By Stephanie Fernando, 18 October 2018
Moving data to the cloud is certainly the way forward and HR is no exception. Cloud-based HR applications help companies manage and deploy its people more efficiently and cost-effectively as the software is based remotely in the cloud. This facilitates the flow of regular updates with the latest advancements at a much faster pace. But would implementing the world’s best HR solution be the answer to an organization’s HR technology woes?
As a KPMG survey recently found that many Cloud HR initiatives have failed due to the “plug-and-play” approach that several companies tend to adopt. Instead of transformational change, companies ended up with modest gains such as improved workflow and access to information. Some of the key findings of the study that was done based on a survey which polled 854 executives from 52 countries highlighted that,
- 42 percent of respondent’s organizations plan to replace their current HR system with a cloud-based system
- While 63 percent of those who had recently implemented a new HR system expected it to add value to their business, only 24 percent of them had found greater value
That last finding is, however, the key. “Plug and play” clearly doesn’t give companies the huge benefits they had initially expected. While a faster implementation timeline is an important attribute that organizations tend to often focus on, adequate planning and milestone-based assessment are also key. Let’s look at 3 best practices that organizations could consider before embarking on a Cloud HR transformation journey.
The preparation stage:
- Diagnostic study: In the preparation stage, the first step would be to run a diagnostic study to help assess the organization’s readiness to embark on a Cloud Transformation journey. Adequate steps need to be taken to fill the white spaces that can be identified as a result of the study.
- The Taskforce: Several organizations spend huge dollars in seeking help from consultants to help assess the right solution. However, in most cases, the team that works on the business plan for HR tech transformation play a minor role in the implementation of the platform. This responsibility falls on the shoulders of a separate team depending on the organization’s structure and this disconnect has been the reason for several failed Cloud Services for HR Therefore, creating an HR Cloud Implementation Taskforce (HCIT) who is held accountable for key-milestones would help.
- Pre-configured blueprints: Having pre-configured process blueprints can help quicken the implementation timeline. These blueprints have been made available by providers with a provision to tweak processes based on an organizations’ s requirement
Aligning with the business at every step
This is where the team that manages change and the HCIT will have to clearly align per the milestones that should have been defined at the preparatory state. There needs to be a clear balance between the implementation team that is pushing ahead to complete the implementation and the team that is re-looking to ensure that the processes implemented are in response to the business objectives earlier identified.
It is vital that any transformation must be business strategy driven and not technology driven. Cloud transformation services must start with a business goal and follow a roadmap to achieve that goal. The focus of change must be on how you foresee your HR organization to transform and how it helps to drive your strategic agenda. This approach will help people see the benefit of the change in their own role as well as for the broader business vision.
Evaluating the success of Implementation
Despite obvious benefits that the implementation team had envisaged, employees often find change daunting, prefer their old ways of working or may not see the point in change if there is no immediate benefit to their own role. To an employee “The best system in most cases, is the one that had just been scrapped out”. Assessing the success of an implementation project at regular intervals is pivotal. This will ensure that adequate steps to enhance User adoption are being considered. Userflows in SuccessFactors – for instance, has been a successful application to help increase User Adoption among employees to a significant extent.
A traditional measure of success in project management is delivering on time, and on budget. However, the real indication of the impact comes by asking questions such as,
- Have the proposed outcomes designed at the preparatory stage been achieved?
- Has efficiency of HR Management increased?
- Are we able to attract the right talent? to name a few
Responses to these questions will help assess the success of the implementation – if not, engagement and change management needs to be looked into. A successful implementation cannot lie with just a small team within the organization – it should take engagement across all levels, from the leadership team to ensure strategic alignment to the overall goals of the organization, to the mid-managers who can ensure that their respective departments are in alignment. These are the aspects that contribute to a successful and relatively quicker HR transformational project which ultimately results in adequate returns.
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