Posted: 23 Jun. 2020 5 min. read

Change your mindset about change

Posted by Chris Havrilla on June 23, 2020.

The inspiration for our High-Impact Technology Strategy research was less about technology and more about solving a puzzle. Organizations spend big money on their HR technology and expect it to drive change and transform the HR function, the organization, and the overall workforce. But why weren’t they realizing the promise, outcomes, or value from their digital transformation? Why didn’t transformation occur? Our research shows the answer may be because organizations didn’t approach these factors like a puzzle.

With a puzzle, you have a picture, a vision of what you want to create. That picture displays how the pieces fit together and can be used as the basis for a strategy to accomplish the project. However, our initial High-Impact Technology Strategy findingsshared that, in many organizations’ efforts, some of the puzzle pieces were missing. Less than one-third of surveyed organizations have an HR technology strategy and just over one-third have a blueprint2 of their HR technology landscape. Our subsequent research interviews reveal that the latter data point may be aspirational at best.

Those findings make the case for rethinking HR technology strategy, with collaboration between HR and IT to design and execute that strategy, which is anchored by business and people outcomes. They focus on the foundation—determining what you want to do and why, and who should be involved. It’s now time to address how.

Our quantitative and qualitative research reveals the nature of change is changing—and where it isn’t changing, it must. Our article on our newest findings3 explains that change management must evolve beyond changing systems (e.g., technologies, components) to embody systemic change (e.g., how people work and how work gets done in conjunction with technology changes). Many organizations train their people on how to use new or updated technology, but they don’t always make the leap of training people how to work differently given the new tools. This is another missing puzzle piece.

A critical finding in this article reveals high-performing organizations are significantly more effective than low performers at changing how people work in conjunction with technology (see Figure 1).

Organizations that fill this void give their people the ability to operate in a different way; this is the connection point to make work better and easier for them.

Expanding effectiveness can help organizations improve how their HR technology is perceived. The 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report shows that while 74 percent of organizations rate HR technology as important or very important, only 6 percent state that their HR technology is excellent.4

Our newest findings reflect on dimensions of our Technology Strategy Framework5 that focus on the design and simplification of data, technology, and work architectures. We’ve learned this is where many HR teams struggle to support and shape real transformation. Overcoming the complexities of existing architectures is considered particularly hard work. As such, teams are frequently unable to get support toward this work or they avoid it altogether—even though the design is often the root of the problem.

While HR teams are aware that change and action are needed, they’re often uncertain on how to execute both. Oftentimes, HR teams feel the burden of owning all the responsibility yet lack the actual authority to drive change. They tend to fall in love with technology and the thought of a cool “easy” button for change. While difficult to execute, systemic change—changing structures, work, behaviors—leads to progress. Technology can be a catalyst for change, and you should start with knowing your:

  • Strategy: The what and the why of this journey (business and talent outcomes)
  • People: The who (all members of the organization, not just HR)
  • Data: What to capture (and what not to capture)
  • Information: What to provide (and what not to provide)
  • Processes: The how of “the work” (beyond job architecture) and the how of the journey (experience)

After this comes the technology, which enables the strategy, people, information, processes, and outcomes.

This new mindset and shift are about falling in love with outcomes, not technology. Our 2020 Human Capital Trends report shows that HR can extend its influence across the business by addressing outcomes in this manner. With new tools come new opportunities for workers to learn how to wield them effectively and comfortably to make work better and easier.

Deloitte’s Research & Sensing members can access Four Findings That Underscore the Role of Change in an HR Technology Strategy and the additional articles, tools, and resources from this research series. If you’re interested in becoming a member, please contact Burt Rea (

As part of our ongoing research effort, we’ll continue doing interviews to learn more and go deeper into this subject. Please contact to participate and share your story!


Chris Havrilla, vice president, HR Technology Research leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP


1 Four Top Findings Make the Case for HR Technology Strategy, Deloitte Consulting LLP/Chris Havrilla, Erin Spencer, Charu Ratnu, and Jeff Mike, 2020.
How to Create an HR Technology Blueprint, Deloitte Consulting LLP/Chris Havrilla, Erin Spencer, and Charu Ratnu, 2020.
Four Findings That Underscore the Role of Change in an HR Technology Strategy, Deloitte Consulting LLP/Chris Havrilla, Erin Spencer, Charu Ratnu, and Jeff Mike, 2020.
HR Cloud: A Launch Pad, Not a Destination” from 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte Consulting LLP/Erica Volini, Jeff Schwartz, Indranil Roy, Maren Hauptmann, Yves Van Durme, Brad Denny, and Josh Bersin, 2019 .
Interactive Technology Strategy Framework, Deloitte Consulting LLP/Chris Havrilla, Erin Spencer, and Charu Ratnu, 2019.

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