Future-ready leaders recognize that digitally fluent organizations—driven by knowledge workers—capture strong returns in innovation, people experience and customer value. Digital fluency allows people to build on technological foundations and not just work alongside them, but also unleash newfound creativity and ways of working.

Future-ready enterprises take three steps toward intelligent operations.

Create a data-driven culture that enables agility

When it comes to operating model decision-making, data has become even more important than executive experience and intuition. HR is no exception, and is able to deliver real-time insights into every part of the employee lifecycle: hiring, retention (including increasing employee engagement) and promotions.


of CEOs say their organization’s operating model is designed based on data.


of CEOs say digitization has helped provide insights for decision-making and business outcomes.


of HR leaders report wide or full-scale use of data to power things like analytics, AI and data science.


of HR leaders​ expect to have data in wide use or use at scale in three years.

Additionally, leaders across the C-suite should use data to improve employee well-being, which is a growing employee expectation—and an imperative for productivity and retention. Data should also inform career development, using it alongside predictive analytics to minimize attrition or to match people’s priorities, goals and skills with appropriate pathways that can include responsible reskilling.

Client case study

A personal care and manufacturing company used data and analytics to better understand the candidate market and hiring process to improve outcomes around diversity, equity and inclusion. The work pinpointed the company’s bias toward internal candidates and catalyzed the expansion of the diversity of the talent pipeline. Through data-driven actions, the company increased its ethnic and gender diversity of new hires from 38% to 60%.

Elevate human talent through technological innovation

Automation is playing a critical role in the people function—it’s being applied in new ways to change how work gets done, and sometimes overlaps with AI. These advancements free up time for employees and HR staff to focus on higher value activities. For example, employees can:

  • Engage with AI-driven chatbot to answer questions about transferring roles rather than contacting HR directly.
  • Get automated workflow notifications and capabilities, such as tuition reimbursement, which results in lower error rates.


is the increase of CEOs who say there’s widespread or full-scale automation, over three years ago.


of CEOs report that their enterprise has applied cloud at scale.


of HR leaders​ report that their enterprise has applied cloud at scale.

An enterprise focus on technology and automation is only matched by the need to scale cloud investments. Cloud remains an area that should be extended across all functions, including HR.

Elevating talent through technology innovation requires C-suite executives to commit to creating an overall lift in the organization’s technology quotient. This means acquiring, building and nurturing digital and cloud skills as part of their cultural shift.

Client case study

A leading telecommunication company wanted to reduce HR operating costs. Among other initiatives, it streamlined the salary negotiations process using a range of cloud solutions to obtain advanced analytics and insights about everything from a job’s detail and candidate availability to salary expectations. Now the company maintains compensation parity and offers the appropriate salary to the right skills set and qualifications, and the HR team can focus on supporting business strategy and growth. The redesigned HR operating model reduced costs by more than 30%​, and employee satisfaction rates have exceeded 95%.

Collaborate across business and technology functions

Organizations that want to close the gap on intelligent operations need to strategically break down barriers between IT and other departments.


of HR leaders​ say the collaboration between the business and technology groups will be at full scale in three years.


of all future-ready organizations expect business and technology functions to collaborate fully by 2023, up from 55% today.

Leaders across the C-suite should understand the talent and skill requirements across the organization by using analytics and predictive insights.

For example, they should use technology to review skills in the local labor market so HR professionals can work with the business to understand workforce skill needs. Then, they can more quickly find the most successful route to secure skills and resources from the external market.

Jill K. Goldstein

Talent and HR Business Process Services Lead


Fast-track to future-ready performance

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