HRO Today May 2018 - 57

HR Tech
their modules. AI and machine learning also help enable
a more personalized, guided, and prescriptive user
experience. This helps empower workers to own their HR
data, actions, and career needs in a manner that promotes
accurate, timely, and complete transactions. This decreases
reliance on HR experts and leads to improved engagement
with the HCM platform for the entire organization.
With companies of all sizes keenly focused on improving
talent management capabilities, demand for talent modules
within HCM suites that enable recruiting and onboarding,
learning management, performance management, and
succession planning is rapidly rising. As a result, HR can
expect end-to-end talent management capabilities that
are supported by predictive and prescriptive analytics.
These capabilities improve actions, including making
hiring decisions; providing career development guidance;
tracking on-the-fly performance interactions and providing
recommendations; and proactively assessing employee
engagement and well-being.
But possibly the most sought-after feature is advanced
analytics reporting. With HR historically maintaining some
of the most underutilized data in the organization, the
ability to access that data in a meaningful and actionable
way is critical for businesses that seek to become more
talent focused. NelsonHall's research finds that the
analytics capabilities of today's cloud HCM platforms
are commonly at the descriptive level, with platforms
rapidly moving toward the predictive level as the norm.
According to the research, over 90 percent of platforms
have predictive capabilities or plans to launch them within
the next 12 months, with nearly 40 percent offering
benchmarking capabilities as well.
What's Next for HCM?
While cloud HCM offerings today are quite robust and
packed with technology and functionality that eclipses
their predecessors, vendors are clearly focused on pushing
the innovation envelope even farther. NelsonHall reports
that HCM technology platforms are investing 20 percent of
their revenues on average into research and development.
Some of the key innovation focus areas moving forward
will include:
* An open platform approach. While all platforms
currently offer robust integrations that connect critical
business applications to the HCM platform and extend its
capability, the demand for more options for connecting
solutions, services, and applications is high.
More than 90 percent
of HCM platforms have
predictive capabilities
or plans to launch them
within the next 12 months.
Currently, about half of HCM providers limit the option
to build and connect applications to only their clients and
partners, and about half have extended this to include
third-party providers as well. An open platform approach
will become standard, allowing clients, partners, and third
parties to connect their applications for consumption
through a marketplace app store style delivery system.
* Prescriptive analytics. With most platforms' analytics
offerings currently at the descriptive and predictive level,
and with more advanced platforms already pushing
toward prescriptive capabilities, the next wave of analytic
reporting will focus on prescriptive as a standard. The new
generation of HCM platforms will guide user interactions
and help leaders make informed talent management
decisions based on analytic trends, benchmarks, and
forward-looking recommendations that pull from
historical and predictive data.
* Natural language processing. Regarding intelligent
technologies, the next wave of innovation will focus on
the use of natural language processing (NLP). NLP is an
advanced technology that combines AI and linguistics to
allow computers and their users to communicate through
conversation. While many platforms offer chatbots, NLP
is still in its infancy in HR, with NelsonHall reporting that
currently only about 10 percent of HCM platforms feature
NLP capabilities. However, the sky is the limit with NLP as
platforms seek to develop conversational HR experiences
where users can communicate actions or requests to
the application through speech. This will take the user
experience to the next level in terms of ease of use and
effectiveness.
Pete Tiliakos is principal analyst, HRO for NelsonHall.
MAY 2018 | www.hrotoday.com
[57]
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HRO Today May 2018

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