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Here’s how to double ROI on AI investments

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].

According to a new report from IBM, companies that can monetize their organizational data will gain nearly double the ROI from their AI capabilities than their peers. This requires strategy, with thoughtful decisions about tasks that can be automated and how talent can be distributed.

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It also requires security and a plan to prevent “data poisoning”—which IBM says is imperative for maintaining trust and integrity in information systems. “With these returns at risk, it’s no surprise that in 2024, data is no longer just a technology concern,” write the authors of the IBM brief. “It’s a business imperative with massive strategic significance.”

HRE recently hosted a webinar featuring industry analysts Josh Bersin and Kathi Enderes, who note that the transformation of today’s HR functions highlights the need for “integrated and holistic” HR, which they say can help an organization exceed financial targets. Not only is the shift promising to benefit the bottom line, but it also delivers increased productivity, talent engagement and adaptability in times of change.

The Bersin team says that strategically introducing AI for HR practices is a key attribute of this high-function, systemic human resource function. Yet, in a recent HRE survey of human resource leaders, around 60% say their departments haven’t leveraged AI. This is due to a few reasons, including ongoing vendor solution searches and caution until regulations roll out. Many CHROs are synthesizing with other business leaders to decide how to move forward with AI in a cohesive way.

So, how should HR leaders take advantage of new HR tech tools that can bring value to the bottom line? Jill Goldstein is the global managing partner for talent transformation at IBM. She told HRE that CHROs are in a position to be the “heroes of responsible AI” and can bring other teams along for the mission. First, she says, the organization needs to make clear the values, principles and limitations surrounding AI.

Kevin Oakes, CEO and co-founder of i4cp

According to analyst firm i4cp, HR teams must be prepared to cultivate an entire workforce with AI readiness. Nevertheless, the research also reveals that the majority of HR functions are not ready for a work environment that incorporates AI for HR.

Organizations that lead the pack will advance by hiring, teaching or developing AI skills, says the research firm. “It won’t be unusual in the coming year for companies to create a leadership role for AI within HR—a practice that will initially be adopted by the AI innovators,” as predicted by i4cp.

HR tech in action

Data control company Securiti has appointed Jack Berkowitz as its chief data officer, a role he previously filled at ADP. Berkowitz will work with key clients and partners to use, secure and govern their data. “I’m excited to be joining a world-class team at Securiti and help enable the realization of the vision of a unified Data Command Center for the enterprises,” says Berkowitz.

According to a survey of more than 1,100 C-suite leaders conducted by consulting firm Protiviti, “the ability to attract, develop and retain top talent, manage shifts in labor expectations and address succession challenges” is the No. 2 business risk for 2024. Respondents predicted this HR-related risk will still be near the top in 10 years, indicating that the concern isn’t set to diminish soon.

I discovered a post by collegerecruiter.com titled Top 10 glamorous human resources jobs. The word “glamorous” caught my eye, and I had to see which roles topped the list. Global Talent Acquisition Specialist ranks No. 1. This is followed by HR Manager in the Entertainment Industry, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and HR Consultant for Top-tier Consulting Firm. This last one is how I cut my teeth in the industry, working at Gallagher for a decade. (Glamorous. Who knew?)

More from HRE

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There’s been an influx of investment in AI training. Both AWS and IBM (and likely others) have made recent announcements about big money dedicated to getting more people up to speed with AI.

Top-rated companies are 3.8 times more likely to have a well-defined generative AI strategy in place. Nearly half say they have a “well-defined” gen AI strategy implemented across their organization, compared to just 13% of companies not in the top tier.

RedThread co-founder Dani Johnson says the frontline workforce is full of “ripe” potential for skills transformation. Frontline teams are particularly suitable for the application of tech to monitor skills for compliance, assigning work and inferring skills.