3 Months to Mumbai, 6 Steps Towards HR Tech Enlightenment

If you want a crash course in HR Tech that culminates in an illuminating talk about what’s next in WorkSpace technology, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next 3 months, as a lead up to my job as a Key Speaker at the SHRM India HR Tech ’15 Conference in Mumbai, I’ll take you through the ins and outs of HR Technology. In the 6 posts that follow, I’ll discuss some of the biggest topics in this space.

Here’s a rundown of the topics:

  1. The New Age of WorkSpace technology – beyond employee data management
  2. Learning Management Systems and why they top my 2015 predictions
  3. How gamification is actually impacting the WorkSpace and technology that supports it
  4. Managing the mobile worker and their mobile technology
  5. Tracking and driving employee performance through technology
  6. Measuring and impacting your workforce with actionable analytics

Each topic will be broken into three basic areas:

  1. Where we’ve been
  2. Where we are today
  3. Where I think we’re going

Given the HR focus of the audience in Mumbai, posts will conclude with a small section about the tools to become an HR Tech pro, specifically as it relates to the topic at hand.

A logical extension of my work as CEO at Hive Tech HR and role on SHRM’s HR Management and Technology Expertise Panel, the Conference will be an excellent chance for me to talk about an industry I’m passionate about in a country where I’ve somehow never set foot.

That said, I’ve done plenty of work with India, and can honestly say that, generally speaking, they are the most sincere and intelligent people you’ll encounter. The legacy of former colleagues endures well beyond the final project you jointly execute (shout out to the likes of Aadarsh and Pramod). Indians tend to connect with you on a personal level, if you let them in. They ask about your family, tell you when you’ve done something they appreciate, and look in your eyes when you talk to them (when you’re lucky enough to meet them in person).

In regards to technical aptitude, as Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Tata Companies puts it, "Indians are some of the best technologists outside of India, and we see many Indians leading global tech companies."1

Back to the topic at hand, the HR Technology space is as exciting as ever right now. If you watch closely you can see the shift happening year-over-year, and often even faster. As the topic of my next blog post suggests, just tracking an employee record is no longer enough. The speed at which that happened is startling. Just look at “the consumerization of workspace technology.” By that I mean the way that employees, managers and HR alike are demanding that business applications function more like the technology they use in their consumer lives - intuitive and robust. The topic gained visibility late in 2013, and by the time I presented it jointly with the Starr Conspiracy (a marketing agency) at the IHRIM Annual Conference in June 2014, it was driving product development and purchases.

That trend of consumerization lives on in 2015 and overlays much of what is happening in workspace technology today. Meanwhile, we see new trends emerge, and others ebb and flow. Software vendors try to keep up with consumer demands and companies that are buying balance robust functionality with practicality. I’ll be talking about many of those trends and reactions to them in the posts that follow. I hope you’ll join me and add your own insights to the story.

Today’s Tip for Becoming an HR Tech Pro

Attend industry conferences when possible. It’s the best place to learn about both the subject and meet people that are either in the same boat as you, further ahead (learning opportunity) or behind (mentoring opportunity). Check out the SHRM India HR Tech ’15 Conference in Mumbai at http://www.shrmtech.org/ and join me and my peers if you can. If that isn’t possible, there are other options throughout the year and throughout the world.

1 'Technology innovation is the next big movement at Tata'


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