A Well-Oiled Machine: What’s Next In Human Resources Technology?


According to a study that we at PwC conducted, almost 40% of companies have already moved their core human resources (HR) applications to the cloud in 2017, and even more plan to migrate over the next few years. HR transformation is racing ahead. Robotic process automation, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence are hot. So are mobile and social enhancements using artificial intelligence. Yet digital solutions don’t deliver value unless you understand the experiences you need to create and you bring your people and culture with you.

Consider what’s changing. HR leaders are rethinking the definition of an employee. Some are looking at alternative part-time or contract opportunities in a cross-border environment and re-envisioning work to be more dynamic and collaborative. In turn, these changes could lead to a decrease in labor and office space costs for organizations. While good for the bottom line, these changes also present new challenges for the HR organization that must be addressed quickly, such as how to handle such a fluid workforce when it comes to tax compliance, onboarding or retention. Additionally, some companies are opting to use these changes as a competitive advantage. For example, by using analytics, companies can determine which employees are likely to leave so they can focus resources on retaining high-potential and high-performing individuals.

Given these wide-ranging developments, HR needs a seat at the table as a partner to the rest of the C-Suite. In addition to the basic blocking and tackling, these leaders need to collaborate with marketing due to brand impact, operations due to operation model enhancements, sales due to consumer demand for socially responsible companies, legal due to new contractual considerations, IT due to new and rapidly changing requirements, and strategy related to new innovations. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review report, 68% of executives have found that data and predictive analytics are important for planning, evaluating and informing decisions about the workforce. Cloud platforms are the best opportunity for these companies to keep up with the innovation and to enable new ways of teams working together.

PwC’s recent Global HR Technology Survey found that migrating HR processes to the cloud continues to happen at a record pace and that nearly one-third of those still using on-premise applications are planning their migration to the cloud. There’s no question that this better serves the workforce due to a variety of factors, including increases in usage of self-service tools and decreases in personnel costs.

So if your company is looking to strengthen collaboration and make sure all departments are on the same page, it is important to remember several things when moving HR processes to the cloud:

• Use a “land and expand” and “mobile from the start” strategy to focus both energy and resources. Mobile drives positive user experiences and anywhere/anytime access.

• Identify the variables that matter to your company. While it is good to gather experiences from others, focus on what you need, timelines that are realistic for your company and the internal/external resources you’ll require. Concurrently, set appropriate expectations for cost savings.

• Consider holistic savings, and do not be too aggressive on initial headcount savings. Each organization has unique considerations, and headcount may even increase in the short term to execute the change.

• Utilize new releases from cloud vendors since they help solve user experience issues and errors/defects/bugs. Although it’s a bit of a hassle learning how to keep up with the pace of change, the benefits of updated versions can far outweigh the effort.

• Create a change management and communications plan prior to starting and ensure that all key stakeholders and leaders are on board to champion the change.

The key to implementing all these emerging technologies and the shift to the cloud is to use advanced HR analytics. By using data from multiple data sources, focusing on key performance indicator visualization, applying predictive tools and increasing usage by other key stakeholders, companies can set themselves up for smooth integration, cost reduction and strategic differentiation.


(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

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