Why analytics isn’t the answer for driving HR transformation

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Partner, Talent & Change Public Sector Leader, IBM

The emergence and disruption of innovative technologies is not only changing the way we do business, but also how we develop and focus our workforce. In a recent study from the IBM Institute for Business Value, chief executive officers (CEOs) predict that technology will be the most powerful driver of business and strategy. This study merely quantifies what we already know: the significance of technology is permeating and influencing every aspect of the global market. The introduction of social, mobile and analytics has democratized the client relationship and, in response, companies are asking themselves how to leverage these new capabilities to drive customer insight, promote customer engagement and grow their customer base.

How do we adapt to successfully meet these challenges? What is our strategy? Where do we begin?

I strongly believe that the answer to these questions is in the development and management of our talent and workforce. The world of HR transformation and analytics is experiencing an exciting time. HR garners valuable insight from predictive modeling, such as forecasting skill requirements with customer demands and supporting the ability to match the appropriate talent supply.

The power of workforce analytics can enhance employee engagement and talent retention, promote workforce productivity and provide a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing. For example, IBM’s Cloud Applications for HR Services optimizes software-as-a-service (SaaS)–based delivery for Workday and SAP SuccessFactors. Through advanced analytics and reporting structures, the customizable cloud solution enables HR to make strategic and informed decisions, provides valuable insights for organizational design and transformation, and reduces operational costs.

In this arena of innovation, effective process tools, and predictive insight into expected business needs and solutions, why are workforce analytics not enough for business organizations to successfully adapt to our current technological landscape? One of the most valuable lessons I have learned and continue to observe throughout my career is the importance of a strong advocate to create change. Every business, agency and organization requires a leader to champion a successful transformation. Workforce analytics are powerful tools that create opportunities for both talent and customer growth; however, people implement effective and lasting change.

According to the IBM study, New Expectations for a New Era: Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) Insights from the Global C-Suite Study, HR is not viewed as an equitable stakeholder in a company’s planning and development. In contrast to 72 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) and 63 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs), a mere 35 percent of CHROs worked with senior executives to formulate their businesses strategy. The lack of CHRO involvement and support is a systemic problem that serves as an impediment to business optimization.

CHROs are key partners in the development of our workforce and talent. To truly leverage the benefits of mobile, social and analytics to enhance a customer-centric model, we need to offer CHROs a bigger seat at the table.

Learn more about successfully developing and managing talent and workforce.