Gartner is projecting worldwide IT spending to reach $3.7 trillion this year, a 4.5 percent increase from 2017, with enterprise software expected to be the fastest-growing component of IT spend, growing by 9.5 percent from $355 billion last year to $389 billion in 2018. HR technologies are among the leading drivers of innovation in this space, with significant spending forecast on software-as-a-service solutions in financial management systems (FMS), human capital management (HCM), and analytic applications. Big data, algorithms, machine learning, and AI are among the technologies expected to drive growth in IT investments in the coming years.
(For readers who want to hear more about our IT spending forecast, Gartner analysts discuss these findings in detail in a complimentary webinar, available on demand here.)
For talent management leaders, this information carries significant implications. In the coming years, technology will inevitably be more embedded into the HR function: The only choice for leaders is whether they want to be on the front or back end of the adoption curve. Technology in the HR realm is advancing at a rapid rate, but the function seems consistently hesitant to take advantage of the opportunities and efficiencies it offers. A wide range of tools are newly available or in development that can help solve perennial HR challenges such as candidate vetting, employee wellness, space management, analytics strategy, recruiting and retaining diverse employees, understanding drivers of high performance, making learning more accessible, or offering digital assistants for all employees.
Tech savvy is now a necessity for HR leaders to identify and implement the right technology mix to suit their needs, and CHROs can no longer push technology questions off on the IT function. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly important for HR leaders to partner with their counterparts in that function to make the best technology choices for their workforce. Proper use of technology is now critical to successfully running a high-functioning HR department, as well as for dealing with cybersecurity, a major challenge that spans the purview of the HR, IT, and legal departments.
As technological innovations and other factors accelerate the pace of change in the workplace, HR leaders must also ensure that their organizations have the digital talent they need for the future of work. Just as leaders must understand how to evaluate and operate different software and hardware, so too must recruiters, training developers, and HR business partners, in order to properly serve their internal clients and make sure tech investments don’t go to waste.