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Who “Owns” Technology to Support Employees, IT or HR?


The working relationship between HR operations and the IT operations has evolved from being fraught with tension and conflict to being collaborative and cooperative.

Both HR and IT team members are presented with the challenge of providing employees with a smooth experience throughout the employment lifecycle. After all, the HR and IT teams manage the company's greatest asset – its people!

HR technology solutions are vital tools that help support the management of employee records, benefits, compensation, training and development, employee engagement, and payroll. When HR technology solutions are sourced, evaluated, and purchased by both HR or IT, employees reap the benefits. Within those benefits are features that provide value and successful implementations to drive employee adoption.

At MeBeBot, we bring together the HR and IT teams through the evaluation and decision-making process. The collaboration between the teams demonstrates how both teams can work together to launch our Intelligent Assistant and AI platform to support their employees. We have learned many best practices that enable both teams to focus on their specific area of business expertise to realize the goal of providing efficiencies so that employee needs are met and productivity is achieved.

Best Practices are to Share Goals & Agree on Responsibilities

Prior to HR technology recommendations or implementations, leaders from both teams should come together to share goals, desired business outcomes, and divide out specific responsibilities with clear deliverables.

Here’s three key needs HR should describe to IT

1. The challenge or business problem you are facing and assumptions of how technology may help provide a solution.

2. The overall goals or outcomes you want to achieve/realize.

3. HR technologies you've learned about or researched that can help IT in its expert vetting process.

Here are the three needs IT should describe to HR

1. The overall goals or outcomes you want to achieve/realize.

2. IT's need for specific examples of the business challenges the team is facing.

3. What the measurement of success looks like for the HR team and for employees.

Since both teams are focused on the same "clients," the employee and the overall business, HR and IT are tasked with providing employees with a beneficial solution that is easy to use (for adoption) while ensuring the security of employee data and protection of sensitive information.

Seek to Understand, Lead with Empathy, and Develop Organizational Agility

Today's recent global events have forced HR and IT to embrace a one-team-one-goal mentality, with quick decision-making and deployments of solutions faster than ever before.

As employees move to a remote-work world, and employers expect that 19% of their full-time employees will continue to work from home, HR and IT must work together to maintain the employee experience.

[BW2]


According to Lighthouse Research and Advisory’s recent study, organizational agility is the ability to make timely, effective, and sustained changes resulting in performance advantages. Through this research, they found a connection between the use of technology and agility at an organizational level that creates future-ready and resiliency to enable workforce productivity.

And, not surprisingly, the correlation between HR and IT alignment on HR systems and tools used to support the business with responsiveness to change and overall organizational success.

A MeBeBot customer, E2open, is a great example of a company where the HR and IT teams work together and collaborate to understand each other's business needs and challenges. E2open, the cloud-based, real-time operating platform that orchestrates the global supply chains for leading brands, implemented MeBeBot in 2018, to provide employees the immediate answers they need for HR and IT questions, supporting on-site and remote employees across the world.

Debbie Smith, Executive Vice President of HR for E2Open, explains the importance of HR and IT working in today's remote work world.

"With MeBeBot, we can provide all our 2,400 employees around the world, within the moment support for both HR and IT needs," Smith said. "E2open values innovation and MeBeBot provides an intelligent solution which enables the HR team to direct time otherwise spent answering routine or repetitive questions to higher-value projects.”

E2Open's Assistant Vice President of IT and Business Systems Vlad Temnov shares a similar vision and has embraced the strong partnership between the HR and IT teams,

"At E2open, our employees' needs are the focus of the IT solutions and tools we provide to the business," Temnov said. "When IT and HR can work together to provide solutions to address employee needs and business challenges, we can also partner together to select, implement, and share the budgets for technology that benefits the company and drives productivity."

When E2open first launched MeBeBot in August of 2018, the company was experiencing fast growth through acquisitions. Both the HR and IT teams were inundated with questions while onboarding new employees and they desired a positive employee onboarding. With MeBeBot, the questions to various HR Business Partners were reduced by 75%, and IT help desk tickets were reduced to more complex issues. Currently, E2open utilizes MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant in Teams and as a web chat within their company Intranet in Sharepoint, and hundreds of questions are answered each month.

To read more about E2open’s success leveraging MeBeBot for their recent acquisitions and to support their distributed and remote teams, read the E2open case study.

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