Small Steps Can be Smart Steps

In my previous blogs, Finding the Right Speed for Cloud Adoption and Finding the Right Speed for HR Tech Innovation, I wrote about two different, but parallel issues relating to my experiences of working with customers taking their first steps to HR processes in the Cloud.

The issues

  1. The expectation gap between the actual outcomes and the gains they were told they will achieve by moving HR to the cloud

  2. The realization that there is no out-of-the-box cloud solution, but rather the absolute need to define, plan and design a unique digital HR journey to factor in elements including geographies, previous investments, and process and cultural change management.

I received some remarks about these blogs, because they presented honest feedback and not the usual hallelujah stories that were commonly heard.

It was then no surprise at the end of 2016 and still now, that the typical blogs and social media feeds I read conclude that the pace at which companies would move business processes to the cloud is much slower than previously expected, suggesting that my earlier statements were right.

I’m a believer

I am an absolute advocate of cloud as a means of storing and accessing data and applications over the internet. There is no doubting the benefits in all aspects of our lives, particularly for HR, but it is not yet ubiquitous.

In this blog, the first in a series of three, I want to talk about the mixed technology landscape that is the reality for very many multinationals still.

Pieces of the puzzle


Many international companies have a diverse system landscape for their HR processes: some, but not all processes are centralized in a single system.

Moving these processes into the cloud often means replacing locally, and sometimes globally, defined functionalities.

We all know that it’s wise to first build a solid foundation, starting with HR admin before moving more value-added processes like Performance or Reward, but this is not the reality we see.

Few companies get the opportunity to build anew. For most, it is a jigsaw puzzle of pieces; the more pieces, the harder it is to solve.

Integration headache

Interfaces are a headache. We all know this. However, we must also be fair in acknowledging that it is becoming less and less painful as more standard API’s become available.

Unless yours is one of the minority of organizations that move HR to the cloud in one big bang, there will be a significant period of time when you will be operating a hybrid model and this is where good integrations are key. Whilst the end state will be good, there can be some integration pains.

Add payroll to the mix

Payroll continues to be the most critical HR process and always will always be. No compromises are possible here. People must be paid on time and within the mandates of local regulations. Data protection is also vital.

So, how do companies move their live payroll processes to the Cloud?

Very lively discussions were held on many forums following the launch of SAP SuccessFactors Managed Payroll Services last summer.

My colleagues at NGA Human Resources contributed to some – The Great Debate: SAP SuccessFactors Managed Payroll and A Step-by-Step Guide to Payroll Migration.

This, therefore, raises the question…

‘What do I do with my payroll?’

There is no one answer to this question other than; get some good advice before making any decisions.

Process design, policy alignment, change management and impact analysis must all be considered. This is the first step and it is the most important step you will take.

Step 2

In the next blog in this series, I will expand more on the challenge of implementing a standard solution.

In the meantime

Interesting viewing:Optimize your HR with the Cloud and reading: Embark On A Journey To A Better Employee Experience

April 07 2017