It's one of the only constants in the world of HR: the fact that everything is always changing! Nowhere is that more true than in the ever-evolving world of technology -- from Internet usage to how data is handled within your organization. Indeed, the two are growing ever closer together.  

How technology is changing HR

It's one of the only constants in the world of HR: the fact that everything is always changing! Nowhere is that more true than in the ever-evolving world of technology -- from Internet usage to how data is handled within your organization. Indeed, the two are growing ever closer together. 

The Cloud 
As the walls of "information silos" are beginning to be broken down in organizations, HR teams need to be in control of who gains access to what -- and how. Cloud-based information is becoming the norm, and web-hosted access to data needs to be policed and apportioned correctly. 

One click could result in the wrong data being sent to the wrong person, so web-hosted software needs strict workflow -- meaning HR needs to become tech savvy, and quickly. The modern organization, therefore, is reliant on a modern HR, using Software as a Service (SaaS) within parameters that HR, in conjunction with IT or a service provider, has set. 

Google has introduced its own cloud, hosting documents and spreadsheets that can be shared instantly with anyone in the world. The benefits of this are clear -- reduced spending on IT, reduced disk space used internally, and faster access. The downsides are equally clear -- open access that needs to be controlled and monitored so that important information is not shared with the wrong people. 

Networking 
How information is shared around the organization -- both locally and remotely -- is of extreme importance to HR teams. Social networking tools such as Facebook have been on the blacklists of many businesses. They could soon find themselves on the whitelist as communication methods expand. Some have even predicted that Twitter feeds will even replace internal e-mail. 

In fact, that is not as ridiculous as it sounds. If used correctly, a tool like Twitter can be used by HR teams to communicate policy changes and other vital messages instantly to all, or selected, colleagues. The technology has adapted to such an extent that HR teams can benefit, and improve engagement as a result. 

Some predict a workplace powered by social networking software -- which might be stretching it. However, research has shown that 60% of businesses who have implemented social networking guidelines have shown increased productivity, and 55% say it has helped to guard their corporate reputation. 

The stakeholder 
So, HR needs to be a stakeholder in these developments, and needs to see the dangers before they arise. Whether this means working closer together with Marketing, with their added knowledge of social networking and corporate reputation -- or working closer with IT or service suppliers, HR has to drive the conversation, not just in framing guidelines for appropriate usage, but in encouraging these new technologies for the good of the business.