There are two “game-changing” trends in HCM technology which will have a significant impact upon both the HR function and the broader enterprise of the future, according to Oracle.
The first most significant trend is that HCM technology is becoming more intuitive, personalised and intelligent – much like technology has developed for a wider consumer audience in recent times.
“All of those things that we expect from the consumer application space are being driven into the business process enterprise space for HR,” said Andrew Lafontaine, general manager HCM applications, Oracle ANZ.
While this in itself is a good thing for HR, he said this is a game-changer as it actually allows organisations to manage their workforce strategically.
“So these enhancements in business processes allow us to build two things: a really comprehensive talent profile of the employees in the organisation, which then allows us to manage the workforce in a more strategic way – right across the organisation,” said Lafontaine.
While there will always be continual improvements in HCM technology and associated functions such as learning, he said actual improvements to the broader processes themselves are less common.
“So this is not just about having a better learning and development offering, or better performance management processes; it’s about allowing the organisation to manage their workforce in a more holistic and focused way,” said Lafontaine.
“Organisations have bought HCM platforms and they have certainly automated processes and made them better – and that’s the first reason they bought them, but now it’s moving towards the question of how do we manage our workforce strategically?”
“HCM technology has got to go beyond the traditional HR verticals and help HR impact the broader enterprise”
The second major HCM technology trend revolves around engagement, and Lafontaine said many companies are seriously re-evaluating how they motivate and engage employees to deliver better performance – and the role of technology in the process.
“Everybody keeps talking about engagement, but no-one is actually doing anything tangible in this space in terms of how we manage and drive it, and most importantly, how we report on the analytics and whether or not we’re making some in-roads on the engagement front,” he said.
This is a particular focus for Oracle in terms of applications as well as broader HCM technology, according to Lafontaine, who gave the example of its work/life apps (which encourage employees to actively improve their health and wellbeing) as well as volunteering apps (which allow organisations to track, manage and monitor all volunteering activity).
“I don’t know an organisation now that hasn’t got some sort of volunteering program, probably managed on spreadsheets or in an ad hoc way,” said Lafontaine, who added that HR professionals don’t necessarily just want to be working on the traditional HR verticals.
“They want to move the organisation forward, whether that be through performance, engagement or other ways,” he said.
“They want to start to really impact and influence the organisation in those ways, so HCM technology has got to go beyond the traditional HR verticals and help HR impact the broader enterprise and then seamlessly integrate into their overall offering to the organisation.
“This is not about having the application for the sake of it, but it’s about being able to report on analytics and drive insight – all the while linking this back to business benefit, and that’s where I see HCM technology is moving.”
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