Last month, I wrote an intro to Blockchain technology, calling it “A Glimpse at the Future of HR Data“. Now, I want to take you a step further to show some examples as to why this technology is poised to be so disruptive to many common business processes.
Get to Know “Smart Contracts”
Some cryptocurrency coins, such as Ethereum, go a step further than Bitcoin and enable a process to take place on top of the blockchain which is almost like an app or a program integrated with the data. These so called “smart contracts” are instructions which can intelligently execute actions once certain conditions are met within the blockchain. This layer of automation has many in the tech world very excited because of the possibilities for streamlining workflows and boosting productivity. Not only could this significantly impact your workforce but also your HR processes. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Productivity & Organization
Software giant Oracle recently filed a patent titled “managing highly scalable continuous delivery pipelines” for an internal workplace blockchain to manage the office of the near future. Such a system could keep track of employee work behaviors such as the status of an ongoing project, goal achievement, target delivery, and contributions from team members. Your managers would be better enabled to truly support their direct reports as team leaders instead of just “managing” day-to-day activities. And since the blockchain is reliably secure, it can be trusted with proprietary data and other significant details.
It is a huge task for any organization to get a new hire up to speed. It involves a coordinated effort across teams, ranging from HR to IT to management and their team. The process however involves a template of sorts… every new hire follows a similar path. There’s the common checklist of ID card, email account, access to computer systems, documents to sign, and so forth.
Much of the burden of this roll-out can now be automated using smart contracts on a company’s Blockchain network. The administrator could enter a little bit of information, such as someone’s name, or other basic details, and the program could take it from there and automatically populate many of the elements of that onboarding checklist which would have once been done manually. Think of the time and energy you, your management and IT teams could save.
Transitioning an Employee’s Exit
In much the same way that it is important to help someone get up and running quickly, it is often just as important to close out an employee’s access when they leave an organization. The automation application of smart contracts can facilitate the removal of someone’s security clearance or building access, revoke digital permissions to files or email, and so forth. In my experience, this is an area where so many organizations really drop the ball, and employees are left with access that they should not have for far too long. It doesn’t matter the circumstances for their departure, how pleasant or nasty it might have been; however as soon as someone no longer needs their access, it needs to be revoked because they represent a risk. As cold and uncaring as that may sound, a responsible organization needs to put their safety and security first and foremost. Smart contracts in a blockchain system make following through on that premise very simple. Changing one line in someone’s personnel file could instantly set off a chain reaction of automated processes removing their access from every system that they no longer need to be involved in.
So you can see how smart contracts are an exciting application poised to make a real difference to business processes. I expect that the way many of your HR activities are conducted can and will be modified or significantly re-imagined using smart contracts through blockchain mechanisms over the coming years.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cybersecurity principles you can read more here on the KardasLarson blog or attend my upcoming webinar on Cybersecurity Principles from HR Jetpack.