HR Service Delivery

The Future of HR Service Delivery: Major Disruptions (and Opportunities for Change!) Ahead 

It’s no surprise that new technologies are causing major changes in how work is done today. Across industries, we see the same pattern: a focus on the overall consumer experience and developing new self-service technology replacing the human middle man (think travel agents, real estate agents, sales clerks).  

But what does this mean in the context of HR? A rise in a focus on the employee experience is changing the HR mandate to develop new tools and technologies. The good news is that new automated workflows and case management means HR professionals need fewer resources to serve more employees by minimizing repetitive tasks.  

And, less time spent on sharing basic information and simple transactions enables your HR professionals to be more available to invest their time in higher-value tasks like recruitment and cultivating company culture. To learn more about this trend, take a look at ServiceNow’s whitepaper, How emerging technologies will power the future of HR Shared Services explores this topic, which is filled with valuable insights and supplemented by informative graphs and helpful data points. Keep reading for an excerpt of the whitepaper, or jump right in and download the complete pdf to learn how you can prepare for the future of HR.  

The digitization of HR Service Delivery

HR self-service, first for employees and then for managers, has been around for nearly two decades and has progressed to become an integral part of delivering HR services at most companies. In a recent study conducted through a partnership of Aon and the HR Shared Services Institute, about 90% of respondents aggressively or moderately deploy employee self-service (ESS) compared to 80% for manager self- service (MSS). In both cases, when asked to project utilization over the next one to two years the aggressive deployment category is expected to grow larger.

The digital transformation

Truth be told, the employee experience is already largely digital, as laptops and increasingly mobile devices become the primary way we interface with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. The proliferation of co-working spaces, like WeWork and Google’s free co-working spaces, offers a striking view of the dramatic extent to which work has been going virtual. According to Statistica, the number of co-working spaces worldwide rose from just a handful in 2005 to nearly 19,000 in 2017 and continues to rise at a double-digit rate.

In the office, it’s not uncommon for co-workers sitting down the corridor from each other to join meetings virtually from their private offices rather than in the same room. Because we already work in largely digital contexts, the difference between the current state and what is being called the “digital employee experience” is merely incremental and largely a matter of structure. The digital experience platform differs only in that it houses multiple disparate and disconnected digital channels under one roof, or interface to be more precise. Finally, by integrating human channels, like telephone and chat, the digital employee experience truly becomes a single, seamless, socio-technical interface, and that’s digital-first HR.

Enabling technology’s impact on Shared Services

The basic concept of shared services goes all the way back to General Motors in the mid-1920s when then-CEO Alfred Sloan sold the Board on the idea that while operating divisions needed to maintain a significant degree of autonomy certain administrative functions could be common and shared at the corporate level for greater efficiency. Even in Sloan’s day, information technology was the key, but back then the enabling technologies were long-distance telephony, and believe it or not, carbon paper, without which Sloan’s vision of corporate centralization could not have succeeded if even envisioned.

Similarly, the most recent wave of shared services came about because of technology, specifically client-server computing and ERP software platforms such as PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAP. These platforms allowed organizations to centralize a wide array of business processes using the same software in real time, giving birth to what we today call “shared services.”

The new generation of shared services models is very much technology enabled. Consumer-grade digital platforms with artificial intelligence assistants are enabling the next generation of shared services with the digital employee experience at the center.

The integrated user experience

A key differentiating feature of the digital employee experience is its ability to integrate human and digital service channels. The entry point for this is integrating the case management functionality with portal content. According to the Aon-HRSSI survey, a significant and growing proportion case management solutions combine case management with portal content. Because of their holistic advantages, such solutions are gaining on pure case management applications (a.k.a. “ticketing solutions”) in market share. After taking a leadership position in pure case management solutions, the survey shows that ServiceNow also has taken the lead in combined case management/portal products, with more than one-third of the total case management solution market.

Download ServiceNow’s complete white paperHow emerging technologies will power the future of HR Shared Services, to learn more about the current utilization and promising potential of various shared services integrations such as chat, AI assistants, applications and more. With lots of great graphs and data points, this white paper presents some valuable research to suggest that big changes are on the horizon for HR Service Delivery, specifically as a result of AI. But don’t freak out just yet, this ServiceNow resource will assure you that this shift is nothing to fear. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to add value to your company in new ways. So what are you waiting for? 


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