In years gone by, the world ran at set times, and in set places. You went to your office to work, it closed at a certain time, and that was that.
The rise of always-on internet services has changed expectations though. Today, people expect to be able to do what they want, when they want—including working.
Keeping up with the new way of working
HR has had to keep up with these expectations, and offer users self-service functionality on their devices of choice. Employees now expect to be the master of their own working lives – whenever and wherever they are.
But offering more functionality to more users isn’t cheap. And for many businesses, they simply aren’t able, or aren’t willing to front the costs required to roll out, maintain and support the next-generation HR tools that enable this new way of working.
More functionality, less cost
Today’s professionals (both in HR and other lines of business) demand several features from HR tools:
- Mobile and social support
- 24/7 self-service
- Support for multiple devices
- Deployment in multiple geographies
- Support for different languages
- Workforce planning analytics
- No hardware, network, backup or performance issues
Some HR solutions simply aren’t equipped to deliver this functionality. That’s because many vendors began developing their solutions decades ago, and while they have been updated to have new features bolted on, they were never designed to support the demands of today’s workforce.
Even if an HR solution vendor is able to provide this breadth of functionality, doing so on-premises can be costly.
The answer is the cloud and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. By delivering HR in the cloud, and as a service, new features can be added quickly, users can access services from anywhere, and no costly infrastructure is required.
Finding the right cloud solution
Unfortunately, transforming HR is not as simple as acquiring any cloud HR product. As before, many vendors simply patch cloud support onto a platform that was never designed to be used outside of the data center. Those serious about HR transformation need a solution designed with the cloud in mind.
SAP SuccessFactors is a solution we often recommend to businesses that need to support the new way of working.
There are several reasons:
- It was built with cloud in mind
- It supports multiple languages and country-specific legal compliance out of the box
- It has built-in mobile and social support
- It was a leading solution before SAP acquired it
- SAP has folded its global HR experience into the SuccessFactors platform
- SuccessFactors benefits from SAP’s extension and integration tools
That last point is particularly important. While you can get a platform that supports the new way of working, there will probably be an even newer way of working you need to support in the coming years. HR always changes, and SuccessFactors future-proofs you against those changes with its integration and extension features.
Using SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform, you can develop your own integrations and extensions for SuccessFactors. This means your HR tools will always be able to support your other core business systems (even if they aren’t SAP solutions)—both now and into the future. And you can develop industry or location-specific functionality as your business requires.
Going beyond the platform
Even with a forward-looking cloud HR solution like SuccessFactors though, you can’t rely on technology alone. Putting new tools in place without changing the underlying processes is like putting a Band-Aid on when you need surgery: it doesn’t solve the root problem.
That’s why you want to look for a service partner that goes beyond implementation and can help you address the underlying business processes and culture that—along with the right platform—can power the new way of working.
Unlike other system integrators that still address the challenges of HR from an on-premises mindset, your service partner should have extensive experience consulting, designing and deploying cloud solutions in forward-thinking HR organizations.
Start your transformation
If you’re just interested in wrapping up your current tools in a new UI, then by all means partner with a standard tech supplier.
If you want to really transform HR and fully support the new way of working though, you should find a service partner that can offer the full range of consulting, development and deployment. The implementation expertise and experience of your partner should ensure you get a greater return on your SuccessFactors investment—and enable the new way of working that helps you attract and retain the very best talent.
Get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you transform HR and empower users across the business.