Mobility and HR II: trending topics

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In my previous article, I discussed some of the advantages a mobile application can offer us employees (approve holidays from the beach, start recruitment processes, and notify employees of new courses…). But where are we today in the market? What are the experts buzzing about? What are the challenges in the short term? Over the last few weeks I have been reading up on this in blog articles and digital media, LinkedIn conversations, and analyst reports. And I have spotted the topics with the most buzz and what issues are highly controversial. In fact things are getting quite heated. So here are the 4 trending topics in this area:

1.   HTML5?: Traditionally apps have been built ad hoc for mobile devices, but soon we can expect mobile apps that are multi-device by exploiting the potential HTML5 offers. To know more about this topic you can have a look at this interesting blog for developers: Mobile HTML5

 2.    Beyond Self-Service: Many analysts fear that mobile apps are limited to just replicating the employee and manager self service in a mobile phone, without going beyond to offer truly complete HRM functionality with greater added value, which should include new innovative functionalities that becomes possible through mobile connectivity. Naomi Bloom, an expert, pointed out in the LinkedIn “HR Technology Conference” group that she expects an HR mobile application to enable many new different types of functions around mobility, for instance, leveraging mobile location-based technology for better networking and tighter communications with professional contacts and colleagues while on the road. Here time management in mobiles takes on a new meaning; other areas of HRM can potentially expand in similar ways too.

3.   But so far beyond?: There is a huge debate going on between those who believe that the future of mobile applications is to be able to perform HCM functions on the mobile device, and those who are far more sceptical and believe that certain tasks can only be done from the desktop. Check out the interesting discussion in the comments to the article “For HR Mobile Strategy Should Be More Than Apps” by Sara White.

4.   Emulate or reinvent?: One of Gartner’s recommendations for the software industry is that vendors rethink their application from the point of view of mobility, and not limit themselves to take the functionality and design of their solutions to the mobile phone.

Mobile devices have created a new, more agile and intuitive pattern of usability and other methods of interacting with the interface which enrich HCM mobile applications in interesting ways—and even offer new functionalities, like we are already seeing with geolocalization. Gartner recommends vendors to think of the application from the end user’s perspective, rather than based on the existing software in the office desktop environment.

As you can see, nobody is sure quite what the HR mobile software application model of the future will be like, but this topic is already spurring controversy and its likely there will be plenty of buzz in the months to come. We’ll keep an eye on this! 😉

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