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HR Innovation Fuels with the Use of Cloud

By Shahbaz Alibaig, Senior Director, Global People Operations, HR Technology and Talent Acquisition

Shahbaz Alibaig, Senior Director, Global People Operations, HR Technology and Talent Acquisition

For a long time, HR has been operating in silos within its own function. Compensation is concerned purely about its own charter such as salary planning; talent management likes to educate managers on how to be effective and talent acquisition is still trying to reduce cycle time and cost of hire. And let’s not forget Payroll which is the unwanted child of HR, in fact in many companies Payroll is not even in scope of HR. Another long tradition has been a tug of war on resources and priorities between HR and IT functions. Historically, HR has tried to stay in its swim lane of being “Human Resource experts” who throw their requirements across the wall to IT and complain that IT didn’t “deliver”. These silos are disappearing; HR is becoming more cohesive, more aligned and much more effective thanks to the emergence of Cloud Computing.

During the days of “On-premise technologies” a technology leader’s success was measured based on the size of his or her team. CIOs and CTOs would brag about how large their IT teams are. On-premise technologies required dedicated IT support as well as hardware and infrastructure capital investment hence an organization needed a fleet of resources just to maintain ERP, Payroll and HR systems.

"If your vision is to be best in class and have a seat at the table and make a remarable difference in your business and you have not yet looked into cloud based HR solutions – look again."

Another issue that “On-premise technologies” had was that clients had the ability to customize these systems. Instead of streamlining, simplifying and standardizing the processes; many in HR or IT would focus on taking inefficient requirements from Compensation, Talent Management or others in HR and try to force them into the system. Over time, the companies would get dependent on customization and would keep trying to make the system mold to their so called “unique” organizational needs.

Cloud HR Technologies utilizes virtual technology to offer powerful and secure IT operations that are highly adaptable to business demands. One of the biggest values of cloud technologies is that HR function has less dependency on IT. Choosing cloud-based HR Systems means your company benefits from continuous provider updates and service management options. Because you have options to set scalable infrastructures, your business will have a leaner yet more effective HR Technology team.

Another positive I have experienced is that cloud HR technologies bring HR together. Best in class Cloud HR providers allow you to have seamless integrated HR solutions. When your core HR, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards and other workstream systems are in one “HCM” solution it opens doors for collaboration and harmonization and the ability to see the employee lifecycle process – end to end.

I have now led implementation of both Workday HCM and Oracle HCM and in both cases I observed that it forced HR Work streams to re-examine their processes. It requires everyone to simplify, and standardize processes. HR practitioners learn the concepts of Agile and “Compromise” and like the song “Heal the World” brings all together.

HR is full of buzz words, shiny objects and emerging technology solutions. According to Grant View Research the global HCM market size is projected to attain US$ 30.0 billion by 2025. Current players like Oracle, Workday, SAP, Ultimate and ADP as well as start-ups and other emerging solution providers are investing heavily in areas like analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things while constantly improving mobile capabilities and making UI of their technologies more intuitive and making employee and candidate experience more “consumer like”.

These are exciting times and HR practitioners have to invest time in learning and exploring these technologies. If you want to be effective now and in the future, HR practitioner has to keep an open mind about these cloud based up and coming HR solutions.

I don’t advocate technology for the sake of technology. Sometimes I am labeled as someone who talks technology and not about business impact. This feedback tells me that it is my responsibility to educate my stakeholders on the value proposition of technology and how it can be the most important weapon in achieving business results.

At the end of the day we who are in HR must know our purpose which is to “maximize the productivity of an organization by optimizing the effectiveness of its employees.” In order to achieve this purpose, we have to invest in cloud HR technologies that enables us to attract and hire top talent; that enables us to engage, motivate, inspire and retain top talent. Organizations have to get the basics right such as providing fair compensation, timely and accurate pay and progressive benefits. However, best in class HR doesn’t stop there. They are constantly searching for external and internal top talent which is like finding needle in a haystack. AI and Machine Learning can enable us to find and retain such gems in an efficient and effective manner. Predictive analytics can help HR alert C-Suite of trends that have business impact such as high turnover and its root causes. Chatbots and Robotic Process Automation can improve services that Talent Acquisition provides to its candidates and HR provides to its employees. Internet of Things (IoT)HR devices can help in establishing a digital culture where managers and employees can connect frequently, share opinions on each other’s performance, improve skills and help each other become better while being mobile, remote and flexible. And finally, best in class HCM solutions provides HR an opportunity to elevate its role in the organization by being leaner, more efficient and effective across all workstreams of HR such as (candidate experience, onboarding, performance, productivity and total rewards).

There will always be evolution and revolution in HR which is one the oldest professions in the world. If your vision is to be best in class and have a seat at the table and make a remarable difference in your business and you have not yet looked into cloud based HR solutions – look again.

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