Human Resources a smart path to Intelligent Enterprise value

10 October 2018 5 min. read

Despite all the attention that goes to emerging technologies and disruptive tech, Hans-Petter Mellerud, the founder and CEO of Zalaris, is convinced that people will remain the prevailing factor within organisations.

As the CEO of a company exclusively focused on HR, human capital management and payroll solutions since I founded Zalaris nearly two decades ago, my passion begins with the people we help in the world – including many beyond the walls of businesses across Europe. Yes, it’s the human side of what we do that I’ve always considered most rewarding. This probably comes as no surprise, given our profession, of course. On the other hand, we can all thank technology for giving us new advantages (as well as more than a few headaches) over the years.

What’s particularly astounding right now is the rapid convergence that’s occurring between data, human intelligence and decision-support capabilities. We tend to forget that so-called “artificial intelligence” would never be possible without, well, people. In other words, all roads eventually circle back to the brains, talents and skills that walk in or log in remotely to the office each day. They naturally rely on technology like never before – yet may not fully recognise how much “smarter” or more impactful they’re becoming (or can become) in the process.

Intelligent Enterprise

The point is that the moulding of tech and cerebrum is what will truly soar to epic proportions in the years ahead. Unprecedented advances are already being made in practically every field, from medicine and manufacturing to travel and tourism, at paces that were simply unheard of even a few years ago. All this industry progress boils down to two words that are redefining the competitive landscape: Intelligent Enterprise.

Human Resources a smart path to Intelligent Enterprise value

Intelligent Enterprise is by no means an altogether new concept. The roots of this inexorable movement date back to the early 1990s when the approach to management came into existence – in words and theory as well as in practice via a more rudimentary sense of applying technology and emerging service paradigms to improve business performance.

The barriers to realising the Intelligent Enterprise back then were many. Doors to getting there are plentiful today, and the overall platform chosen will make a profound difference. With modern cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, HR can literally serve as the backbone to smarter, more nimble operations with better-trained personnel and sharper insight into what to do and not do at any given time.

Efficiency gains are more than a by-product of the Intelligent Enterprise. For each task that can be automated, people can devote more attention to the ones that truly need their intellect. Instead of draining mental acumen on mundane matters that previously required interaction with others or tedious HR paperwork, for instance, the proficiency essentially feeds on itself, regenerates and extends into other areas.

Where the Intelligent Enterprise ultimately leads to is anybody’s guess. Although Intelligent Enterprise is an end-to-end ambition that doesn’t really reach an “end state,” as it embodies the notion of continuous improvement, many dimensions are now well within reach – especially within HR’s reach and influence where it counts the most: in identifying, recruiting, hiring, compensating, assessing, developing, training, inspiring and empowering people.

Powering up the edge

People are what really fuel the Intelligent Enterprise. It’s how they use and evolve the technological edge that’s made available to them and instilled in the company’s culture. To this end, the use of HCM adds value, as it facilitates HR best practices and processes. The commitment to HCM solutions needs to be “top to bottom” and resolute, reinforced at every juncture, whether procedural or strategic in nature.

“While technology gives us new advantages, I am thoroughly convinced that people will remain the prevailing factor.”

In a new report developed by experts at Zalaris, titled ‘HR 2020’, it was found that the human resources profession is facing a number of key trends that will change the landscape. All of the developments correlate and contribute to the Intelligent Enterprise, nurturing it in a tangible way that can be more elusive in other areas of any organisation. HR leaders need to seize the opportunities now and turn their own knowledge into a more invaluable asset.

A number of takeaways that are intrinsic to the future of HR as well as the Intelligent Enterprise:

  • Shared Services will continue to grow, increasing efficiency and cutting cloud costs
  • Automation will create more strategic HR functions – not fewer overall jobs
  • Advances in analytics will drastically improve recruiting, onboarding, training and more
  • BPO value, design thinking, mobile, and security will drive HR decision making

Personally, I am thoroughly convinced that people will remain the prevailing factor. Without the right technology platform and solutions, however, most will never be as “intelligent” as possible in business and likely to fall more than a bit short in reaching their full potential.