I started in HR technology back in 2000, supporting learning systems at a financial institution in New Zealand. Back then, our system comprised 150 disconnected computers in various locations. Learning material was delivered via CD once or twice a year. That was how I delivered HR technology—not quite real time.
Throughout the 2000’s I worked with many HR systems, and their focus was to manage people and people data. These were critical systems to us in HR: We decided who and what would connect to us. We also controlled what information was shared from our systems with other people.
In the late 2000’s we started to realise the value of “people information” and started using both people and organisational data from HR systems to provide information to other identity services, such as the Active Directory.
Our approach to sharing information from the core HR function was cautious, with a “how can we do this with low or no risk?” mindset. If a non-HR department needed access to data, they could receive a report and deal with the information as necessary.
Enter the last 5 years. As we move into the second half of this decade, HR systems have become much more open. HR system providers allow more flexibility in how data can be transferred as we increasingly see OData, intelligent services, and integration centres.
We, as HR professionals, need to shift our mindset to this new reality
See how the integration centre enables integrations to be built simply and quickly.
A key mindset to for us to overcome: Is this HR data, or is it people data that belongs to the organisation?
People data can help add much more value to the organisation through the automation of processes. For example, if we know who particular individual is and the location at which they work, why shouldn’t there be an automated process to provide card access to that particular location? Similarly, if I regularly work from 8 to 5, why not provide card access for my working hours?
Additionally, if I take leave, why not drive processes outside of HR, such as changing my “out of office” message in Outlook, marking me absent in the corporate directory, and changing my IT and financial approvers to a substitute manager?
Modern HR systems need to be collaborative and consecutive. We, as HR professionals, need the ability to utilise people information for the value of the organisation.
I’ll be presenting connected digital SAP SuccessFactors at this week’s Art of the Possible roadshow, and I would be keen to hear your views on both the accessibility of data and HR control of people data.