I’ve been perusing the 2017 Deloitte Global Capital Trends Report almost non-stop since it came out. Essentially, it points to one of the many truths of the future of HR: innovation will be key to our survival, specifically the need to embrace technology and advance at the speed of the business. It’s something we’re not doing as a global practice, and we’re falling behind in epic proportions.

According to the subsequent summaries of the report, we’re resisting the embrace of technology and the leadership needed to use it as a change agent across the board. There’s one quote from the Southeast Asia synopsis that encapsulates just how far we need to go:

“It appears that HR and talent management professionals in Southeast Asia have some way to go in this regard. While 64% of the respondents acknowledge that HR should be involved as an advisor in some way as their organizations move towards augmenting the talent pool with robotics, cognitive tools and AI systems, none of them think that HR should be leading the effort. 36% feel that HR should be minimally involved at most.”

I honestly can’t stop thinking about this. Because this broadcasts everything negative we ever hear about HR, that we’re antiquated and not leading the business. It’s my greatest fear realized, yet it’s also a rallying cry.

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow peers of Human Resources, that quote is the sound of the death knell for our practice if we continue on this path. We must embrace innovation with HR, and we must do it now.

There is no mistaking that technology has completely reshaped the way business runs today. You need only look at the smartphone in your hand, and your ability to order groceries from your Alexa in your house to know what I’m talking about. Cloud-based services, virtual workplaces, mobile-based lifestyles, social media — it’s here, everyone. The future of innovation in the workplace we’ve talked about for years is here.

Our businesses have already realized this need to embrace innovation and have mobilized around it, trading a manufacturing mentality in exchange for an information-based one. Yet somehow HR lags behind the businesses we support around the world. We almost seem resistant to understanding how big data enhances our delivery, how our core processes are not the path to winning but merely an offering, and how HR alone holds the keys to corporate capacity; only human resources can truly create the agility of putting the right talent in front of the right opportunity at the right time. We should own these aspects of corporate innovation, yet we’re dragging our heels on it for some reason.

We must act.

Now is the time to embrace innovation within HR, to expand our minds and understand how corporations can be best served by strategic HR. Now is the time to acquire the technical and business acumen we need, build the data warehouses for the information edge we require, and the skill to bring these tools together as part of the leadership only we can provide. Predictive analytics is the future of human resources action; it is the ability to inform decisions before they’re necessary, to find the right skills before they’re needed, to be in the right place before the market is keen to it.

Our time is now. HR must not delay on its embrace of innovation. We are worth so much more, we are capable of such incredible feats of business leadership.

We must act now. Our time is running out.