Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cutting industry analysts a break...sort of

I am often pretty hard on industry analysts for a number of reasons. I think they epitomise the axiom " a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." I also firmly believe that they are spoiled by being in a position where they rarely face any consequences for what they write or say, and are thereby emboldened to make pronouncements with incomplete data and poor assumptions. In HCM/Talent technology, I think they really get away with some things because, truly, as a rule senior HR professionals are the most stupid people in an entire organisation when it comes to technology.

There, I said it. You know it's true. This isn't to say that HR professionals aren't otherwise competent or smart, just generally not when it comes to technology.

So, this is where I believe industry analysts can, and often, do the world and their clients a real service. Namely, explaining to senior HR practitioners that many of there assumptions about technology, HCM applications, etc., are often wrong, or minimally, much harder to do than they think they are. At its finest, this is a consultative process where industry analysts can demonstrate that the practicality of technology is always less than it's promise, and that great success comes only with focus and discipline. But most of all, industry analysts can help practioners build a support network of technologists and processes that will keep practitioners safe from putting on rose colored glasses, and instead keep them focused on achieveable results.

In HCM/Talent technology, industry analysts offer organisations far more value when they help practitioners understand how to think about technology, rather than telling them which technology or company is better. My New Year's wish is for analysts to stop telling us about vendors, and to start telling organisations how to think.


Phil Fersht said...

When did you last meet an HR professional who wanted to be told how to "think about how to apply technology?" Having said that, wait until you have a discussion with them on how they should "think about HR Outsourcing" -:)

TechSphinx said...

Ha ha Phil...very true!

Phil Fersht said...

"So have you considered replacing staff with a self-service portal"... that one always goes down well ;)