One of the things I enjoy about the end of the year are predictions posts. I think it’s fun to read other people’s take on upcoming trends and the future of the profession. As a business professional, trend watching confirms my thoughts about what’s happening in the workplace. And when I see predictions about something new, it challenges me to learn about those topics.I believe 2014 will be a very exciting time for human resources and the world of work. We’re on the edge of so many cutting-edge technology advancements. Here’s my list of what to watch next year:1. Companies toy with gamification tools. Ha! I couldn’t resist the play on words. Seriously, marketing departments have embraced gamification strategies for the consumer side of the business and, as a result, so will the rest of the company. Human resources departments will bring gamification not only into training activities but to the recruiting process as well.2. Go mobile or go home. This is a no-brainer. Forbes cited earlier this year two surveys that confirmed over half of adult Americans have a smartphone. There are just too many smartphones to ignore mobile. eCommerce is big business. Using mobile technology for human resources related activities such as recruiting, training, and workforce scheduling only makes sense. Businesses will use mobile to keep employees selling and making customers happy versus filling out forms and filing reports.3. Companies will start adopting enterprise social collaboration solutions. Businesses have come to recognize the value of informal and social learning. Couple this with the opportunities to engage with employees using internal networks. Social collaboration tools are the logical next step in organizational communication.4. Organizations experiment with wearable tech. Fitness bands are helping people with their wellness goals. The introduction of devices like smart watches and Google Glass are changing the game. It’s only a matter of time before companies figure out how to use these devices to enhance the workplace.The Buzzword for 2014: Analytics. Even though it shouldn’t be a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. Some words get the buzzword moniker because they’re different (aka “selfie”), others become buzzwords because they are used frequently. We’re talking about the latter. During a recent conference, I heard business pros consistently, without hesitation, say the number one goal is data and analytics. Companies realize data equals profits and no one can afford to leave money on the table.The Top Compliance Issue for 2014: Yes, you guessed it – the Affordable Care Act. This is a very complicated piece of legislation. There have been some implementation set-backs. I suspect we will spend much of 2014 trying to figure this new law out together.You probably noticed this year’s predictions have a lot of technology in them. More and more human resources functions and solutions have a technology component to them. Human resources technology is part of our jobs. Frankly, technology is part of our jobs – no matter what position or level in the organization. Period.Employers once expected human resources to just know word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. Today, those same employers expect their people to know about smartphones, tablets, apps, and social media.You don’t need to be an expert or own every device. You do need to understand the fundamentals. And recognize that the fundamentals change all the time. Because technology is changing quickly. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to build technology into your professional life. You can learn more by doing small things like test driving the latest devices next time you’re in a shopping mall or stepping up your social media participation.Companies and individuals that embrace technology will have a definite advantage in 2014 (and the years to come). For HR pros, technology can bring advantages that allow us to focus on the operation. What do you think? Share your predictions in the comments.
Dedicated to using technology to enhance the academic experience, Pennsylvania’s Grove City College has been providing all incoming freshmen with laptop computers for more than 15 years. To reduce hard drive failures that can halt productivity, and to minimize the impact of theft, the school’s IT group distributes Intel® Core™ i7 vPro™ processor-based HP EliteBook* tablet computers with Intel® Solid-State Drives and Intel® Anti-Theft Technology. The Intel Solid-State Drives cut system imaging time in half and could reduce drive failures by 90 percent. Intel Anti-Theft Technology helps the IT group prevent information from falling into the wrong hands.“The tablets arrived only two weeks before the students,” said Vincent DiStasi, chief information officer for Grove City College. “Fortunately, the performance of the Intel Solid-State Drives enabled us to image all 750 tablets in just two days. We had all systems ready in time, and we didn’t have to spend the summer loading software.”To learn more, read our new Grove City College business success story. As always, you can find this one, and many others, in the Intel.com Reference Room and IT Center.