According to the survey results, advances in digital technologies are driving a number of HR priorities.

Organizationally, enterprise-wide transformations have HR functions leveraging shared service centers to provide more of their payroll services which enable them to consolidate and streamline activities globally.

At the same time, HR organizations are making the implementation of new technologies a priority in the year ahead. Focus areas include upgrading or replacing the HR master system, implementing additional self-service functionality, and adding an integrated talent management solution.

Surprisingly, only a quarter of respondents, or fewer, are considering the use of emerging digital technologies (RPA, IoT, AI, blockchain, chatbots, etc.). These numbers seem particularly low given the growing ubiquity of RPA and AI, with blockchain following quickly behind, to streamline processes and optimize costs enterprise-wide. RPA in particular could be key to improving payroll process consistency and legislative compliance, challenges potentially aggravated by the split of the function with Finance.