SHRM Tech Conference 2016 – Day 2, India

I didn’t think it possible, but SHRM did raise the bar on Day 2. I’m sitting at the airport reflecting on everything I picked up over the 2 days and I can say with confidence that it’s been worth it. Not only have I been exposed to a multitude of options available in the market today, I have also been granted a glimpse into the future.

Day 2 began with a Tech talk on ‘Life & Work with Robots’. It made me realize that while we’ve been raving about the internet of things, the world went one-step further and began exploring the internet of everything! We live in a truly connected world and as terrifying it may seem, the journey has already begun. Sprinkled with videos on driverless cars and a live demonstration of ‘Beam’ (a friendly robot), this session revealed that the Jetsons age is almost upon us. This coupled with the following session on Smart Cities showed everyone in the room what the future is moving towards and pushed HR to run one step ahead and think about what it would mean for the human resource fraternity. If Day 1 talked about the present, Day 2 focused on the coming future.

Like with the last post, I am going to talk about a few sessions vs all that I attended. It is a very hard choice to make and I am going to begin with the fascinating discussion on Leveraging Social to Manage HR Challenges. Riddled with examples of how organizations around the world are leveraging social, the panel brought to light how social can help solve many of our problems. Glassdoor, Yammer, Stack Overflow were just some of the many platforms that have begun to provide competitive advantage to users. My favorite example was an organization asking its employees to log in how they are ‘feeling’ every morning at work. If they track a low mood for three days running, it runs a trigger to the manager to check on his team member. My other favorite was the concept of ‘YamJams’. The learning from this session could take up an entire blogpost and maybe I will write one soon.

My next favorite discussion was that on Wearables where the panel debated on wearable technology taking over. While half the panel felt that cellphones will soon become outdated and be taken over by wearables, the other half believed that the challenges of wearables would slow down the progress considerably. User experience, cyber security, personal space invasion, health and safety are some concerns that wearables are yet to address successfully.

The session on People Analytics was a little underwhelming but the closing talks on Tech 20:20 was the perfect end to the conference. The speakers took us through path breaking yet simple steps on how their organizations are adopting technology to push processes to the next level. It is true what they said – HR professionals can no longer afford to be technology agnostic. It’s time to get our hands dirty and become technologists.

I loved the experience through the two days. I learnt much and met many amazing people. I can’t thank the team at SHRM India enough for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the conference. Looking forward to the next one.

Go Tech!

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