But, as Haak points out, there isn't always an easy solution to gain more funding -- no matter what department you're in -- but he notes that you also can't expect to get the necessary funding through inaction. Rather, he says, business leaders need to look at educating the right people on the benefits of HR tools, and how they can make the entire company more efficient. It might even mean pushing HR out of its comfort zone, encouraging them to become a more flexible department that is open to the idea of experimentation. "If you experiment you can learn, and then implementation of new technology can go faster," says Haak.
Traditional vs early adopters
If you want to move towards a more flexible HR approach, you might find it difficult if your department has a mix of traditional HR workers and early adopters. Alternatively, some businesses may find they have HR departments that are completely one or the other -- either traditional or more progressive -- every business is different. But what is clear, according to both Maier and Haak, is that early adopters are typically more open-minded to new technology, as well as more likely to adjust to the new tech quickly. Meanwhile, more traditional HR departments or workers are more hesitant to change the way HR operates.
"The 'consumeration' of HR is a clear trend. Implementation of new tools will not be a big issue, especially with new generations who are expecting this. Older generations and some senior management might be more of an obstacle, as they tend to be less tech savvy and more focused on control and standardization," says Haak.
One way to get around the more traditional HR departments or employees is to focus on how these tools are created to make the lives those in HR, and other departments, easier. "It's important to understand that adopting a new technology won't disrupt the work of HR departments. In fact, these tools will boost their performance by allowing HR professionals to obtain better data that will enable them to identify talent gaps, adopt a real-time coaching culture and make employee succession planning easier," says Maier.
Change can't wait
While every HR department will acclimate to new technology differently and will need a personally tailored approach, there is one common theme; change can't wait. HR departments that drag their feet when looking at adopting new HR technology will only set themselves back further, as the industry rapidly evolves. And it's not just something that HR needs to worry about alone, it's something the entire company needs to take seriously.
"HR department need to act now. Not on their own, but working with marketing, IT and the data analytics teams," says Maier. What HR tech can bring to a company is more than just alleviating HR of paperwork, it can bring "increased impact, increased engagement of employees and management, decreased costs, more evidence and data driven actions, better ability to match talent and opportunities and faster learning curves," he says.
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