Disruptive Innovation & HR Technology Progress

As James Earl Jones so eloquently stated in the tagline for Verizon, “Make Progress Every Day;” technologies, and the companies that harness and advance them, must always be innovating. Keeping abreast of the latest developments, as well as ahead of the competition, means constant development and ever-vigilant commitment to progress. Adapting ever-evolving technological advancements to products and services helps ensure the highest levels of productivity, ease of use and user satisfaction.

One of the keys to growth through innovation though, is to develop the right features and benefits into offerings; that people are actually looking for and will use on a regular basis. The concept of ‘disruptive innovation’ as coined by Clayton Christensen in the Harvard Business Review, “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”

In ‘What Disruptive Innovation Means’ the Economist explains, “the “innovator’s dilemma” is the difficult choice an established company faces when it has to choose between holding onto an existing market by doing the same thing a bit better, or capturing new markets by embracing new technologies and adopting new business models." Examples from the article include IBM launching a PC business while continuing to make mainframes, and Netflix switching from its old business model of mailing DVDs to a new one of streaming media on-demand to customers.

“HR technology providers are increasingly designing applications for employees first, to enable workers to learn and develop, collaborate, share feedback, steer their careers, and even manage other people more effectively. The trend reflects a major shift from a decade ago, when vendors designed HR systems primarily to streamline HR administration, improve record-keeping, and help redesign HR processes. Today, digital technologies are transforming nearly every aspect of HR, from sourcing and recruiting to talent and performance management,” from '10 Disruptive HR Technology Trends for 2016' by Josh Bersin, founder and principal, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP

HR Shared Services systems are one of the most-advanced technology offerings leading the way with innovative solutions for automating and optimizing HR processes, increasing efficiency and most importantly providing better tools for managing the people side of things. According to Mr. Bersin, quite possibly sooner than we think we may see a human resources application running on employees’ smartphones that “recommends nearby people with whom they can network, helps to boost their productivity by evaluating their time management, offers suggestions for improving work-life balance, and provides targeted, on-the-job training. It may even share exercise and healthy eating tips when and where employees need them.

This scenario illustrates the consumer-focused direction of HR technology, one that centers on employee productivity and engagement.”