Panel members were Vincenz Kremer, David Wilson, Josh Bersin, Thomas Otter, Sarah White. Full speaker list is here.
First question was around usability. New delivery approaches, BYOD, how people internally can get access to the technology.
Where are the new opportunities?
Vincent: 85% of deals are SaaS vs. 5% last year so clients are evolving fast to the SaaS model. But this is also a lot about user interface (UI).
Josh: Another big transition is the SOR (system of record) to SOE (system of engagement). SOE drives user adoption for the business to achieve business success.
PG: Systems are only put in place to make the business perform so don’t buy for sizzle, buy for results!
Josh: Big data (bingo) is still a very immature market for HR. It’s not the tools though but down to the company to define what they want from the data.
Thomas: We also have a small data problem as we are not very good at even doing the small things very easily e.g. can’t do a Global headcount so how can they look to doing more complex queries using data? Danger of getting carried away with what’s possible rather than focus on what’s really needed. HR need to get comfortable with numbers but this means more number focused people within HR. Try and steal some people from marketing…. they get data. (Imagine the joy of the marketer!)
PG: Maybe HR should be part of Finance?
What does all of this mean to learning, recruitment etc?
David: All of the above applies to all areas of HR. In particular learning is high on the buy list. Also, speed of change in recruitment is enormous.
Sarah: Huge uprising on Talent Network/Community to pipeline key hires and tap into their network. Other area is predictive. Scary though as so many examples of it being used badly but used well, it can identify people who are good potential hires looking to leave competitors.
David: Learning has been put into HR in some organisation but there is an increase in focus outside the workforce. As employers look at entire value chain they will look beyond own employees but also partners etc. IHG are looking to hire 250,000 people that is highly strategic and not an HR activity.
What are the key points to consider with such a change in who owns who amongst the supplier base?
Thomas: Need to get over ERP vs. SaaS. Both are evil and both want your money and they will take you for a ride. These days are coming to an end and vendors need to put together terms that are mutual and not one-way. Hopefully we will see improvements in these ASAP. Also, the SaaS vs. NOT SaaS is a conversation that at contract level is not reflected.
David: Service as a Service is not reality even though it should be! Customer wants agile, value add but still blocked by the contract. The other aspect is how the vendors are selected and are too much based on features and functionality rather than what really adds value.
A number of open questions were then asked by the audience before the panel were released to attend one of the many parties organised by the various vendors. Although as Thomas Otter said they were all evil he may be found waiting in a bar all alone!
Founder of HirePad. Talent technology and digital marketing expert. Social business strategist.