Digital transformation is inevitable for companies today, irrespective of their activity sector. The HR function has recognised digital transformation as an important part of the company’s strategy and an agent of change for all employees.

But the HR has its hands tied right now and finds itself in an unstable situation. Over the last few years, several regulations have changed the way companies function by means of the social rules that have been put into effect, concerning: Data analysis, electronic reporting, economic and social databases, etc., and the upcoming simplified pay slip and retention tax. What about the new French labour law?

To add to this, there is also the never-ending French social security financing act (LFSS) that sets the tempo of our activity.

88% of the decision-makers interviewed by Markess consider digitisation to be the HR function’s top priority

88% of the decision-makers interviewed by MARKESS consider digitisation to be the HR function’s top priority

In the years when HRD was busy with administrative tasks, employees were carving an identity for themselves and evolving in areas related to BYOD, tablets, smartphones, social networks, CSR (or not), and MOOC, among others. To top things off, artificial intelligence was also making an entrance.

HRD today is faced with this new digital revolution, with highly-connected employees (ATAWAD) and a deep-rooted position at the heart of the company. The company’s HRIS can be described as the best ambassadors of change and innovation, such as:

  • Technology-based: Software, SaaS, Cloud, ERP, Best of Breed systems
  • Service-based: Managed services, outsourcing, redundancy support services
  • Organisation-/Method-based: Processes, change management

So, is HRIS a new personal assistant, or personnel’s new assistant (see the Talentsoft “2016 HR Trends” e-book)? The HRIS market1, the armed wing of HR, is at odds with the weak economic conditions present since 2008.

The HR IT sector’s excellent standing is the result of a changing function, which ensures HRs hop on the digital transformation train. This is an opportunity that the HRD must seize for its employees, in terms of both development and requirements.

What are we talking about here? HR as torch bearers for digital transformation? What about the infamous IT department? Is this now about Services versus Systems?

At a time when we’re talking about the HRD’s and IT department’s marriage of convenience, the HR function should step up their game and take charge of the company’s strategy. The latest MARKESS study on the “Keys to success for a successful HR digital strategy” states:

“88% of the decision-makers interviewed by MARKESS consider digitisation to be the HR function’s top priority. Digitisation leads to a true transformation for the company, at the heart of which HR is required to play multiple roles”.

How then can we not reflect on the relationship between the HR function and digitisation? Beyond the confusing HRD-IT affair, this digital wave also affects Marketing and Communications departments. There is fine line between marketing and HR, as the latter now resorts to social networks, user experience, and natural referencing.

HR should now rely on the HR/IS/Com&Mktg. triangle

What does the future hold for us at a time when software publishers are asking us to place our ERPs on the Cloud? Will the future be employee-centric? HR should open itself up to an ecosystem through the HRIS. Electronic reporting is moving in this direction, with transparency and communication between social protection bodies. Personal activity accounts (CPA) is another example, which helps employees review the data exchanged throughout their career.

All these new practices are driven by data.

The HRD must play a major role in digital transformation through these new missions:

  • The company’s appeal and human capital: recruiting, mobility management, talents, employee dynamic, creating loyalty, training, transfer of knowledge, and also social dialogue,
  • HR Analytics, Big Data: Manage information and model data for analysis and steering purposes,
  • Extended HRIS, transparent and collaborative,
  • System architecture and comprehensive exchanges,
  • Placing employees at the heart of the company

Digitisation transforms the function, making it the executive committee’s advisor.

Indeed, digital transformation guides the company’s strategy and questions the general management and HRD on the evolution of organisations, jobs, and work. The HRD must think about a new model suited for digitisation, one that is global, transparent, and employee-centric.

The HR goes hand in hand with jobs and organises transformation on both the managerial and cultural level.

To do this, the HRD must take on a different role and go from that of an administrator to a leader by counting on its partners, such as the IS, Marketing, and Communications departments.

So YES, HR needs to be the facilitator for a digital company.

1 “The French market for HR software and IT services was valued at over two billion euros in 2014. This is an increase of 4.4% when compared to 2013, and notably, a growth of more than 3.7 points when compared to the IT sector” (source: MARKESS)


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