In pursuit of technology

If technology was the solution to our problems, we’d be far closer to wrapping our heads around it than we are today. The evil truth is that it’s not. Technology is an enabler and that is the sole reason the HR fraternity has been able to maintain a safe distance and get away with it. Today, given the pace at which the world is moving ahead, we need every enabler that ever existed by our side and NOW! Technology without doubt is one of the biggest enablers out there.

Technology & HR isn’t a new synergy. We’ve been talking about technology for over a decade and the options available are overwhelming. The good news is that we don’t need all of it. The bad news is that we do need some of it and the worse news is that we’re struggling to identify what we need and what we don’t. It is usually at this juncture that we make some of our biggest mistakes. We look at a fantastic technological offering and think that this is exactly what my organization has been looking for. We then try to force fit the enabler as a solution.

It is imperative that we understand what problem technology is going to solve. Much like anything else we buy, targeted seeking helps filter through noise and find what one is looking for. It not only helps in dealing with overchoice, it also helps cut impulse buying.

The last thing I want to talk about is the pace at which technology changes. For every version of technology that you adopt, there will be a faster, sleeker and more effective version 2 months down the line; there might emerge a very different technology that helps solve the problem better. We need to be ok with not changing at the speed at which technology changes. It is important to do a quick cost benefit analysis to check how often we can introduce new technology to consumers within the organization. If it doesn’t match the appetite, it is bound to get rejected. Agility is important, speeding suicidal.

Technology is powerful and it would be unwise to overlook its potential. This however comes with a caveat. It is also possible to drown in everything that it has to offer. Like everything else, a balance needs to be struck. Maybe Jason Averbook will agree, maybe he won’t. I look forward to hear his views when he delivers the keynote address at this year’s SHRM Tech Conference.

*This is the first of a series of blogs that talks about technology & HR. The upcoming SHRM Tech conference on 20th & 21st of April 2016 will provide material for much of the content and I cannot wait to attend.  If you are around, you must drop by.

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