Organisations in India, big and small, are increasingly seeing merit in investing in human resources-related technologies.

Nearly 70% of the firms in the country have automated half of their human resource functions, including day-to-day operations such as recruitment, performance management, communications, and collaboration. Around 20% of firms are also planning to invest over Rs 1 crore in human resource technologies in the current financial year.

The findings are part of the State of Human Resource Technology India 2019-’20 report published by People Matters, a Gurugram-based multimedia organisation specialising in human resource services. The company reached out to 250 multinational companies and small and medium businesses in the country between June and July to identify key trends in the sector.

Companies consider analytics, artificial intelligence, chatbots and cognitive technologies as the top-three new-age technologies that can have a greater impact on talent and workplace. On the other hand, blockchain technology, popularly used in crypto-currencies, emerged as the least preferred technology, with 39% of respondents saying they are not well-versed with it.

Compared with three years ago, the share of companies that have automated various human resource functions has increased. However, some key areas like strategic workforce and succession planning, continue to be people-driven.

Cost advantage

Saving on costs is the main reason why companies make human resource technology investments. Other key drivers include increasing the effectiveness of human resource functions, empowering leaders to manage workflows and improving the execution/implementation of human resource policies, says the report.

“The key objective of investing in human resource technology is not limited to a standard scope for process effectiveness but organisations have realised that human resource technology provides an opportunity to empower employees and to increase employee satisfaction and engagement,” said Ester Martinez, CEO and editor-in-chief, People Matters.

When choosing a particular human resource technology for deployment, 74% of organisations look at its ability to integrate various functions in the human resource system. Yet, only 37% of companies have an integrated system or a common platform where managers and company leaders can monitor all human resource functions.

Organisations have also identified metrics to measure their return on investments in various human resource technologies. The returns accrued from time saving top the list.

Decision-makers and challenges

The key decisions related to investment in human resource technology are led by chief human resource officers and CEOs within the organisation.

The growing say of CEO in matters of technology adoption in human resource proves the top management now sees more merit and higher return of investment in investing in people. In doing so, they recognise the need to create a future-ready workplace, claims the report.

Even as more organisations recognise the importance of investing in human resource technologies, leaders and human resource managers face a number of challenges in driving greater technology adoption within their firms, including budgetary constraints.

This article first appeared on Quartz.