The Digital Technologies Driving Democratization

What are the advances in digital technology that are transforming human resources and enabling talent management to become more embedded in the fabric of everyday work? Here are some new digital advances and how they are fundamentally changing the nature of the game:

  • Social: Social media extends the Internet concept of removing intermediaries to the masses, enabling unlimited, easy reach to large numbers of people. Its significant reach enables people to connect to create a unified, powerful voice. And it enables people to actively “co-create” practices, processes or content so they are ever-evolving and timely rather than fixed and static.
  • Mobile: As mobility applications designed for tablets and smartphones become more available, digital talent processesare becoming easier to perform anywhere, anytime and on any device, making them more easily woven into the fabric of everyday work where and when it occurs. Consider TouchBase from Ultimate Software Group Inc., for example, a wall-dockable tablet that takes a digital photo of each worker to verify the worker’s identity instead of requiring workers to punch in.
  • Gaming: The infusion of principles derived from gaming make performing talent management practices far more fun and easier to do — thereby motivating employees to take on more talent management activities. Sites like Gild,, Mixtent and True Office help companies transform everything from recruiting to performance appraisals to learning into a game.
  • The cloud and more intuitive user interfaces: The latest generation of cloud applications puts individuals in charge of their own destiny more than ever before, providing tools, for example, for goal alignment, frequent feedback, teamwork and collaboration, and career self-management (with or without the involvement of an employer). Cloud applications also have improved, more intuitive user interfaces that make them easier to use by all, whether the user is an HR professional or not.
  • Analytics/big data: Companies that integrate traditional business and talent data with big data obtained from social and local data sources — tweets, blog posts, RSS feeds, customer service feedback, GPS coordinates and more — can get a far more complete picture of their workforce’s abilities, wants and needs. The emergence of analytics and more sophisticated modeling and decision support tools also means that decision-making can be more easily performed on the front lines by employees themselves with digital assistance.

Anthony Abbatiello is a managing director and the global HR consulting lead within Accenture’s Strategy practice, based out of the New York office. Comment below or email Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.