As those of us focused on HR Tech get ready to descend on Las Vegas for the 2013 HR Technology® Conference & Expo, I give you the first #hrwins Trend Report for 2013.  Appropriately, this is my take on the current state of the HR Technology industry and innovation happening here.

It’s an exciting time for B2B tech, folks.  And, it’s an exciting time for HR Tech.

Things are changing.  If you’re looking at analyzing – buying – or marketing  tech – with the same approach you used in the 90s or even just a couple of years ago, you’re falling behind the curve, and FAST.

After constant briefings from HR Technology vendors over the last 12 months I’m happy to report that Tech Innovation for HR is strong.  New products and new approaches to HR challenges are entering the market more rapidly than ever.

Many of us that write about HR Technology obsess on innovation.  We get excited about new tech – the new cool toys.  We get our nerd on over what people are doing with the new tech platforms that empower America’s economy.  But, what I’m focused on is how technology is being leveraged to create HR INNOVATION.  What is the tech that truly helps HR WIN?

If you just look at tech for tech’s sake, in any market, it’s easy to get curmudgeonly about it.  It has seemingly all been done before when it comes to technology.

However, when you focus on addressing the business challenges that HR has.  When you focus on the application of the technology, then you see the true art in the innovation happening in HRTech. 

The creative spirit and commitment to the customer is strong within many established legacy tech players that I looked at. The entrepreneurial spirit and drive to disrupt the market with something fresh and new is palpable when I talk to the emerging shops.

The advent of new tools that address previously immense challenges (integration, visualization, depth of mobile apps, design, scalability in the cloud, security, etc.) level the playing field for the established and the new tech vendors.  Add in the ever-decreasing costs and barriers-of-entry for tech products, combined with a workforce culture that makes the tech-nerds the cool ones (yes!), and it’s no wonder things are happening so fast.

Even the source of the technology is changing rapidly.  Of course, Silicon Valley remains the US capital for tech innovation, but now you see cities like New York investing heavily in innovation and corralling 3x the Tech VC than Silicon Valley recently… Investment in design and innovation centers throughout the country – and around the world – that spark the distribution of the Intellectual horsepower behind addressing tech challenges.  More people in more places thinking about HR and HR Technology, and getting the support to do it = More solutions on their way into the market faster than ever before.

The spirit and guiding principle of the #hrwins remains the same:

If HR leaders became the true stewards of innovation, leveraging technology to foster collaboration, engagement, and innovation across the enterprise it would be an incredible win for the HR profession.

I believe there is a changing of the guard under way for new market-leading HR Technology products.  The most innovative HR Technology firms, those that truly help HR become the stewards of innovation, will assume the new leadership positions.

I’m excited to announce this year’s #hrwins, the next round in the first ever complete look at truly innovative HR Technology products across all categories.  Products and services that do things that haven’t been done before – and those that solve old problems in brand new ways.

Join us as we walk through the trends that are driving innovation in HR Technology.  The innovations that help HR win.  Trend reports will be published throughout the 2013 HR Technology® Conference & Expo, ongoing through the month of October.  The HR Wins 2013 HR Companies to Watch list is being finalized now, and will be announced imminently.

 

Learn more about the #hrwins here.