Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Organizations need to have strategies. Common ones include a business strategy, workforce strategy, and a technology strategy. To me, a technology strategy is the plan that outlines how technology will help the organization – and the employees working in it – accomplish their goals. Depending on your industry, the company’s technology strategy could include hardware types, software platforms, social media programs, point of sale systems, etc.
At this year’s Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Talent Conference, Tim Sackett talked about what I would consider a component of technology strategy called a “tech stack”. Tim is the CEO of HRUTECH.com and author of “The Talent Fix: A Leader’s Guide to Recruiting Great Talent”. A tech stack is a grouping of technology services that are “stacked” together to create the best, most effective, and efficient process possible. For example, a traditional talent acquisition tech stack might look like this:
However, today we have more tech options. And that was my takeaway from Tim’s session during the Talent Conference. We need to be able to build a tech stack that works and accomplishes our goals. He said it best, “If you have a bad process – and you buy technology – you’ll still have a bad process.” Building a tech stack is about bringing together the right technologies to accomplish our goals, which could be different for every organization. If you’re looking to build a tech stack as part of your overall technology strategy, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- ASSESS your current technology. Is the organization using all the features it offers?
- IDENTIFY your future technology needs. For example, how fast does the system need to process data? And don’t say it has to be the fastest, because sometimes that’s simply not true.
- AGREE on technology success metrics. How will you know if the tech is performing the way it should be?
- TRAIN users on how the system works. And create a communications system to keep them informed of updates and changes.
Using the same example above, here’s what a new talent acquisition tech stack might look like. Notice this is a small sampling of what a new tech stack could look like. There are other components like talent intelligence, interview scheduling, and others that aren’t mentioned here.
In fact, that was the other thing I wanted to add about tech stacks. It’s possible that there are technologies that we should consider that we’re not even aware of right now. On one hand, that’s very exciting and on the other, it can be daunting.
The good news is that Stacey Harris, chief research officer and managing partner of Sapient Insights Group, has a book out that might help identify the right components for the tech stack your building. The book is called “Introduction to HR Technologies: Understand How to Use Technology to Improve Performance and Processes”. The book provides great data into what types of technologies exist and the information you can get from them. I could see reading the book prior to the HR Technology Conference & Expo or the SHRM Annual Conference as a way to plan what vendors to visit in the expo hall, that will help you formulate your tech stack.
Organizations are very focused right now on economic recovery. Part of that conversation usually involves doing more with less. Technology always comes up in the discussion. But it has to be the right technologies stacked in the right order to be efficient and effective.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the HR Technology Conference & Expo15