(2015) Changing HR Function: Negotiating the Digital Wave

End July 2015, and Chennai beckons. For the past 11 years it has been doing so unwaveringly, and this is the summit’s twelfth edition. The NASSCOM HR Summit, 23rd – 24th July at Hotel ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. Riding on its success over the years, and the loyal fanfare it has mustered, the event is now well considered as the intellectual potpourri of human capital and business leadership alike.

HR is no more only about people. It now embraces business and the technologies that run business. With the advent of CHROs we have seen that shift. As a C-suite executive, a CHRO is as critical to strategic decision making, as any other. So what are we conveying this time at the summit? Well, it is going to be about “The Digital Highway: HR’s Journey into the Future”.

This blurring of boundaries between HR and business has far reaching implications. Business impact because of on-setting trends, would find resonance in the HR function as well. Across the industry, digital disruption is right on cue and business leaders are gearing up for this change. “Disruption” by nature implies, that the future will have to be re-scripted. Like a wave it sweeps everything in its path and reaction time has to be very quick. It has been observed, often the best way to combat such forceful change, is through a collaborative approach.

Who will collaborate with whom? HR function will collaborate with frontline business, and employee engagement methods will have to be re-modelled accordingly. At the heart of this engagement, is digital technology. HR function impacts the entire lifecycle of an employee. For instance, retention & talent acquisition strategy, learning & development in a digitally empowered environment will be very different from what we have seen in the past. As witnessed, gamification, hiring through social media are all ideas which are spawning rapidly. Often, it is misconstrued that such change in HR function will impact large companies only. Not at all. Cloud-based services have ensured that capital investments are done away with, and SMEs too can go the Digi-HR way. The idea of being immune to change because of small size, is really a luxury living on borrowed time.

Against this backdrop, our summit snugly fits in. Spread over two days, it’s an opportunity for us to be part of sessions that focus on : creating an innovation culture, exploring new methodologies in the digital world, global insights, embracing social media, creating efficiency & optimization, data privacy in a highly networked world and the likes. Knowledge dissemination will be done by some of the brightest of minds in the field of HR. You may like to have a look at the list (partial) for now

Two days, 700 participants, over 60 speakers featured in more than 20 sessions, would be a very powerful platform to get a sneak preview of what the future entails. Sharing of global best practices, focused panel discussions, networking and bonhomie that characterize all NASSCOM conferences, would naturally feature here as well.

The future that I spoke about from an HR function standpoint, is inevitable. Conferences such as these, are great opportunities to negotiate with eventualities that are going to happen sooner than later.

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