HomeFuture of WorkDigital HRTransforming HR through digital disruption and speculation

Transforming HR through digital disruption and speculation

  • 3 Min Read

HRD Summit 2019 featured a great keynote discussion with Nigel Sullivan, Chief People Officer at Bupa, Richard Doherty, Senior Director of Product Marketing EMEA at Workday, and Monica Peach, HR Transformation Director at Diageo. They discussed HR’s role in digital transformation and the importance of data.

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With a recent survey by annual KPMG finding that 95% of CEO’s find digital disruption as an opportunity, which is an increase of 30% of the recent year. In this armchair discussion Richard, Nigel Sullivan, and Monica shared how they have tackled digital transformation and their approach to modernising HR. They first discussed the importance of having ideas put in place in order to initially scale transformation in HR. As now there is a real opportunity with digital advances to scale it.

Nigel mentioned that there is a real opportunity to take lead on these changes to the digital world. As before they have spent 30 years assuming and guessing what will be trending or coming next. However, due to new solutions, there is no need to do this anymore, as data can provide insights and facts. So if they can blend assumption/guessing with data and facts, these solutions could become powerful. And provide a better experience for a workforce, Nigel finished by saying that this was just the start.

Richard talked about how people are at the core of this shift to transformation. Through research from IBM, they found that 50% of their 2018 revenue was linked to skills that did not exist within their organisation 6 years ago. Which is why HR is important to accommodate for these changes made in the employment market.

How does HR need to change?

When moving onto the topic of how HR needs to change. Monica discussed creating a unique experience for their employees and adopting a foundational experience. She mentioned that HR teams need to add value and understand that things never go right the first time. She finished by saying


“The world is becoming boundaryless, it’s changing, break those boundaries”


Nigel mentioned that at the moment HR is challenging but exciting, and said it’s important to turn HR departments inside out, give the power back to the people on their phones, and to give the opportunity for them to be treated, if they shift the agenda, they shift the value and the importance of HR, he said that they need to change their skill set of how they engage.

Richard ended the conversation by saying, to be successful, HR needs to constantly innovate, and create an environment where they can support innovation. Companies need to adopt a fluid organisation and be flexible about their processes, by doing this, they can create a future workforce, bring in new skills, and work towards that end goal.

How can HR tech support digital transformation change

Monica was the first to comment on how tech can support these changes, she mentioned that technology is gradually becoming more affordable, because of this, it can create a base platform which allows technologies to be engrossed into companies main core systems.

She finished by saying that Data can help drive the agenda of companies business forward, and if you can combine this data with innovative ideas then this could have a huge advantage for organisations in the future. A piece of advice from her would be to always start with a business problem and pull those forms of data together to eventually create a business solution. Nigel also commented on this point, saying that it’s important to be thoughtful of what data is actually needed, as planning what data and research are needed is much more important than having the data itself.

Thank you to Nigel, Monica, and Richard for an engaging and insightful keynote discussion relating to digital transformation and the importance of data.

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