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You’ve likely heard the term being tossed around—the Internet of Things (IoT)—but do you know what it means? Let’s reflect first. The 1990’s Internet connected one billion users via PCs; the early 2000’s Internet connected two billion users via smartphones; and by 2020, the IoT is expected to connect 28 billion “things” to the Internet. So, where does HR fit in?

According to an article on, a magazine focused on the people, technology, ideas and careers of senior leaders in Human Resources and Human Capital, more and more, the role of HR is to manage data associated with people. HR will be asked to handle the human impact of IoT. But how?

SAP SE, the world leader in enterprise software and software-related services, offers the following perspectives:

  • Seeing more clearly. For one, the IoT will help to see people more clearly. People are not very good at self-appraisal. Immediate access to data will help people to hire others who are better than them (something that is difficult, but smart to do).
  • Doing the right thing. Maximizing HR utilization means having the ability to select the right person for the right job at the right place at the right cost. That’s a lot of rights. As the decade rolls along, workforce planning will become more intelligent and will allow people to plan which people they need and when in real time, based on an integrated operational project plan. They can better leverage historical data and use it to their advantage.
  • Predicting functionality. IoT will help to provide clarity on what workloads are expected and what future skills are necessary to run the business. Organizational modeling will be based on information from all enterprise processes, combining data from finance, HR, logistics and more.

And, with the development of cloud-based technologies comes a new opportunity to re-examine the role of managers and employees in the management of day-to-day HR. In fact, the role of HR in a digital world is to achieve more efficient and value-driven HR outcomes. In most cases, this means reviewing your overall service delivery model of people, process and technology.

Rest assured, the HR technology market is paying attention to IoT. It’s playing a key role in this fundamental shift by innovating and building more robust cloud-based products that are changing how work is getting done. So, as you learn to adopt more efficient and common ways of getting HR connected to the IoT, you better believe your peers are too.

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