HR and IT: Achieving together side by side

There is a powerful new relationship at the top of the most successful organisations today when HR and IT departments work together to impact the business.
By: | May 2, 2019


Who are the most important functional heads in the C-Suite today?

It’s a deliberately provocative question given the key audience for this HR Festival Asia Show Guide, but it can still be illuminating to consider how the dynamics of such leadership groups are changing with the Digital Era.

Certainly, the CEO still has plenty of clout at the top of the food chain – and the Chief Financial Officer remains a key signoff for new investments and strategic direction.

Beyond these however, the traditional hierarchy is changing quickly in favour of two relative newcomers.

The Chief HR Officer invested many years, not to mention barrels of energy in getting their coveted “seat at the table” in the C-Suite. But it has been the increasingly important war for talent and recognition of culture as a growth driver that has ensured a permanent engraving on the name plate.

Four ways HR and IT leaders can collaborate

Break through the stereotypes

Forget the preconceptions that IT leaders don’t understand people, or that HR experts can’t operate a laptop. Both groups need to understand each other’s true value and rewrite the relationship story.

 Connect teams

Working collaboratively across teams will allow for a more holistic digital transformation strategy, with buy-in from essential pillars

Partner for performance

Opportunities abound for impactful partnerships across strategy formulation and key initiatives. Mentoring can take place in both directions, building up skills that would otherwise remain siloed.

Collect and analyse data 

Harness the full power of technology to transform HR practices by leveraging the full value of HR data.

Innovation, teamwork, and employee endeavour are now a vital part of the “how do we get there” behind any business strategy, and it is the Chief HR Officer whose hand is on this key growth lever.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO), or Chief Technology Officer, meanwhile has also found themselves in an important position. As more and more business, communication, and work in general moves on to digital platforms, technology becomes the basic infrastructure behind the way every enterprise works.

It is only the CIO who can effectively map out the opportunities of the Industry 4.0 era and then bring the key stakeholders together to rollout and troubleshoot the chosen strategy.

These two C-Suite leaders each hold valuable cards in the strategic direction of organisations today. Their knowledge and understanding of each of their respective fields places them at the heart of the business conversation for any organisation looking to move forward in the current volatile landscape.

But what if these skillsets and influence were combined? As a collaborative team, the CHRO and CIO are well placed to have a profound impact on the ways staff work, and the potential impacts they can have.

Put simply – they can drive the working culture of the organisation far more effectively than the Chief HR Officer on their own.


Just the two of us

Ramakrishna, CEO of CIO Academy Asia says this is because technology now plays such an important part in an organisational culture, and the range of tech solutions leaves a huge gap between the most and least advanced workplaces.

“The digital revolution has completely transformed the future workforce,” he says. Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation are key areas where the two fields converge, and Ramakrishna says this offers an ideal opportunity for collaboration across departments. HR and IT teams need to partner across all aspects, ensuring both the technical side of the implementation is sound, and that the human touch remains an influence.

The collaborative power of the HR and IT functions will be on show at HR Festival Asia 2019, with a series of sidebar workshops
– connecting senior HR and IT leaders – taking place throughout the event.

“CIO Academy Asia is excited to partner HRM Asia (organisers of HR Festival Asia) to engage HR and Tech leaders in developing a new digital mindset towards talent management in Asia,” Ramakrishna says.