Technology Drives Major Changes to HR

By Samuel Greengard

The human resources function is undergoing major transformative change as a result of information technology, according to a March report from Deloitte Consulting. The convergence of several key technologies—including social media and mobility, clouds and analytics—is creating an array of new challenges and opportunities.

The report, “Human Capital Trends 2012: Leap Ahead,” found that marquee issues include a focus on growth, growing globalization and a need for a stronger leadership pipeline. “The confluence of transformative technologies requires HR organizations to step up and help build the capabilities needed to effectively harness their power,” notes Barbara Adachi, national managing director of Deloitte’s Human Capital practice and co-author of the report.

According to Deloitte, the next 18 to 24 months will bring significant change to HR. Developing and implementing a strategy for mobile devices and social media is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity, Adachi says. Less than 15 percent of business executives view social media as a fad. In fact, these technologies are now transforming HR portals into social platforms for organizational interaction.

Cloud services will also play a key role in the transformation of business and HR. Deloitte states that it’s critical to “acquire and develop the cloud-savvy talent needed to capitalize on the full potential of cloud services.” Consequently, the consulting firm recommends that organizations focus on creating a “cloud culture” and making changes “to align the workforce with the new strategic vision and delivery model.”

A third IT area, analytics, is also critical to success. “Despite the proliferation of HR management and enterprise resource planning systems and data, many companies still lack important insights about people-related business issues,” the report notes.

Deloitte says that advanced analytics is increasingly necessary to identify talent supply and demand based on a wide array of factors that are as diverse as customer demand forecasts and new home construction. Analytics can also help identify critical workforce segments based on current and future business requirements.

In the end, organizations must tap into these three key technology areas along with talent to create greater overall value. “In 2012, HR organizations and businesses will require a combination of human capital investments to drive breakthrough performance,” said Michael Gretczko, a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of the report.


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