Enhanced interoperability is not necessarily a direct outcome of digitalisation – it requires applied standards and a pragmatic transformation – however is critical to the success of any digitation project where the goal is improved business efficiency.
What is digitisation? People tent to conflate a digitisation or digital transformation with better software, hardware, the use of technology, cloud, SaaS. These are all common tools in a digital transition, but they are a means-to-an-end, that end is enhanced speed (at which common tasks can be completed) and interoperability with all other processes that interrelate or depend on to it.
The first an increase in the speed – i.e. reducing the lag time between the steps in a process and the speed and ability or process and understand and communicate – is the most obvious to people; a sleek online form for a customer to provide feedback from their mobile device makes it a lot faster to receive and process their input than if it were paper based.
But the interoperability not so much… if the entity processing the form can now do that fast that’s great but can other functions, people or systems in the process now action the form more quickly?… If the entity who usually process the form still has to do similar effort to translate, pass it on io interact with people and systems around it, that only a marginal gain from the digital transition. For exponential gains the process must also enhance the interoperability other systems and entities, which may be quite separate from the processor must now also be able to read process and action the form in an enhanced way.
Enhancing interoperability has been hugely improved by digital technology but at its heart relies on the theoretical foundations of digital, applied, and pragmatic standards. Standard usually coming the form of categories, definitions, mechanisms, dictionary’s, libraries, templates, etc
APi’s, whilst delivered via some great new technical advances in programming languages and security, are grounded on a simple idea: if we always communicate what we are saying the exact same highly structured way, and we create a user guide on how to understand what we are saying then it becomes simple for anyone to talk to us.
These fundamental building blocks – applied and pragmatic standards – are missing in many digital transformations and especially in HR and Reward. “Digitisation” so far in these spaces tends to focus on implementing digital systems to bring process and data online, which provides enhanced user experience and faster processing within the silos they operate, but without a foundational structure of applied and pragmatic standards, only marginal gains are achieved. The exponential gains that come from connecting HR and Reward across the entire business are not realised: Finance, Operations, Supply chain, Sales and Marketing are still shut off from the new “Digital” HR and Reward landscape… the fundamental Language of the “API guide” required in order or to talk and understand HR and Reward has no definition and therefore cannot be translated.