Preview of HR Technology Conference 2011

Here it is the even of the HR Technology Conference – and we eagerly await dozens of news releases, product introductions, tweets, and announcements of exciting new technologies in the areas of talent management, recruiting, HR management, and more.

We have briefings with more than 50 solution providers this week, and I promise to put together a detailed recap of the major announcements in the coming week.  And in the next few weeks watch for Bersin & Associates Talent Management Systems 2012 research report, which will cover the entire talent management market and disclose our latest data on market share, market growth, and major technology trends.

Here are a few major trends to watch for:

  • Mobile technologies are starting to dominate the landscape.  I will be presenting on this topic (and the slides will go into our research library).  Most major software providers now realize that employees, supervisors, managers, and executives spend far more time on their mobile devices than they do on PCs.  Thus it is time to “re-imagine” applications for mobile.  This last week I was at a learning conference and talked with Bloomfire, a 7-person company which has built an amazingly easy-to-use mobile application for uploading work-related information for collaboration and social learning.  Bloomfire’s initial design was the iPhone – and then iPad and web applications came later.  Watch for much more of this to come.
  • Consumerization of user experiences.  One fast-growing vendor is going to launch a new talent management application that looks almost exactly like a beautified version of Facebook.  It is so easy to use, one can immediately start making sense of it.  The traditional tabbed, menu-based solutions we’ve built for 20 years are starting to go away.  We will post a picture of this once it is launched.  I think you’ll be amazed.
  • Analytics becomes mainstream.  The whole topic of HR and learning measurement has been discussed for many years (I wrote a book on this in 2006) and continues to confuse many HR and L&D leaders.  Today there are a proliferation of new tools to help make sense out of all the employee, learning, and candidate data we have been capturing.  Not only are there new standalone tools like Visier coming to market, but all the established players (from PeopleFluent to SumTotal to SuccessFactors) are all selling proven, scalable analytics solutions which help you make people-related decisions more quickly.  The era of “embedded analytics” is here (data available immediately as you make decisions) and “predictive analytics” are now coming.  In fact one of the more exciting features of Oracle’s Fusion HCM offering is its “risk-predictive analytics” which we will talk more about later.
  • ERP vendors are now playing in the talent management market.  Oracle, SAP, Workday, Ultimate, ADP, Lawson, and other ERP vendors are now selling talent management software.  This not only further legitimizes and grows the market, it will slowly make it more difficult for the pioneering vendors to stay ahead.
  • Social is everywhere.  As I discussed in the recent article about Agile HR, the concept of bringing the “wisdom of crowds” to performance management, rewards, learning, recruiting, and nearly every other part of talent management is now taking hold.  We count more than 12 new “social performance management” vendors now in the market, and these companies are showing organizations how to radically change the way people are managed.  In a positive, highly empowered way, I might add.

Well thats all I have time for today – off to Vegas and I hope to see you there.