SMAC and Organizational Design: How HR can lead the Way through technological Change

The acronym SMAC stands for the technological changes that could change the way HR leads in the field of organizational design.


One thing is for certain in HR: change is constant. It seems that some of the greatest changes and challenges to our division have arrived in the past twenty years. I assure you a great many professionals in our practice share that opinion. We now live and work in a workplace without walls. This has caused many a change to our long-standing policies, procedures, and tools. One of the most important advents in recent times has been SMAC. SMAC stands for “Social Mobile Analytics Cloud”. It stands for four of the most earth-shattering advances that drive business today. Many of us have considered how these aspects affect day-to-day operations. I’d like to speak about something that we might not have thought much about: how they affect organizational design.
As the keepers of corporate capacity, HR is uniquely positioned to ensure these disruptors are harnessed appropriately to ensure marketplace agility and responsiveness. There are many ways these disruptors can affect our productivity. Consider how they affect how we structure teams for maximum effectiveness.


When it comes to social media, most of us have marketing individuals uniquely positioned to tweet for the company. This tends to be a one-man job, perhaps two at the most. But as social media becomes a larger aspect of communication for most companies, it might be worthwhile to consider having a think tank or an action team uniquely dedicated to all things social. Legal, Finance, Customer Service, Operations, Fulfillment/Supply Chain, Marketing, and HR all own aspects of what happens on social media. If your brand has a strong presence on any of the major platforms, it takes a village to make sure it’s done correctly.


Perhaps the most surprising technological advance of the past few years, it’s where a tremendous amount of business is transacted during the day. The phone can now be considered the alternative to the desktop: email, conference calls, virtual conferencing, document management, even signatures are all capable from this device. With more people able to manage their workload out of the office, doesn’t it make sense to create an org chart that puts bodies in the field where they need to be interacting with the customer and not tethering people to desks in an office building? Virtual teams have so many tools now, and between laptops, tablets, and phones we have so many options to expand our reach — and our organizational charts — as never before.


We have an opportunity to gather data faster than ever before, with real-time information on our clients, shareholders, and markets streaming into our vision within seconds. How does this affect the back-office? Do we need as many people running reports? Does this mean we streamline? Does it mean that there should be more people translating the information on a regular basis so the business can become more agile to customer needs? We have more data than ever to lead our companies to success. is a perfect example of what can come from centering excellence around analytics. Think about how that structure might work in your organization.


Most corporations have adopted cloud technology as part of their data storage needs. Let’s take it one step further and talk about how it impacts the organization chart. Do you still have people on the chart who act in a file management capacity? Are you still holding onto paper files? Also, this further supports the argument for remote working and flexible work arrangements. If someone can do the job from home as easily as they can from a workstation and team meetings can be managed virtually with lower overhead, why not consider such arrangements? It saves everyone money in the long run and employees feel empowered, not tied to ways of working that don’t necessarily fit today’s technological advances and focus on work-life balance. This also makes remote and on-time working more efficient than ever in the freelancer economy.

SMAC and organizational Design

These are a few suggestions of how SMAC can impact organizational design and transform your company in new and exciting ways. By powering our workplace with these technological advances and not shying away from them, we stand to emerge victorious into this next evolution of the marketplace…with HR leading the way.
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