With increased regional focus on enabling smart services, it is imperative that HR functions embrace technology to drive human capital development and organisational performance. However, a potential obstacle to the adoption of appropriate HR Technology or its incorrect application at business organizations is fuelled by an incomplete understanding of organizational requirements suggests Mr. Stuart Wigley, Senior HR Software Consultant at Willis Towers Watson who are a Gold Sponsor at this year’s HR Tech MENA Summit organised by QnA International, to be held in Dubai on 18-19 May 2016.
“It is easy to get caught up in the newest technology innovations and lose sight of the underlying business value that HR is tasked to deliver. Good HR technology decisions are so much more than the choice of tool. The real differentiation between HR technology projects that succeed or fail is often the other important questions’’ Mr. Wigley said, identifying a trend amongst organizations willing to ask questions of their organization’s culture, automation readiness, propensity for change and change management and employee engagement.
HR technology systems are now moulding into smart systems that are capable of analysing big data, and contain the functionalities for gamification, and mobility. For example, the big data trend in the HR function is useful for the analysing workforce demographics or projecting future workforce needs in different company models. However, Mr. Wigley again cautions by saying, “While there are many beautiful tools that can visualise HR data, the potential for big data cannot be fully realised without the right interpretation and so it takes experience to ask the right questions of the data, and draw the right conclusions.”
Another trend in HR technology is the growing preference for SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) as the delivery model for nearly every HR technology vendor because of the advantages for both the vendor and the client. While concerns about data privacy and security need to be taken seriously, vendors like Willis Towers Watson offer unprecedented levels of transparency and flexibility.
Speaking further on the trends in HR technology Mr. Wigley pointed to the rapid expansion of HR technology into mobile systems that can be accessed on any device. “When employees use laptops with touch screens or tablets with keyboards, there is really no concept of what is mobile. Smart HR technology tools, likes Willis Towers Watson’s HR Portal, use a concept called Responsive Design to detect what device it is running on and adjust the presentation of the tool automatically that do not require downloads from app stores, and cause no inconsistencies in experience across devices,’’ Mr. Wigley said.
In general, the trends in HR technology are changing the way in which HR is practiced as a discipline. “There are great opportunities to use technology to change the way that HR and employees communicate with each other. HR Portals for example combine HR policies and content, high degrees of personalization and can manage integration and authentication across a client’s full HR technology landscape. The result is a more efficient HR function and more engaged employees,” stressed Mr. Wigley.
Many organizations continue to invest in HR technology and display these trends in the MENA region despite the economic climate. “Regardless of the specific technology area, from performance management to HR Portals, there needs to be a clearly defined business case for change. In any type of economic climate, the smartest investments will be made by organisations who can quantify and articulate the benefits of what they are buying,” stressed Mr. Wigley again on the need to make informed decisions.
“We are proud to return as a Gold Sponsor at HR Tech MENA in 2016. The inaugural event in 2015 was an excellent networking and information sharing initiative and we look forward to a bigger, more successful event in 2016,’’ commented Mr. Wigley on the upcoming summit. QnA International will host the 2nd annual HR Tech MENA Summit from 18-19 May 2016 at a five-star hotel in Dubai. The by-invite only summit attracted over 250 C-level and senior level HR and IT personnel from government, state, public, and private organizations in 2015.