Looking Forward: 5 IT Trends that will Impact HR in 2013
Technological advances taking place today are changing the way business is being conducted, from neighborhood grocery stores to global corporations. IT’s efforts affect every aspect of business, including accounting software, payroll processing and 24/7 security systems monitoring. As a provider of advanced business productivity solutions, let’s take a peek ahead to see what 2013 will offer for businesses in general, and HR in particular.
Businesses Need To Be Agile
The rapidly-changing economic environment requires faster decision-making, and better alignment with the needs of the business – this is especially true for HR. The separation between strategy and technology is disappearing, with business applications doing more and more of the heavy lifting when it comes to analysis. This makes it imperative to perform in-depth product research before choosing business and HR applications. Laggards in decision-making and analytics usage will stand to lose out on business opportunities, while agile businesses that leverage the full scope of analytics and business data will be able to respond faster and be more flexible to changes dictated by the marketplace.
The Cloud Is Here To Stay
Cloud-based time and attendance software systems have been great drivers of change and efficiency in recent years. Forward-looking businesses have made big strides in moving critical business data offsite for better data security and reduced reliance on in-house hardware, software and skilled staff to maintain them. Just like Netflix and Apple’s iTunes have revolutionized movie rentals and the music business with their cloud-based business models, applications that are being deployed from the cloud today are leading to major changes in the worldwide implementation and delivery of business functions. Far from being just a technological advancement, the cloud is also a functional driver of business change, and stands to be the primary delivery model for business and HR applications in the next few years.
The widespread growth of smartphone usage in the past 3 or 4 years has liberated millions of workers from their desktop business applications and allowed them to access mobile applications. This growth in smartphone usage has been accompanied by large numbers of office workers taking advantage of liberal BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, which further blurs the gap between traditional office use-only laptops, tablet devices and smartphones. Employees nowadays are not only experienced with their own consumer technologies being used at the workplace, but also expect management to allow them to update their timesheets remotely, respond to emails on handheld devices, and chat and hold meetings on-the-fly. With the prevalence of BYOD policies, social networking and cloud technologies are increasingly being used for business purposes, often leaving behind the traditional IT department when it comes to using services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Social Enterprise Comes Of Age
With the growth of professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, HR managers find it easier to bypass the old methods of recruiting—such as campus visits, online and offline advertising, and attending job fairs. This new method of reaching out to—and hiring—qualified candidates was not created by IT departments, but by the need of HR managers to rely on the most convenient and cost-effective tools available to get the job done. Not only did they lead the way in using social and business networking services, they forced managers and IT staffers to accept and encourage these new ways of reaching out to potential employees. This vastly streamlined and sped up the process of talent acquisition and onboarding.
Local Expertise, Global Deployment
Just as the growth of the British Empire made English the international language of commerce in the 19th century, the growth of the Internet has created enticing new opportunities for people around the world to learn about and utilize the latest trends in business. HR managers are no longer confined to searching for workers with the right skills and experience in a single geographical zone. Now they can attract the best and brightest talent from faraway locations, and even conduct interviews through videoconferencing applications.
Today, it’s not only recruitment that happens internationally, but also the deployment of business and HR applications such as timekeeping software, and more. Cloud-based applications have helped set companies free of geographic limitations and permitted the best processes and solutions to thrive in an international market. This has leveled the playing field when it comes to acquiring both human and technological resources, which has resulted in greater overall success.