HR managers appreciate importance of IT, but don’t work with IT people

HR managersResearch sponsored by Sungard Availability Services claims that while almost two thirds (63 percent) of the UK’s senior HR managers believe a closer alignment with their organisation’s Chief Information Officer will be vital in realising their department’s ideas, only 12 per cent currently work very closely with the IT crowd. The findings of the report show that 97 percent of HR professionals believe the CIO is very capable in supporting business growth through technology including enabling mobile and flexible working (58 percent), creating new ways to communicate with employees (64 percent) and driving efficiencies (66 percent) Nevertheless, the HR department profess to be big supporters of technology within the enterprise – with over two thirds (68 percent) stating that if the CIO was not sitting on the board within their organisation, then they should be.

This support could have a significant impact on the CIO’s role – with 35 percent of HR professionals stating that they believed the views and inputs of the CIO were not appreciated by those in the senior management team

Commenting on the findings, Sharon Clews, director – people & talent management, techUK observed: “In an age where agile working, particularly amongst the millennial population, is seen as an increasingly important attraction and retention tool, and as organisations recognise that the way they communicate with staff is changing, CIOs have a vital role to play as enablers of that change. Closer collaboration between CIOs and HR teams is therefore essential to the success of any change management activity.”

Keith Tilley, EVP global sales & customer services management at Sungard Availability Services said: “The disconnect between the number of HR professionals who recognise the benefits that come with working with the CIO, and those who actually do work closely with their IT department is worrying. IT is increasingly becoming a keystone in organisational operations – and while it’s encouraging to see that HR departments recognise the functionality and process efficiencies this could offer them, unless more is done to create improved inter-departmental links, businesses won’t unlock all the potential benefits. Whether that’s scoping the solution, implementation, ‘bug fixs’ or being aware of the particular challenges global firms with differing set-ups can face. The will is there, and both sides have a part to play in ensuring that this collaboration happens.”

In exploring how HR managers can collaborate more closely with CIOs, Sungard AS commissioned Professor of Management, Joe Peppard from the European School of Management and Technology to write a report entitled ‘Digital Dynamics in the C-Suite’.

Key tips identified by Joe Peppard to deliver closer collaboration with the CIO include:

  • Stay on trend with the latest technologies and keep an open dialogue with the CIO to talk through some of the ways technology can improve your business’ working processes and deliver new insights into your workforce.
  • Partner with the CIO to drive change within your department. Create a roadmap for implementing technologies that will solve your current HR headaches.
  • Understand the role that technology plays within your department. If necessary look to split costs with the IT department in order to make sure your budget contribution reflects the benefits you’re receiving.
  • Actively communicate your collaboration to the rest of the company – make sure everyone understands the relationship and its benefits.