This is in further response to the conversation thread developing between Michael, Dubs, James from Redmonk and I on changes in HR technology. (Michael has just posted again while I was doing some day job)
I’ve been reading alot (and understanding a little) about web 2.0 and the enterprise. I see alot of interesting discussion on how this will impact the enterprise and its IT strategy. The blogs covering the software 2006 event (zoliblog, Vinnie, Jeff, Charles etc…) seem to point to a big shift (I hate paradigm so I’m boycotting that word) On another post on Jeff’s blog I picked up more on this shift.
The change in enterprise computing is coming, but it’s going to take a lot longer than many of us would hope and when it does it will be apparent that the primary driver is a new generation of workers who expect different things from their systems and services than we do. The changing of the guard will do far more to change the tools that workers have than the changing of the technology itself and the reason is simple, for anyone under 30 technology is primarily social because of the web, SMS, IM, peer-to-peer file sharing, and much more.
One of my concerns matches that of Regina’s
Here’s the rub…I’ve yet to see a blog from very senior HR Executives. I wonder how many HR Execs read blogs, have RSS feeds or even know what an RSS feed is? Without having the experience of operating like millenials how can they try to change the tide of a new generation? Enforce old rules and ways of working on a new vibrant generation who is redefining the notion of multitasking and getting things done.
Like Regina, I have been searching for good HR blogs, but I havent found much that is HR driven (some good vendor and consultant stuff though- but that is for another post). I did like reading Neville Hobson’s piece on Coca Cola and the Microsoft recruitment blogs. Prove me wrong please, and send me lots of other great HR blogs.
I’d like to see more HR folks getting to grips with how the social web will change work, motivation, compensation, recruitment, information sharing and so on.
I think SAP will cope and prosper from this technology and social shift. Our senior management get it, just read any of the latest stuff from Shai Agassi.
Mendocino is a good example of this. Shai’s comment here helps put Mendocino in the right context.
“The goal is to provide business workers and information workers with the data they need in order to make informed and intelligent decisions quickly. Our customers want basic, simple and powerful solutions, and this can be achieved through delivering an easy-to-use interface and hiding complexity in the background,” added Agassi. “SAP’s strategy is to help customers empower their people to leverage the skills they already have and embed in all the user experiences they already are comfortable with. So whether it is a portal, desktop productivity tools or alternative interfaces—mobile devices, RSS, RFID, analytics, embedded devices—the focus is around bringing relevant business context to that preferred user interface. These employees can leverage the skills they already have, like working in Microsoft Office. We teamed up with Microsoft to jointly deliver ‘Project Mendocino,’ which brings the best of desktop productivity and best enterprise applications without cost of integration.”
Dubs, I think we are already in a big shift. Socially and technically. SAP gets it- I think.
For a good look at RSS, checkout Charlie Woods’ blog. It is mainly CRM focused, but the concepts are equally valid for HR.
Michael, to your ESS point: ESS is changing. In the late 1990’s ESS was an optional add on to exisiting processes, since then it has developed into a key component of HR application design. Mendocino is the next step in that evolution.
As technologies Michael notes continue to emerge for “structured cut and paste”, the ability to control and secure data becames ever more difficult. Version control, accuracy, privacy, security and so on become ever more important. I think this is where MDM (master data management) will play a key role. To take advantage of the emerging technologies, more than ever you need strong, reliable and stable core system, something that provides that single source of the truth. There is a paradox in there somewhere. (you cant be trully flexible unless you have a strong backbone or something equally yogasque)
For those looking to build on the Netweaver platform, get on over to the Enterprises Services Partner Summit.
Maybe I’m wrong but I reckon a lot of niche HR software vendors will face a challenge.
They will be increasingly squashed between the “single vendor suite for core business processes” directive and the ease of mashups and business-analyst driven composites.