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Why you need to buddy up with HR

Rebecca Merrett | Aug. 28, 2013
There's an obvious reason why CIOs and HR managers should get together.

"We don't just need the technology in IT enabling devices to operate within the corporate system, we also need to take away some of the constraints employees have in terms of where they can work and how they work. HR can help ensure new and better ways of working are able to be achieved."

Value drivers
One of the biggest ways CIOs can partner with the HR manager in delivering value to the business is through automation of HR processes. At the Department of Defence, Lawrence is using automation to free staff from manual tasks so they can focus on more strategic initiatives.

Atlassian IT director, Peter Georgiou, is also working with his HR team on automation. With provisioning of IT services being a headache for both IT and HR, he is streamlining this process through a human resource administration system (HRAS).

However, it's important not to get too carried away in automating everything, says Fischl, which is why working with the HR manager is so important in recognising what needs to be automated and what needs to be left alone.

She says some processes in HR, as labour-intensive as they are, need to be managed by staff. One such example is onboarding, which requires a lot of human contact and making news hires feel connected with the people in their teams and the organisation.

Another way both departments can work together to deliver business value is through HR analytics. Fischl identifies significant opportunity for HR to work with IT in using analytics tools and software in a more sophisticated way to predict staff shortages or turnover for instance, as well as productivity and staff satisfaction per headcount.

However, even though many HR professionals may have a desire to deliver more insightful metrics to the business, they simply do not have the in-depth knowledge and expertise like IT to be able to utilise it best to their advantage, Fischl says.

That's where IT needs to partner with HR, adds Specht. The HR department may have huge amounts of data that is under-utilised just because they do not know how to interpret it and turn it into useful information.

"Too often, 'people' data is left until after you have done the financial, customer and product data," Specht says. "But if you overlay the people information on top of what product lines are selling, which customers are better, and where your finances are, you are able to start to see and understand how the people initiatives can actually influence top and bottom line benefits."

IT and HR also have the potential to work together on creating innovation within an organisation, says Guazzarotto, as it's "really a combination of technology and culture".


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