From the growth of new business model innovations to competitive and personalized employee programs, social perceptions of an organization and technological innovations, the Human Resources industry is undergoing massive changes. Theresa D‘silva, Head-ITO-HR Global Centre for Asia & Pacific explains how a well-equipped ITO-HR unit can act as an enabling partner for HR and a catalyst that promotes and adopts market best practices to embrace emerging technologies and co-innovate futuristic solutions.
There are huge changes witnessed in the Human Resources industry today – first, there is a growth of new business model innovations which means a shift from the traditional employer-employee relationship towards a more diverse workforce ecosystem (for example, an increase in contractors, freelancers and gig workers).
Second, there is an increasing focus on competitive advantage through reward programs, performance integration, personalization of benefits and investment on well-being programs. In simple words, an incentive program that appeals to a 22-year-old may not exhibit the same effect on a 35-year-old and hence a company’s reward program needs to cater to different demographics.
Third, emerging generations are challenging the traditional career paths with a rising demand on personal interests, developing through cross-functional experiences and continuous reskilling. Very often you see employees moving across functions from human resources to finance to marketing – slowly and steadily building their experience laterally before making the big leap vertically. In short, there is an emphasis on continuous re-skilling.
Fourth, are the socio-economic changes where investment companies monitor the perception of a company’s strategy by the society and rising expectations on corporate social responsibility. Additionally, candidates like to join organizations known for their strong social program.
Lastly, technological innovations enable the use of artificial intelligence, robotics, data integration, analytics & integration platforms and hence the technical foundation and level of data integration becomes key for a data-driven company.
Enabling the Human Resources Organization
Here’s where we come in. We are enabling partner for the HR organization, while incubating intelligent solutions that accelerate digital transformation across global HR function. We act as a catalyst by promoting and adopting market best practices and actively engaging with partner ecosystems and providers to embrace emerging technologies and co-innovate futuristic solutions.
The team for ITO-HR (or Information Technology Operations – Human Resources) was set up in 2010 with a vision to implement SAP HR module for India. In the due course of time, ITO-HR started engaging in IT operations for global HR processes to deliver varied services and solutions throughout employee lifecycle. In 2017, we strengthened our partner ecosystem by transitioning application management services and focusing on strategic and business consulting. Today, ITO-HR covers a wide portfolio based on the employee life cycle and comprising of HR processes along the supply chain from ‘Talent Attraction & Sourcing’ and ‘Recruiting & Onboarding’ to ‘Employee Relations’, ‘Talent Development & Performance’, ‘Reward & Retention’ and ‘Re-deploy & Retirement’.
Our Digital Transformation Journey
Working in a dynamic industry also means that you must constantly innovate and upgrade yourselves in order to respond to emerging HR and business operation trends as well as prepare for further developments in the future. Our digital transformation journey is focused on developing an ecosystem, Cloud first-Enterprise Architecture, Agility & Speed and Workforce Transition.
In simple words, it means strengthening our ecosystem, so that we are not limiting ourselves to internal competencies, but rather relying on open innovation and a collaborative approach to solving complex problems and creating new services. Over time, cloud computing will become the dominant delivery model for HR business processes and for a successful cloud transformation, we will need a strategy that encompasses four different components: Replace, Refactor, Rehost or Remain.
Further, agility and speed have become the new norm. Agility started in IT as a method for developing software but is now transforming the way many organizational functions work. Rather than striving to produce a perfect solution, agile HR and IT teams aim for a ‘minimal viable product’ that can be released to the market quickly and then be refined and enhanced in subsequent phases based on user feedback. The new paradigm is ‘speed over perfection’ where we learn and adapt by experimenting and fast deployments. For HR, it means continuing to provide the same services as always – i.e. hiring, professional development, performance management, etc. – but in ways that are far more responsive to the changing needs of internal customers.
Lastly, digital does not only impact highly visible aspects like, systems and infrastructure but also less tangible and equally important aspects like vision, values, culture and leadership. It means not only transforming business with the latest digital applications but also adopting a digital mindset at work. Further, as digital technology redefines the way work is done in every job, the distinction between ‘business jobs’ and ‘IT jobs’ is fading. In order to proactively overcome these challenges successfully, an organization needs to pay attention to workforce transition and the impact on roles, competencies, and skills in the years ahead.
What’s in the pipeline?
Firstly, we have implemented a ‘Talent Intelligence Platform’ in few countries that leverages on the identification of internal talents and their capabilities, external talent screening and candidate relationship management as well as prediction of the flight risk of existing employees through artificial intelligence (AI). This will have a huge impact on talent management at the workplace. Secondly, we are enhancing the ‘Digital Total Reward Experience’ by personalizing rewards & recognition as well as moments that matter through state-of-the-art IT applications. Lastly, we are implementing solutions that will help manage the future ‘Diverse Workforce Ecosystems’ which range from full-time workers to freelancers, gig workers, and task or project-centric crowds.
At the end of the day, digital transformation to us is all about being more agile and inclusive. It is also about strengthening capability and leadership while shaping HR through disruptive business model innovations and technology advancements to foster employer value proposition and enriching the employee experience beyond expectations.