Technology plays a critical and foundational role in providing human resources services. It also drives the speed of change within the workforce, with many employers invest in educating employees to demand its use to optimise work processes. In short, technology is a key driver in creating potential opportunities and success as HR prepares organisations to deliver services, as well as respond to the challenges of the future.
In the HR2020 Task Force Survey, nearly all (94 percent) of respondents indicated that technology is very important in achieving HR priorities in the next 5 years. When asked if IT systems readily provided credible information, more than half (57 percent) of respondents cite they have problems with data integrity, while half of the respondents still struggle on budget applications to meet technology needs. The inference from these results is that while technology is important, challenges such as budgeting and data integrity, are limiting the full potential technology can offer.
Looking forward to the year 2020 and beyond, the report showed that with the past as a predictor, technology solutions will continue to optimize processes and procedures as well as drive efficiency. Diverse platforms of technology that are unique and practical will yield numerous options to tailor the delivery of HR services.
Technology promises a lot and, as a result, needs and gaps must be identified, and predictive analytics should be utilized to confirm that the potential solutions offered by the platform meet the real and ongoing needs of the organization. Managing expectations will be key and performance measures should be used to validate productivity. A challenge will be getting from where an organization is today to the desired future state if resources continue to be limited by stagnant to decreasing revenue bases.
HR must manage technology in a way that balances resource constraints with business optimization. With an evolving marketplace, current jobs will be disappearing and new jobs and approaches will be appearing. Research suggests that children being educated now will perform work in the future that has not yet been created. This introduces the question, “What will the government workforce look like in the future?” The most possible predictions are that technology will influence how work evolves, how applicants’ skills and abilities are presented in future, and how motivated employees are to work for a particular organisation.
Moreover, human resource information systems will continue to become more sophisticated and robust, offering HR professionals the opportunity to collect and leverage data to drive business decisions and create strategic initiatives, while issues with data will continue to be at the forefront.
Organizations will require more accurate, transparent, current and relevant data to drive business decisions. Tech-savvy employees will demand the ability to manipulate data through more intuitive and user-centric platforms. There will be pressure to use data to drive predictive analytics rather than lagging measures. Data security, including the protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) will be paramount. Data Integrity, including the identification and correction of errors in HR databases, will continue to be problematic until systematic approaches to data quality management are incorporated into business processes.
Noting the importance of technology that shape future business sectors, HR professionals must become knowledgeable in how technology can be used to enhance productivity and business outcomes – as it is a key component of business acumen for the 21st century. Understanding cost drivers, organizational impact, and resource constraints will allow an HR professional to develop effective technology initiatives to meet the needs of their organisation.