If someone should ask “what is blockchain?” the answer can lead to a highly complex technical discussion and include many different explanations about business usage and delve into everything from data ownership (including privacy and security) to process improvement. The frustration steps up a notch when trying to relate the technology to the HR business practice: But, understanding how blockchain technology works in the background is hardly important because today most employees when they join a company do not know or care what technology will be used to store their personal details. They are only interested in knowing the company will keep their information safe and private: Unfortunately, they don’t know how fragile that expectation can be, but that is another subject for another time. Actually, blockchain solves the data security problem, enables the verification of education and licence claims, and a whole lot of other things too.
To give an appropriate answer to the blockchain question, and keep things simple, we only need to point to one HR function that can justify *blockchain investment for HR and that is personal data ownership and maintenance. For the last couple of decades employee maintenance, delivered as self service, has been included in HR software features but the cost of individual access licenses, password management and employee training represent a substantial investment and not all implementations have been successful. When moving to another organisation the self service application learning process starts all over again for an employee. In the blockchain era everything is stapled to the employee record (including superannuation records recommended by the Banking Royal Commission) and that never moves with changes to employer or HR software products.
The Expanding Scope of Blockchain Ledgers
Another advantage of focusing on one single application (self service) is the ever-growing scope of blockchain. Over the last twelve months the technology has advanced so much that blockchain ledgers can now be inter-connected to include many of the uses shown in the diagram below: Some are private industry and others are government initiatives.
Employee Data can be De-Coupled from Legacy Systems
Now employee self service has taken on a life of its own, enabled by blockchain. Blockchain technology has the ability to uncouple the maintenance of personal data from HR software applications and the employee takes ownership of their own data and the component simply plugs into a company’s software suite for use as part of the on-boarding process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all HR functionality belongs in the blockchain environment, at present. Only employee data needs to migrate to the blockchain environment. The company owned business practice data (performance management, recruitment, training administration, etc.) does NOT need to go across. All the transactional, reporting, analytics, etc. functionality can remain in the current legacy system until companies make the transition to a digital platform for AI, IoT, Robotics, etc. The hybrid HR architecture can work just as efficiently as before because of the sophisticated nature of the API technology.
Blockchain API Integration
The advances in API (Application Programming Interface) technology means that Competitive Edge Technology (CET) can join employee data in their blockchain to any legacy HR application using their Jitterbit partner’s toolset, either direct or via their own data transition platform (see the diagram heading up this article). The CET data transition platform, built on the Salesforce.com Lightning platform, is the fast track bulk transfer method used to move employee data to the new blockchain distributed ledger technology environment in a cheap efficient and totally secure operation. Initially, Australian companies will be able to take advantage of the bulk data migration process, providing they are eligible to join the Trusted Global Network for HR Data. The consortium has been set up to govern membership of a private blockchain and to provide consensus for transactions updating CET’s MyProData.ioblockchain ledger.
An example of the type of data, contained in the MyProData blockchain, that can be owned and managed by self service and integrated with the company’s Lightning Data Transition Platform, includes:
About Me [Blockchain], About Me [Lightning], My Banking Details, My Dependents, My Disabilities, My Education, My Emergency Contacts, My Languages, My Licenses, My Passport, My Superannuation, My Work Experience, My Work Status
*The actual blockchain investment is relatively cheap because the transaction volume associated with maintaining employee data is low. Most data is fairly static. An employee doesn’t change his or her address, name, marital status, etc. very often. For more details, including indicative costing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org