Digitisation vs Digitalisation: What Does it Mean for HR?

Craig Hynd |


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As an HR software provider with years of experience, we’ve spoken to lots of different companies about their HR technology priorities.

Many organisations that we’ve spoken to say they simply want to store their employee data in a digital format, i.e. ‘digitisation’. Whilst this is a great ambition, and one that many companies still aren’t prepared to take, this should only be the first step on a journey to true ‘digitalisation’.

But first, let’s look at what we mean by digitisation and digitalisation.

What is digitisation?

Digitisation is the process of converting information from a physical format into a digital format.

For HR, this could be converting paper employee records into a digital format.

What is digitalisation?

Digitalisation is taking advantage of digitisation to improve organisational processes.

For HR, an example would be using digitised employee records to create powerful custom reports about the makeup of their organisation.

So, in summary, digitisation is the relatively simple process of converting analogue information into a digital format. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Digitalisation is all about taking full advantage of digitisation to realise the benefits that digital technology can provide.

Unfortunately, many HR departments still invest its technology budget in only digitisation and nothing more. Yet the benefits of digitisation are purely functional. Its value is limited and its potential to fundamentally and positively change a business is also limited.

Having your employee information in a digital format should be just the first step of a much longer journey.

Why HR needs to invest in digitalisation

HR departments need to have the vision and conviction to move beyond the initial step of digitisation. Many companies completed this process years ago, and have never thought about the next step.

Superior HR functions need to lead advanced change, as opposed to sitting tight for it to occur itself. At the end of the day, HR needs to be the pioneer of technological change.

HR can lead this technological change by:

  • Attracting the best talent
  • Utilising workers' best capabilities and reiterating the importance of the organisation’s vision and strategy
  • Forming a culture of ambitious advancement

This is the recipe for intelligent HR. Employees are digital consumers and are increasingly demanding that HR services be integrated, online, and mobile-responsive, with user interfaces that are logical and consistent.

Therefore, adoption of the latest HR tech is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

To stay ahead of the pack, especially in such a competitive job market, you must become a digital leader and revolutionise your HR strategy through tech.

HR technology that is in itself ambitious and inherently useful, with lots of built-in workflow automation, is a key way for you to continually transform the way you design and deliver experiences for employees and managers, anywhere and at any time.

It’s all about combining the human element of HR with the revolutionary possibilities of intelligent automation, as well as taking advantage of insightful data to add new business intelligence and value.

If you’ve got your employee data in a cloud-based platform, then that’s great! But if you’re not proactively doing anything with it; if your HR platform isn’t making your life easier and freeing up time for you to focus on strategy, then you may want to consider making a change.

The first thing to do is to define exactly what it is you want to achieve with your HR tech, and how you want it to help you achieve your long-term strategy and objectives.

The next step is to identify whether your current HR software is capable of fulfilling those objectives. If the answer is no, then there are suitable alternatives available.

If you want to see how Youmanage can help you to meet and exceed your strategic HR objectives, then book your demo or claim your free trial.

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