How Digital Transformation Effects Human Resources

How Digital Transformation Effects Human Resources

“Human Resources is being pushed to take on a larger role in helping organizations digitally transform. HR leaders are exploring new technologies, platforms, and ways of working”

HR is undergoing rapid and profound change. Once viewed as a support function that managed benefits and delivered employee services, HR is now being asked to help lead the digital transformation within their organization and these three area’s are driving that change 1:

  • Digital workforce: How can organizations drive new management practices, a culture of innovation and collaboration?
  • Digital workplace: How can organizations design a working environment that enables productivity; uses modern communication tools (such as Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, and many others); and promotes engagement, wellness, and a sense of purpose?
  • Digital HR: How can organizations change the HR function itself to operate in a digital way, use digital tools and apps to deliver solutions, and continuously experiment and innovate?

This shift is happening rapidly, as HR leaders are being pushed to take on a larger role in helping to drive the organization to digitally transform

  • Fifty-six percent of companies surveyed this year are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools.
  • Fifty-one percent of companies are currently in the process of redesigning their organizations for digital business models.
  • Thirty-three percent of surveyed HR teams are using some form of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver HR solutions, and 41 percent are actively building mobile apps to deliver HR services.

Today, HR’s focus has shifted toward building out their technology to support future growth. Companies are hiring young, digitally savvy workers who are comfortable doing things themselves and sharing information in a transparent way. They want an integrated, digital experience at work—one designed around teams, productivity, and empowerment—and HR is expected to deliver it.


While none of HR’s prior responsibilities has gone away, HR departments today are under pressure to rewrite the rules by redesigning talent practices, from recruiting to leadership to performance management; by experimenting with digital apps; and by building a compelling employee experience. All this must be done with a focus on redesigning the organization around teams, implementing analytics and organizational network analysis, and driving a global focus on diversity, culture, learning, and careers.

Digital Transformation within HR is built on innovation and experimentation. As companies become networks and the employee base becomes both older and younger, new approaches are needed in almost every organization.

Design thinking has gone mainstream. Rather than deliver HR programs designed around legacy business processes, HR teams now study employee needs across all segments: hourly workers, salaried employees, managers, executives. Instead of traditional career models, HR is offering journey maps and replacing complex processes with local practices based on an integrated platform.

Digital HR requires digital technology expertise. While cloud-based HR systems brought tremendous value to organizations, they are no longer enough. Today, HR teams are rethinking their solutions in the context of workflow-embedded apps; this means using the cloud as a “platform” and building on it for company-specific needs.

The vendor market is reinventing itself: A new breed of HR products and solutions is coming to market, many built around mobile apps, AI, and consumer-like experiences. These tools are enabling HR to become near-real time.

As digital HR takes hold and HR organizations become more platform based, business partners are becoming more digitally empowered and able to spend more time within the business.

Transparency is becoming a standard in the world of HR and talent acquisition. In compensation, Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth and LinkedIn’s Salary were launched this year, joining vendors such as and Payscale, which crowdsource compensation data for anyone to see. By collecting anonymous data on tens of thousands to millions of salaries, these tools let workers compare their salary against those for similar jobs by city, tenure, industry, and even company.

Digital Beginnings

  • What is your mission: HR today must define its role as the team that helps management and employees rapidly transform and adapt to the digital way of thinking. Familiarize yourself with networked organization structures, organizational network analysis, and digital leadership models.
  • Upgrade your technology: Replace legacy systems with an integrated cloud platform for a sound digital infrastructure. Upgrade old tools for learning, recruiting, and performance management, and bring in systems that are easy for employees to use.
  • Develop a multiyear HR technology strategy: In today’s rapidly changing HR technology world, it’s important to build a multiyear strategy that includes cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, apps, analytics, and a range of tools for AI, case management, and other solutions.
  • Build a digital HR team: Dedicate resources internally or externally to explore new vendor solutions or build custom ones, and consider AI or Machine Learning solutions to improve service delivery, recruiting, and learning.
  • Create a Knowledge base and leverage it organization wide: Focus efforts on the employee experience, analytics, culture, and the sharing of knowledge and resources. Make sure these teams communicate and collaborate well and leverage the knowledge of their peers industry wide.
  • Make innovation a core strategy within HR: Think outside of the box, push yourself to innovate. Investigate new technologies and tools in recruiting, including using predictive analytics to find people who have the same characteristics of high performers already within your organization.

Looking Ahead

HR has an opportunity to help lead digital transformation, HR teams that embrace digital platforms, will be better positioned to make a significant impacts within their own company by enabling employee success across their company.

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1.Excerpts for this article taken from Deloitte Platforms, people, and work – 2017 Global Human Capital Trends


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