In the last Meta4 event, “Trending topics for HR management in the cloud”, we had the opportunity to listen to several interesting talks, one of which was given by Ron Hanscome, Gartner Research Director for HCM, who included his strategic vision in his presentation titled “HCM in the Cloud: Current trends and leading practices”. On market trends, Hanscome reviewed the results of the last study by Cedar Crestone (HR Systems Survey White Paper) with several Gartner studies. Concerning the cloud, he pointed out the following:
- In 12 months the cloud model will overtake the licensing model, with 35% of development being cloud-based versus 33% for license-based (for all HR applications). However there will still be a market for in-house models.
- Close to 50% of medium-sized companies (48%) and large ones (49%) expect to increase their HR technology investment and all of them are considering cloud solutions.
- Two key reasons for selecting cloud solutions are a reduced need for IT and maintenance investments and faster solutions deployment.
- Three of the major concerns buyers have regarding cloud are integration complexities (56%), inability to customize the tool (53%), and security issues (51%). It is the responsibility of the providers to resolve all these concerns.
But these figures are mere number crunching. That’s why after a detailed analysis of the current market, Ron Hanscome reminded the audience that it’s not about the technology and that every technology project must be based on the following strategic factors:
- Philosophy: What is my organization’s approach to managing people? How will it change? He stressed that for this, we must understand the key drivers of the organization, identify potential impact of initiative and educate senior leaders on pending change and secure sponsorship.
- Strategy: Which targeted HR investments will drive disproportionate business results? Here it’s vital to discover key job categories, identify the characteristics of top performers and develop specific programs for them. It is also important to determine the impact of geographic/demographic variations.
- Science and measurement: How do we assess and measure workforce and organizational performance? This is about leveraging assessment and engagement science, as well as developing a measurement framework to form a “closed loop” feedback system.
- Process: How do we redesign processes to best leverage science, measurement and enabling technologies? It is important to evaluate organization readiness to adopt new technologies (mobile, collaboration), while avoiding a “one size fits all” approach and meeting each company’s specificities. It is also fundamental to assess demographic / geographic variations in technology maturity in the organization.
- Implementation: How do we deploy technology-enabled processes that drive business outcomes? It’s crucial to not skimp on the roll out phase, stake out a comprehensive internal marketing plan, maintain on-going communication with senior leaders and cultivate “star users”.
- Sustainability: How do we evolve our processes to meet changing business needs? We need to resource an ongoing project team, prepare for transition to a periodic governance process and maintain a “rolling” 3-5 year technology strategy.