It’s time to move HR apps to the cloud

Companies that started their digital transformation journey with customer-facing applications like sales or marketing and are prioritizing their next steps, or companies just beginning to migrate legacy apps to the cloud, should put human resources (HR) at the top of the list. After all, what’s more important to the success of the business than hiring and retaining the best talent?

According to a report by Information Services Group, by 2020, more than 50 percent of all enterprises will rely on cloud-based or hybrid solutions for their HR systems, 75 percent of companies will have migrated at least one HR system to the cloud and 32 percent will be fully reliant on SaaS subscription-based HR solutions in the cloud. Organizations that don’t act quickly will be losing ground to their competitors. As Debora Card, partner of HR Technology and Delivery Strategies at ISG, explains:

We see the move to SaaS as likely the single biggest opportunity to transform HR service delivery, from improved talent targeting and employee engagement to increased HR administrative efficiency, compliance and data insight. Companies that lag in deploying and integrating SaaS-based capabilities risk falling significantly behind in their ability to attract, engage and retain the talent necessary to compete in a rapidly evolving market.

A cloud-based HR system provides a multitude of benefits to the organization. At the most basic level, migrating to SaaS in the cloud allows companies to leave the siloed world of aging, inefficient legacy applications — and their licensing fees — behind.  Companies can create one integrated, global system that covers the entire employee lifecycle across all business units and geographical areas. These systems not only automate and improve existing processes, but they also create new opportunities to apply analytics in order to drive better business decisions.

Here are some of the key benefits of migrating HR apps to the cloud:

Automation of standard processes: By automating repetitive or mundane tasks, HR departments can free up valuable employee time to focus on higher-level tasks and strategic initiatives. Automated systems can also be designed with regulatory compliance reporting built in.

Employee self-service: Instead of bombarding HR managers with calls or emails on everything from benefits to payroll issues to time-off requests, employees can access a self-service HR portal that enables them to update information and manage things like vacation requests on their own. In one DXC Technology deployment, employees made 18,000 updates to their HR information in the first month that the system was live.

Manager self-service: Empowering managers to make decisions and initiate HR processes enables them to be more effective and saves time and money for the HR department. One Fortune 500 retailer gave managers self-service access to 30 HR-related processes for new hires, recruiting, leaves of absence and so forth. In the first month alone, managers – rather than HR — initiated 50 percent of those processes.

Mobility: A cloud-based HR system gives employees access on any device, wherever they are. It also allows HR personnel to input data on their laptop or tablet while on campus for recruiting visits or job fairs.

Approval flows: With this technology, business processes can be executed faster and with more consistency. Approvals that used to take days are often completed in just minutes, thanks to pre-defined rules and process chains.

Analytics for better business decisions: The ability to collect and analyze data in one integrated system is where moving to the cloud delivers the biggest benefit. Companies can generate reports in any number of areas, including time-to-hire, retention rates, talent-management related processes, workforce performance and workforce planning. And these types of analytics can be performed in real time.

For companies seeking the speed, flexibility, business process optimization and business insight that digital transformation efforts can deliver, it’s time to think about moving HR applications to the cloud.

Matthew-Marsh-headshotMatthew Marsh is a Workday Senior Consultant with experience in multiple implementations for Fortune 500 global and domestic companies. Matthew has a background as an executive recruiter for mid-sized through Fortune 500 companies, which allows him to provide clients an experienced functional perspective for recruiting/HCM implementations.

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