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Deloitte says HR needs to support digital transformation

Report highlights need for changes in talent and leadership for digital transformation

The Deloitte report says HR departments need to help organisations to develop digital plans and have the talent in place to act upon them.
The Deloitte report says HR departments need to help organisations to develop digital plans and have the talent in place to act upon them.

Human resources (HR) departments need to do more to help their organisations be properly positioned for digital transformation, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The report, titled "The changing role of people management in the digital age," highlights how the pace of digital transformation is influencing the way operating models are designed, and in turn is effecting the functions of HR departments and their role in identifying new approaches to managing people.

"Digital has been a driving force of change across industries, and the transformation is accelerating. One can measure the pace of digital disruption in months while it takes years for an organisation and its people to fully embrace such fundamental changes in the way they operate," said Emmanuel Durou, Partner and Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Leader at Deloitte in the Middle East. "Change management is by far the most enduring bottleneck to digital transformation. While technology adoption continues to be top of mind in all matters digital, we advocate that fundamental changes in leadership and talent attributes are far more critical to successfully embarking on the digital journey."

According to Deloitte's research, 56% of organisations in the Middle East are still considering the shift towards digital, but they have not implemented any tangible initiatives and actions geared towards the actual shift. This includes designing mobile applications, end-to-end user experience and other new disciplines for HR combining design thinking with apps, video, social and mobile technologies. Digital HR represents a new platform for improving the employee and candidate experience.

HR management's concerns will soon be revolving about the changing nature of the organisation and employees becoming increasingly digital and influenced by several disruptive themes. HR needs to be more pre-emptive with regard to digital transformation as it plays an important role in shaping the organisation's digital identity. It is a challenge and a real complexity to plan future capabilities of a workforce in the digital economy. Another challenge is the ability to integrate the right people into a dynamic organisational context and help existing employees and leaders gain new digital competencies to be able to drive transformation.

The report highlights three main areas where HR needs to improve its capabilities, including re-structuring the organisation to enable the digital transformation; embracing the digital talent life-cycle and empowering digital leadership.

In terms of restructuring the organisation, the HR department needs to understand the leadership's position on digital transformation and how it fits into the overall business model; talent plans need to address the current and future digital competencies required by the organisation to implement digital strategies, while digital leaders are required to engage key internal and external stakeholders in the organisation in the design and delivery of digital strategy.

"Evidently, digital is impacting every industry and every organisation. That said, managing the digital transformation will affect which organisations will survive and which will not in the era of the digitization rush," commented Joana Abou Jaoude, senior manager in Human Capital Consulting, at Deloitte in the Middle East.