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PwC’s Digital Snapshot Foretells of HR’s New Role In Modern Organizations

By Rob Starr, Content Manager

Jean Lee, Principal at PwC, begins a recent discussion on PwC’s newly released Digital IQ Snapshot on HR and Talent Management, “How HR’s Digital IQ can advance business strategy,” with a topic that’s familiar to anyone interested in today’s business climate.

“The perspective that we outline in this paper is that HR really has a unique opportunity right now considering the accelerated change occurring within organizations today,” she says. “In particular, given there’s such a need for skills and capabilities and an overall cultural shift to be able to deliver on the enterprise’s agenda to become a more digitally-orientated organization, there’s a real need for leadership and we feel HR can be instrumental in enabling that change.”

The PwC report finds there’s a looming need for a leader to grab the reigns of this digital transformation since technology will drive the most disruptive change over the next five years.  Lee says  it’s a good, natural fit for the HR function to lead, at least partially because they’re traditionally viewed as the steward of both talent and human capital and these new digital requirements provide an excellent opportunity for HR to provide both leadership and

Jean Lee

Jean Lee

execution capabilities for organizations to move ahead.

Top Priority

Naturally, finding the right people to help affect these changes is no small task and a top priority for the C-suite.

“A lot of what our annual CEO surveys shows is that talent is becoming the top agenda for CEOs,” she says adding that as shifts become more digitally-focused, organizations are having a hard time finding the right talent. Lee sees a few possible solutions for HR here.

They can start by finding the right talent and accelerating the process to get the right people into the right positions. This tactical approach is about finding those folks with specific skills in areas like cloud technology, agile methodology and the new architecture needed.

Cultural Standpoint

HR can also set a new tone from the cultural standpoint according to Lee who mentions a few specifics from the paper:

“Certainly in workforce and predictive analytics, more and more you’re seeing data scientists reside within HR to mine the data and see what kinds of correlations they can make that help attract and retain employees.” She added she sees HR reaching a tipping point when it comes to the adoption of digital technologies that’s similar to what finance went through a few years ago.

“I can see HR taking on a new role as a higher value added provider in organizations.”

To that end, Lee says she’s also seeing new academic programs focusing on courses like data analytics and business intelligence and reporting gaining traction.









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