Recently I did a quick Q&A with the good folks at Cornerstone OnDemand that centered on how the consumer, really the smartphone and tablet-toting consumer, and their demands and expectations are going to drive and influence developments in the HR Tech space going forward.
In a nutshell, I had three basic takes that are shaping these trends: (you can head over the the Cornerstone OnDemand blog for the full Q&A).
Ease of use - the App-ification of our lives demands that the technologies that will be the most adopted, and therefore the most effective at work, be as easy to access, understand, and immediately derive value from as apps like Yelp, Shazam, and Instagram. No smartphone app comes with a user manual. If you can't move from installation to use to value in minutes then you are going to turn off most of your users. And that is even before we start talking about designing for the smaller screens and tap-tap-tap interfaces, rather than the 27-inch monitor you have at the office.
Mobile is the platform - The most popular social networks are increasingly mobile-only, or mobile-dominated. Facebook, Twitter - they are all about mobile now. And the fast climb of mobile-only messaging apps like WhatsApps and SnapChat tell entrepreneurs that you don't need a web interface to scale into the many millions of users. To day, almost all HR technology aimed at mobile users have just been mobile versions of existing desktop and web applications. I think that is going to change.
Switching costs will decline - What do you do with a smartphone app that you no longer enjoy or simply ceases to add value to your life? Easy - two taps and it is gone forever and you find something to replace it. As more and more HR and workplace solutions move to the cloud and more will become mobile-only apps, over time both 'vendor lock in' and these kinds of switching costs will be reduced. The very same technology approaches that have allowed the cloud vendors to disrupt the on-premise solutions of the past makes they themselves open to the same disruption.
There is more of my insight/nonsense on these ideas over at the CSOD blog - many thanks to the Cornerstone team for asking me to share some of my thoughts.
Have a great weekend all!