha, Rajit Paliat, Kedar Teny, Rajat grover, Kenneth Sequeira, Sujeet Kothare, Lekha Bajpai, Tooba Modassir, Anant Kisabhatla, Dipak Nair, Anvesha Singh, Udayan Dutt, Jahann Vaucanson