In considering the six HR trends that impact the way we work, next up is mobile, which is at the center of the hyper-connected organization we discussed in Part 1.

Gone are the days of having to sit in front of the computer to interact with systems and others in the organization. The new, hyper-connected, social workforce is spending more time on their phones, tablets and netbooks than in front of a traditional workstation. Thoughts and ideas must be captured in real time, on the ground, on the fly – wherever your employees are. The same goes for executives and management. You are expected to have the latest info, to pull the trends in real time and to interact with your employees synchronously.

How does HR fit in? Traditionally, IT has been responsible for dictating and managing company hardware. Employees are done with that. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the new trend.  What IT sees as a problem, HR can embrace as an opportunity – enabling your workforce on whatever device they choose to use.

Mobile is not an extension of your web-based HR software. Just buying the “mobile version” of your HR technology is not enough. Every HRIS, ATS or HCM vendor now tells you they have a mobile platform. Go deeper. Make sure these technologies are designed, built and proven in a mobile-first philosophy. 

Embrace location-based technology, user behavior and the need for mobility. For instance, why not provide your workforce with a tool to check- n at a conference room and give a “shout out” to a peer who’s doing a great job in a meeting? By the time they get back to their workstation, they are pulled in other directions and the moment is lost, never captured.

The cloud is now legit

The days of on-premise software are numbered. It’s the new “legacy” that makes your organization slow and old. Not because SaaS and cloud are sexy or cool, but because after two years of incredible buzz, cloud-based technologies have now proven to lower costs, are easier to implement and maintain, and are faster to deploy and adapt to change than any other current systems. In short, they align with your business goals and need for agility.

In the last year, all the top players in the enterprise and HR software industry (Oracle, SAP, Salesforce, etc.), have been busy acquiring and merging cloud-based HR technologies to beef up their cloud offerings. This is clear validation and solidification of a cloud software trend – not to mention one less excuse for HR and IT leaders to put up as a barrier.

What HR executives must watch out for:

Not all HR systems need to be moved to the cloud.  Payroll, for instance, has not changed in years. There is no need to rush to move it to the cloud. Prioritize which HR systems make sense to start migrating before you embark on this journey.

Also, do yourself a favor and involve your CFO in the decision-making process. SaaS and cloud-based technology is often priced per employee and per time period. Make sure the contract makes sense moneywise. Having the CFO on your side will speed things up.

About Rob Garcia

Rob Garcia is a Silicon Valley product executive who has helped dozens of Fortune 500 companies and startups define and execute digital product strategies. He is a product strategy and marketing consultant to RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement solutions.  This article was first published on the RiseSmart blog. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobGarciaSJ.

06 November 2012

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