HR Departments Among Least Digitally Advanced Says New Study

A new study based on a survey of more than 600 executive recruiters and leadership advisors worldwide reveals that HR departments are significantly behind other functional departments when it comes to digital transformation. This functional gap within organizations, across industries and geographies, is creating major barriers to enterprise-wide digital transformation.

If you work in HR today that is probably no surprise. So perhaps it is time for a new role to emerge: Director of HRIT

This person would be in charge of managing all implementations and vendor management as well as staying on top in tech trends that can help advance recruiting and the employee experience.

The worldwide Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) has released the results of their global survey of more than 600 executive recruiters and leadership advisors from leading executive search firms. The results of the survey, published in AESC’s new report Leading Transformation: Shaping the C-Suite for Business 4.0 Innovation, reveal that departmental silos within organizations continue to create major barriers to enterprise-wide digital transformation.

The survey respondents, all executive search and leadership consultants who advise organizations of all sizes and across industries, ranked Human Resources and Legal departments the least advanced in their digital transformations, while Marketing and Technology departments were ranked the most digitally advanced within organizations. The findings do not vary significantly by geographic region with Human Resources and Legal teams ranking at the bottom across all major geographies.

The survey also revealed the top five obstacles preventing organizations from achieving enterprise-wide digital transformation, including:

  1. Legacy approaches
  2. Lack of talent
  3. Lack of investment
  4. Resistance to change
  5. Lack of clear definition

As the rate of Industry 4.0 technologies from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to rapidly advance, it is important business leaders understand how to best leverage emerging technologies for competitive industry advantage and the leadership required to foster cultures of innovation. The AESC study also reveals top challenges to achieving innovation, the attributes of leaders who can inspire innovation, the C-Suite roles that must change the most in the new global business environment and how to build an executive talent strategy for Business 4.0 innovation.


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