5 ways technology enables succession planning


Learn how the right HCM system can improve succession planning.

The days when people actually believed that the future was in the hands of fate are gone. Many things were once left to destiny; and people accepted uncertainty. But now, both individuals and organisations plan ahead so that they are certain of a sustainable future.

This is why, in the organisational context, succession planning has become top priority for most CEOs. And with the intervention of technology in learning and career development initiatives, succession planning has become even more reliable and efficient. How the right HCM system improves succession planning:

• Saves time and effort: For both large enterprises or small organisations, technology reduces time by collating and managing employee data about performance, talent requirements, training needs, learning application, employee feedback and so on, giving HR professionals a more complete view. Gathering information like this through technology-enabled tools allows for better direction of assessments as well as repeatable processes, in turn saving time and ensuring accuracy.

• Ensures process integration: Technology enables ongoing succession planning—identifying and readying a talent pool for replacing key roles regularly, not just in times of a vacancy. The whole process from identifying high-potential talent, to selecting and preparing a talent pool for succession, training them, planning their learning and career development to implementing the initiatives and assessing performance, can all be integrated using a single efficient tool. This supports seamless execution of the succession plan.

• Facilitates easy alignment and accessibility: A key element of making talent pools accessible is in-depth talent exploration to identify workers with relevant skills and capabilities. A talent pool is no good if managers cannot easily view, track, update, and search for potential successors. Dynamic talent pool insights should take the guess work out of succession planning by aligning employee assessments, competencies, development plans, and learning programmes to critical leadership roles.

Proactive system monitoring ensures that as employees learn and grow, talent pools are dynamically updated to reflect the changes. It is this element in particular – supported by robust reporting and analytic capabilities – that helps organisations and CEOs make more objective staffing decisions and better plans for future hiring needs.

• Provides seamless talent mobility: One thing vital to succession planning is dynamic talent mobility. Organisations need integrated processes and a complete technology platform to promote and support career and talent mobility. The following processes, coupled with the right tools, are crucial:

a) Current workforce analysis – includes detailed talent profiles, employee summaries, organisation charts, competencies, and job profiles

b) Talent needs assessment – assesses employees on key areas of leadership potential, job performance, and risk of leaving

c) Future needs analysis – development-centric succession planning to create and manage dynamic, fully-populated talent pools.

• Reduces cost: The shift to a single technology platform facilitates the extension of succession planning deeper into the organisation, since a well-architected solution seamlessly links succession to career development and learning. In addition, organisations and CEOs can realise significant efficiency gains and cost savings by moving from a manual, paper-based succession process to one that is fully integrated and technology-enabled.

(This article has been published in association with “SumTotal, a Skillsoft Company”. To experience, how talent mobility works, click here)


  1. Great article and couldn’t agree more ! Would love to hear names of some of the organizations that provide HCM systems & similar products. Specially catering to Small & Medium Enterprises.

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