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Why the Digital Transformation Will Fail Without HR

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


To kick off the new year for the HR Break Room podcast, we invited Nick Ismail, content editor of Information Age, to share his insights on the digital transformation that’s increasingly required for businesses to remain competitive.

We discussed how vital HR is during that ongoing transformation, including the part HR technology plays to drive gains in productivity and efficiency companywide. Here’s a peek into that conversation, which you can hear in full here.

HR’s role

One simple definition of the digital transformation: the incorporation of technology into an organization’s overall strategy. That positively affects several functional areas within the business, including those that often fall under HR’s leadership: workplace culture, retention, recruiting and onboarding, for example.

Technology decisions for the whole company typically are made at the top of the org chart, but for them to be effective, everyone at the organization needs to understand the changes being made and the why behind them. “HR is really crucial in this,” Ismail noted, “because they’re the link between the employee and the employer.”

Speaking of employees, one critical touchpoint that all employees will have with your company’s digital transformation is through HR technology. And simplicity is key here to ensure your employees use the software in which you invest. According to Ismail, if you’re using a system with several providers for several solutions, “it’s going to be difficult to use, and there’s going to be a resistance from people in the organization.”

Productivity and efficiency

The digital transformation brings workplace benefits over and above mere convenience. When HR helps transform the organization by eliminating manual processes and aligning the human element with today’s workplace technology, you can see increased employee productivity and added efficiency companywide.

For example, a new study by Ernst & Young shows that the cost of one data entry within common HR tasks averages $4.39. When companies require outdated manual processes – and thereby more steps –  the HR professional and the employee lose valuable time. And the organization as a whole gradually bleeds money due to the real financial cost of those inefficiencies.

By embracing the digital transformation and reducing manual processes with easy-to-use HR software, companies can find more effective uses for that time and money such as creating strategy around the new data that your HR software has provided and listening to a riveting podcast.

To learn more about how the digital transformation affects HR, and how HR can make the case for tech initiatives to executive leadership, listen to episode 51 of HR Break Room.