Complexity Made Easier #1/3: Today’s reality of HR transformation

October 8, 2019

Bien choisir son logiciel d'élaboration budgétaire : une nécessité

September 2019 Blog Part 1

David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, begins a new three-part guest series looking at HR transformation by helping us understand the reality of where HR is today. Because without understanding the complexities we face today, we won’t be ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow…

Every year when Fosway launches the annual HR Realities Research, there is no doubt in my mind that an interesting set of results are in store. And what is most fascinating about the data we gather from 500+ HR leaders across Europe, is that the reality of HR today is one of massive change. The cumulative impacts of the ongoing war for talent, the challenge of creating strong people experiences, the pure speed of technology development and the tumultuous macro-economic picture, are all converging and piling the pressure on HR.

The ‘need for speed’ is increasing

More than anything, this year’s data highlights the need for a new and more agile approach to HR. Conservative strategies simply aren’t going to cut it going forwards, because by the time the ink is dry, things will have moved on. Increasing business agility is now the #2 business driver for 86% of HR professionals, second only to increasing performance and profitability (unsurprisingly, the perennial #1). The days of software implementations taking 18+ months are rapidly becoming a distant memory. Moving at the pace of the business, particularly where HR technology is concerned is now a must.

HR’s priorities remain broad but must be aligned to overall business priorities

How much can technology really help tackle the current complexities of HR as a function today? When we explore the top priorities for HR, there is certainly a broad spectrum of different requirements. It might be fair to say that many of the items on the priority list are there because there is nowhere else in the organisation that can or will deal with them. Is employee engagement really HR’s problem for example? But that is another post all on its own. There does, however, seem to be little doubt that investment in HR technology and innovation can help tackle these priorities, as 76% expect to see an increase in their spend this year.

Being digital is as much about mindset as technology

This increasing spend and urgent drivers often result in investment in multiple HR systems and disparate technology implementations within single organisations. Sometimes there is overlap, sometimes there are numerous specialist solutions all tackling different HR processes. Almost three quarters of companies have a ‘non-standardised’ approach like this, meaning there are multiple different touch points for employees across core HR functions, learning and development, payroll, talent management etc.

At face value, this shouldn’t be a problem. But the reality is that there does ideally need to be some thought and planning that goes into the purchasing of systems and integration both from an end-user perspective, but also from HR’s perspective. For example, how do you manage and consolidate employee data from different countries? How do you create coherent digital experiences for all of your people regardless of role or location? How do you report on outcomes that impact business performance and productivity? The concept of digital transformation is about much more than just adopting another new system. Yes, HR technology allows you to automate processes. But this means you need to spend more time ensuring HR’s goals are more business aligned in order to become truly transformational.

I look forward to exploring some these themes more in the subsequent posts here on this blog.

David Wilson – BIO 

David Wilson is founder and CEO of Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst. A major commentator on the HR, talent and learning industries for over 20 years, David is a strategic advisor to many major corporate and supplier organisations in the UK and Europe.

David personally leads Fosway’s research and corporate advisory agenda. He is the author of over 150 research papers and articles, as well as being a leading speaker at major conferences and events around the world.

With his extensive market knowledge and detailed insight of corporate projects and experiences, David continues to influence the thinking of many of the leading companies and vendors operating in the market today.

Areas of Expertise

  • HR and learning technology and strategy
  • Vendor solutions
  • Market trends
  • Industry research
  • Corporate advice

Contact Information: +44 (0)20 7917 187;

About Fosway Group

Fosway Group is Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst focused on Next Gen HR, Talent and Learning. Founded in 1996, we are known for our unique European research, our independence and our integrity.

For over 20 years, we have been analysing the realities of the market, and providing insights on the future of HR, Talent and Learning. Fosway analysts work extensively with our corporate clients to understand the inside story of the challenges they are facing, and their real experiences with next gen strategies, systems and suppliers. Our independent vendor analysis also provides a vital resource when making decisions on innovation and technology.

And just like the Roman road we draw our name from, you’ll find that we’re unusually direct. We don’t have a vested interest in your supplier or consulting choices. So, whether you’re looking for independent research, specific advice or a critical friend to cut through the market hype, we can tell you what you need to know to succeed.

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