The HR technology guide

With the economy picking up and the pace of change showing no sign of slowing, there has never been a better time for HR to become more tech-savvy and take more control of technology

Consider this: in 1975, a supercomputer cost £300 million. Today, the most ‘souped-up’ iPhone 5 costs about £700, and delivers the same performance and power. If, like 72% of the UK population, you own a smartphone, you are carrying a supercomputer in your pocket.

While it can be easy to dismiss the ‘next big thing’ as merely hype when a new ‘life-changing’ gadget is released every few months, it cannot be ignored that technologies now exist with the potential to fundamentally disrupt how we live and work. A 2013 report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) on disruptive tech identified 12 breakthroughs, including the mobile web, the automation of knowledge work, the ‘internet of things’, the cloud, advanced robotics, autonomous vehicles and 3D printing.

What does this mean for HR? Well, some of these technologies are already impacting the function. The mobile web and cloud technology, for example, have been driving thinking around bring your own device, flexible working and HCM for a while, and it would be hard to find a company that isn’t addressing these areas.

HR directors need to consider what the future of work could look like and begin to plan for the decade ahead. But the need for HR to take a lead in technology is about more than just tools; it’s about behaviour. It’s no longer enough for IT to implement technology and HR to write a policy around it. Every data breach and social media scandal is down to people; technology is merely a conduit. And HR must be involved in communicating collaborative and self-service systems, or the organisation risks no one using them.

In this guide, we explore disruptive tech’s impact on the world of work, today and tomorrow.

Going Forward

Over the past 10 years, talent management has made a critical shift from an art to a science

Blurred lines and empowerment

The prevalence of smartphones, ubiquity of social media and desire for an ideal work-life balance are combining to force a change in how firms operate, both internally and externally, writes KATIE JACOBS

Youth appeal

Oracle’s EMEA VP of HR Vance Kearney explains how the tech giant is striving to keep its vast workforce fresh in evolving markets. By ARVIND HICKMAN

Clear line of sight

Data analytics is not for the faint-hearted, so we have compiled a step-by-step guide to getting it right, from establishing objectives to presenting your findings. By Jessica Twentyman

Winning the game

Gamification is a vibrant way to engage employees, reward performance and boost results, especially among younger generations. By Scott Beagrie

What does HR look like in the future?

HR seems to be in a constant state of flux, and those who witnessed the rebranding from personnel may be wondering if another seismic shift is around the corner, driven by technology. HYWEL ROBERTS identifies four potential HR roles of the future

The right tool for the job

Spanning L&D, performance, workforce management and engagement, real-time technology allows HR to immediately identify issues and act on them, writes SCOTT BEAGRIE

Head in the cloud

The rise of cloud-based HCM apps provided by external third parties, rather than the internal IT team, means more power for HR to take control of projects, finds JESSICA TWENTYMAN

Ride the wave

The digital revolution is at the heart of changes in most industries and is profoundly changing the relationship that businesses have with their consumers.