• December 3, 2015

IT Value Silos: The Talent Management X-Factor

Brought to you by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and The Business Value Exchange

There’s an old joke in the employee management business: What’s the difference between old-fashioned ‘personnel’ (as we used to call it) and the new world of HR (as in Human Resources) today?

Answer: About 10 grand a year for most managers. The joke being, when we call it HR and add on all the so-called ‘value-added’ layers that this newly defined job function now wields, we can charge more back to the corporate cost centre for those involved.

Joking aside, the personnel division that was, that became the HR division that still is, is now morphing into the Talent Management (CAPITAL letters intentional to denote branding) element of the corporate Intellectual Property stack—and it has specific relevance to the way CEOs and CIOs will now direct their business strategies due to its proximity to cloud computing.

Workforce as a Cloud Function

Talent Management as a cloud function has become an accepted core element of the way firms now architect cloud-driven service-driven business models. After all, staff workers at most levels are essentially disposable, replaceable, repeatable and even perhaps ‘reconfigurable’ entities that an intelligent business will move around to maximize profit.

Given that human beings form the ‘labour supply’, why should we treat staff power any differently than the service-based approach to on-demand computing that comes with the cloud model? The answer is, we shouldn’t. But, OK, this is nothing new in a sense—firms have been using short-term temporary staff, and in every market from secretarial to education supply teachers, for decades.

What is different here is that cloud architecture is now shaping and aligning to talent-centric IT models. This new dedicated, talent-specific set of cloud services is engineered to integrate with the business analysis function so that key corporate goals can be targeted from the start. The talent cloud then helps manage performance (of both individuals and groups) and help steer and direct the business in its choice of staff resources. The talent cloud then helps gather feedback to reward those individuals who have contributed the most (so that top performers are compensated) and then ultimately help shed or reposition the weaker members of any team.

Computerized Humanity

As sterile and computerized as this may sound, automated, cloud-based talent management has always been argued to actually recognize individual employees as human beings (albeit, that they might still be labeled as ‘human capital’ anyway) and so look to nurture and cultivate skills and personal well-being wherever possible.

As we now go forward into the neo-classical, post-HR era of talent management toward the end of the current decade, mobile access methods will become crucial. That is to say, the way employees and employers will now connect and integrate with each other on every task will be made easier, straight from smartphone, tablet or other handheld mobile computing device.

Onward from this point, recruitment and business planning will also feel the wider effects of this level of CIO-level automation. If you think about the way the arrival of the Internet dramatically changed and reshaped the means via which firms and job seekers interact and communicate with each other, it’s not so hard to see why cloud computing would have a further and deeper impact upon the way CEOs now direct their CIOs to manage the talent pool.

The talent cloud is here, and it’s looking for a job. Do you have the IT value on-board to give it a desk or cubicle?