Spreadsheets Are History

Spreadsheets Are History

By Andy Shettle
21 November 2016

I'd attended the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition many times as a delegate, but this year, alongside colleagues, we descended on Manchester to showcase ER Tracker.

The landscape is changing as organisations look for HR to be more accountable but also more data-driven and strategic. The conference theme this year reflected this, how can HR shape the future of work?

Over the two days, we discussed HR case management with hundreds of delegates and found some recurring points:

  • An overwhelming response from HR teams wanting to move away from spreadsheets to a centralised case management system. There seemed to be an even stronger desire for geographically dispersed HR teams, be that nationally or internationally. 
  • We spoke to delegates who are using large ERP vendors, but the software didn’t have the specialist knowledge or functionality for managing their ER case load. This wasn’t just one ERP provider but actually a number of them.
  • When discussing cloud technology with delegates, there seemed to be a shift towards an automatic acception of the cloud. A few years ago, people wouldn’t have engaged with us on the stand as we were ‘cloud-based’, but it is now becoming the ‘norm’ for delivering software. 

The event itself was packed full of thought provoking seminars and smaller specialist sessions covering everything from ‘what does Brexit mean for the workplace’ through to ‘Evidence-Based HR’. 

From speaking to, probably over a hundred delegates, it was clear to me how much the HR profession wants to make people’s working lives more enjoyable. Be that through higher levels of engagement, health and wellbeing initiatives, empowerment through technology, L&D programs to realise an individual's potential and so on. It was reassuring to see the desire that everyone was pretty much the same – you spend half your life working – let’s make it as enjoyable as possible!

The conference was a great blend of listening to experts in the profession and meeting potential new suppliers to help transform areas of HR that are currently manual and paper intense. There was a strong focus on building people-centred businesses and the next few years are an exciting time for HR.