What Makes Technology Cool? Business Results

13 Jul

Technology Tools That Increase Business Results

In this fifth installment of a five part series, Mollie Lombardi, a research director for Aberdeen Group’s human capital management practice, shares her thoughts on the importance of emerging and new technology. Mollie has surveyed and interviewed thousands of end-users to gain a better grasp of the key challenges facing human resources and talent management leaders. Mollie has an extensive background in writing and speaking about topics such as strategic talent management and employee engagement. If you’d like to learn more about Mollie you may read our first installment, Meet Mollie Lombardi.

 I am asked frequently to comment on the “cool new technologies” available in the world of human capital management. There certainly are a lot of shiny, exciting tools and products coming onto the market, and the ones that excite me most are those that can be used to implement strategy: technology that helps me make better decisions, connects me with the right stakeholders and helps me achieve business objectives. 

An area seeing much technological innovation today is in tools that foster collaboration, which can be thought of in two ways when it comes to human capital management: collaboration in completing projects and collaboration in talent decision-making.

Completing Projects: Technologies such as video chat on mobile phones and slide-sharing video sites within organizational firewalls help teams working together, individuals seeking out experts to learn from, or employees finding new ways to apply existing solutions to new problems.

Talent decision-making: The goal of any good hiring, on-boarding or succession initiative is to make better decisions about talent, ensuring that the organization has people with the skills, capabilities and knowledge the business needs to move forward. Technology that provides visibility of the data required to make decisions and allows individuals to collaborate by sharing comments and ideas is an exciting trend. These valuable technologies include:

  • Mobile phone apps that allow interview teams to rapidly evaluate and share comments about a candidate.
  • Internal social networking tools that have built-in analytics showing who key influencers are within the organization, making that a part of how talent gets evaluated.
  • Dashboard and analytics tools that can serve up data to any user based on their role, no matter where they are, from shop floor to executive meeting room.

An Aberdeen Group report, 2011’s HR Executive Agenda, reveals that organizations combining workforce and business data are three times as likely to achieve best-in-class status. This shows just how critical technologies that bring the right information to the decision-making process can be. So, as exciting as “cool new technologies” are, it’s important to measure their impact in the context of whether they help achieve organizational goals. In for-profit organizations, this tends to be revenue goals; for nonprofit organizations, it is meeting the needs of whatever groups or interests they serve.

The Aberdeen research also shows that though 57 percent of businesses say they can measure a correlation between their talent management efforts and business operational metrics, a mere 12 percent say they have the data to validate that correlation. For talent leaders to really have a voice within the organization, this number must increase.

Keeping abreast of the “cool new technologies” is important, but finding and using technologies that support strategy and enable results — and proving it — is the ultimate cool.


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