IT Organization Can Be Strong Partner for HR Function

Ann All
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As I've written several times over the past few months, some industry experts are predicting CIOs increasingly will shift their focus from improving internal business processes and boosting productivity to partnering with business colleagues on customer-facing initiatives that can generate revenue. Gartner late last year predicted that by 2015, new revenue generated each year by IT will determine the annual compensation of most new Global 2000 CIOs.


While revenue-creating opportunities will become more important, that doesn't mean CIOs shouldn't continue to look for ways to improve operations in ways not directly tied to making money. Earlier this year, I shared a suggestion from MIT's Jeanne Ross that IT organizations could play a key role in streamlining and improving the human resources function.


I also cited an article by Adventis Consulting partner Alan Erskine, in which he listed four areas in which IT could and should partner with HR to create what he called an "integrated human capital management approach." The areas:

  • Ensure integrated applications for payroll, HR, resource management, and time and attendance are in place.
  • Create consistent rules for workforce planning and allocation for the entire organization to use.
  • Provide single-source reporting with consolidated resource and payroll data.
  • Provide support for what-if analysis on workforce size and utilization.


It's no surprise that integration figures prominently into all four of these areas. Or that Erskine called for an "integrated" approach. Just last week IT Business Edge's Loraine Lawson wrote about the sorry state of integration (or lack thereof) in HR systems. She mentioned one example, HSBC, which in the past four years managed to reduce its number of global HR systems from 700 to 300.


Working with HR on creating an integrated approach, perhaps employing master data management as Loraine suggests in her post, seems like a strong opportunity for IT to deliver added value to the business - albeit not in a way that will result directly in new revenue. But it is bound to raise IT's profile, given companies' renewed emphasis on hiring and retaining top talent.


Even more important, with IT's assistance, HR can advance beyond those basic functions to tackle more complex organizational issues. A more sophisticated approach to HR will soon become an expectation, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article about changes in HR strategies, written by the chief of human resources at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. The executive, Judhajit Das, notes that HR professionals will need to become more proactive in recognizing and addressing issues that drain productivity and in identifying and training employees with leadership potential.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 28, 2011 1:44 AM jmz jmz  says:

I am sorry to say that HR is really getting nasty and they are a real threat for organizations that want to have a mentally sound organization.

As humanresources follow the primitive logic from production technologies like a faulty person is scrap like a faulty product..

this idiosyncracy leeds to no humans hired but robots...


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