There have been several posts recently about Web 2.0 and Human Capital Management (HCM) vendors saying it is more than a fancy user interface (UI), which seems to be all HCM vendors are promoting at the moment. On that front I could not agree more, but I would take things to a deeper level.
Web 2.0 should be thought of in two different contexts, firstly as a period in time like the dot com boom and second as a philosophy based around several key concepts:-
- User generated content
- Bottom up
Where fundamentally the web is a platform!
These concepts refer to both the tools and the practices for implementing Web 2.0 and social software. It is generally accepted that Web 2.0 and social software implemented within the firewall is referred to as Enterprise 2.0, which I will use from now on.
What’s missing in the HCM markets definition of “web 2.o”, is the impact and value of social software (blogs, wikis, social networks, search, RSS, etc). Frankly, I think social software is destined to be a huge component of HCM software in the future, yet few vendors know what it is or how to take advantage of its value
He is right Enterprise 2.0 is destined to be a huge component in HCM software, the question that still needs to be answered is how?
Right now we have two broad camps in the HR technology area, first traditional HRIS and the newer Talent Management tools, uptake of the tools and the functional division varies by country, so we all will not agree that there are two camps, yet. The HRIS area tends to be more administrative and transactional focused, while the talent management area tends to be around recruitment, development, learning and now compensation. So where does Enterprise 2.0 fit?
Well really in neither camps.
We could force it into talent management but it is not really about managing talent, it might help you attract and retain people but not manage them in the traditional sense. Enterprise 2.0 can also help with knowledge management, employee engagement and satisfaction. But not really talent management. And it definitely (ok maybe a little) doesn’t fit in the HRIS area. Enterprise 2.0 tools will sit on top of, around, integrated with and enabled by HRIS and Talent Management.
As mentioned earlier the attributes around Enterprise 2.0 are more cultural and fluid than formal process in nature, and is where things become difficult. Further the tools tend to be more bottom up in nature and are designed to subvert hierarchies. Factors which make implementations of Enterprise 2.0 a process unlike any already attempted by most organisations.
A final note Enterprise 2.0 will only work in organisations where it makes the organisation money. Why? Because most organisations are only there to make money.
More on this topic later.