Top 100 Influencers in HR v1.68: Lisa Rowan
Lisa Rowan is one of the two or three primary reference points in the analyst landscape. Plainspoken and rooted in common sense notions, Rowan’s history is laced with the foundations of HR automation. She views enterprise technology with the wizened eye of someone who has been in the trenches.
Lisa Rowan serves as IDC’s Program Director for HR and Talent Management Services research. In this role, Ms. Rowan provides expert analysis focused on both the business services addressing HR and talent-related process issues, such as human resource consulting, processing services, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services; and HR IT Services, such as systems integration and IT consulting.
For the ten years prior to joining IDC, Ms. Rowan held business development, product management and marketing positions in the human resource software and services markets. Ms. Rowan held director positions in both business development and marketing within Genesys — a provider of human capital management software and services based in Methuen, Mass. Prior to Genesys, she held positions in both technical marketing and IT at Digital Equipment Corporation.
As a result, she has gained a depth of experience with both core human resource and talent-related services, and understands firsthand the unique challenges her vendor clients face. Ms. Rowan is an active member of a number of HR organizations and serves on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of IHRIM (International HR Information Management society.) Lisa’s influence and industry impact was recognized recently as she received IHRIM’s Summit Award for 2008, the association’s highest honor and was named to HRO Today Magazine’s list of 2010 HRO Superstars for the third year in a row.
She is frequently invited to present her industry knowledge and views at industry events and to the press. Ms. Rowan holds a Masters in Business with a specialization in marketing and product management from the University of Southern New Hampshire. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Back round, competence and style aside, Rowan is a central part of the landscape because she has her finger on the pulse and people really listen to her. From her seat, she sees the ebb and flow of technologies and emphases. The HR Industry is maturing, across the board.
Rowan’s calendar is a meticulous, structured jaunt through the year. She writes forecasts at the beginning of the year and Market Analyses at the end. In between is a hurdlers course of breaking news, speaking engagements, inquiries from buyers and sellers, custom research and an endless supply of reading material.
Rowan’s voracious appetite for new ideas is at the heart of her success.
We talked about the major trends that are driving the evolution of the industry. Rowan noted a balance between maturing technologies (which are smartly outsourced) and emerging technologies where the inventors and innovators are outpacing the market. Payroll and benefits management are at the mature end; Talent Management is near the midpoint and Mobile and analytics are at the edges of acceptance.
HR Transformation came up in our conversation. Rowan sees major change as unavoidable as the result of the dramatic force reductions in HR Departments. Outsourcing and the use of consultants is going up while automation is increasingly used to cut costs and reduce manpower. The Transformation of HR will be a consequence of these market variables.
In Lisa’s view, Mobile technologies will have a dramatic impact on HR. From approval processes to self service comp and benefits, the use of handheld personal devices will come to dominate the space.
Finally, Lisa sees a big future for analytics in the industry. “Think back to Jac Fitz-Ens and forward to Dan Hilbert. The history of HR is all about increasing the flow and meaning of data. Talent Management is just a waypoint in that process. ”
Keep your eyes out. Lisa Rowan is often a major presence at industry events. If you get a chance to talk with her, take it.