Almost a year ago I wrote about the impact digital innovation is having in our workplace. It may not seem like it, but in that time, so much has changed technologically. We are making the gradual shift towards making HR technologies more useful to employees, instead of making them more useful to HR.
The pace of social and technological changes in today’s society is so rapid that organizations are having to try to quickly adapt to this pace of change. I’m going to highlight very briefly in this post some of the things we have seen and managed to accomplish over the past year.
We are making HR more conversational. These days, we are making everything more connected. There are a number of devices that connect to your home and allow you to power appliances or interact with your home electronics using voice commands. Think Alexa, Google Home, etc. This past year, we have built prototypes to show how our solution can work with these devices. We have been able to program Alexa to connect to cloud-based HR solutions, and chatbots in Slack and Microsoft Teams have been developed and integrated with HR solutions for various HR transactions, as HR continues to become more conversational.
In 2016, I wrote about how the future of HR platforms may also connect to wearable tech, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, that could be used for various wellbeing initiatives. In 2017 at our SAPPHIRE NOW event, we unveiled a collaboration with Thrive Global to co-innovate around unique solutions to improve employee health and wellbeing in the enterprise. You can watch the replay here of Thrive Global’s CEO, Arianna Huffington, and Jennifer Morgan, a member of the SAP Executive Board discussing this initiative.
Virtual and augmented reality
We have seen an uptake and increased adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies in the past year. Pokemon Go changed the world of AR and its potential applications. Various game console manufacturers have VR devices and games that are growing in popularity. With adoption of these technologies increasing, we have already developed some applications that can make use of VR/AR, for example in onboarding to provide new employees with a virtual tour of their office or workspace in order to reduce their day one anxiety.
Machine learning and the Internet of Things
Machine learning and IoT have been (and will continue to be) big topics in the IT industry. Although there are the ethical dilemmas of automation resulting in loss of jobs or AI taking over the world, machine learning does have its applications in automation to improve productivity and reduce human error. We have developed use cases in recruiting, for example, to use machine learning to match resumes and candidates to roles based on their skills. In the future, machine learning may be able to look at your learning behaviors in the workplace and recommend career paths that might be of interest based on your learning history or courses to further develop those skills.
Imagine being able to reduce time spent on data and meeting prep by up to 80%. We have developed a digital boardroom that provides near real-time data with no data replication, for better decision-making at the board and executive-level, presented on a nice touchscreen interface that makes you feel like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, their own style of working, and it’s important to provide a platform that allows employees of all generations and backgrounds to work the way they want to. These are just some of the applications we already have or are still working on. The possibilities are endless and will continue to evolve as the technology itself evolves.
HR leaders are Taking Learning Back to School by tapping the latest technologies for training and development.