It is that time of year again when the common questions people ask us at Knowledge Infusion is to help them create a business case; which far too often is a HR case, as to where they should budget and focus their efforts around resourcing and spend for the following year. Each year, this question is answered based on the organizations corporate and HR strategy and how to best align to those strategies when it comes to Workforce Technology, but as we move into 2013, there are three key areas that I would say must be on the minds of all looking at their spend in 2013 and beyond.
- Talent Management “Re-do” – This is still an area where most organizations have only scratched the surface by digitizing old, manual processes that do not make sense for 2013 and beyond. It is a must for every HR exec and their support HR process and technology organization to “re-invent” talent management in a way that supports their business objectives going forward. This will more than likely mean the need to break their existing recruiting process, break their existing performance appraisal process and break the silos that exist among all areas of talent management. We as an industry are in a very precarious position where many of us have invested in technologies to support future, relevant talent management processes but are using the technology to support old, dated and irrelevant processes that the business is ready to jettison. A talent management strategy and yes, “reimplementation” of your existing technology is a must as we enter 2013 including planning for the infusion of collaboration and big data technologies into your talent management plans. If organizations ignore this in 2013, they will find them entering 2014 in a severe disadvantage to their competition and that is bad in an era of “talent stealing” that we are in today.
- Workforce 2020 – The future of work including the expectations, technology literacy, expectations, device usage, focus on networks vs. hierarchies, globalization, agility, focus on engagement and a realization that by 2015, over 50% of the workforce will be millennials means that if HR doesn’t address its policies, processes and tools to make them Workforce 2020 “approved and adopted” over the next 2-3 years will find them severely disadvantaged and find themselves in catch-up mode compared to their competition. To me, Workforce 2020 is similar to what Y2K was to IT. Significant planning, transformation and focus on what the future of work needs to look like and the role that HR will play by deploying tools and processes that engage this new workforce are not only nice to have but mandatory. If this is not part of your 2013 plan, you are already significantly behind and in danger of waking up sometime towards the end of 2013 panicking on how you will adopt your function for the future.
- The Cloud is Now. Every HR function should be focused on moving their delivery model of HR and Workforce facing applications to the cloud. There is no longer any need for servers at your facility (with some exceptions around security issues that some organizations have). The agility that cloud based applications provide is the “relief and saving grace” that HR has been looking for over the past 25 years in freeing itself from having to support hardware and databases and puts HR in a position to truly design solutions that meet the need of the business. It is “essential” for every organization worldwide to understand the impact of the cloud and make plans to transition to a cloud based delivery model in the next 1-3 years. This is not easy and shouldn’t be a rash decision, but one that requires thinking, planning and focus to ensure that the shift from on-premise to cloud is not just a lift and shift, rip and replace but truly a transformation of how work gets done in the organization now and into the future. The combination of applications today combined with great cloud based integration and application development provides organizations with “no excuse” to not be moving forward to a model that allows them to focus on the strategic, remove emphasis on technical “babysitting” and focuses HR on driving both Talent Management and Workforce 2020 capabilities as being demanded by the business.
This is hardly a comprehensive list of where and how to spend your money and budget in 2013 but I will tell you as someone who has been involved in looking into the future for the past 15 years in the HR space, the future has never been more clear and the path to success has never been more prescribed. A focus on the above will guarantee your success, a focus on picking the right vendor, worrying about a RFP or waiting for a vendor to get their “act” together; will more than likely cost you years in strategic capability and more than likely your job.
Another infusion of knowledge…