Small steps can be smart steps in moving to the Cloud

In previous blogs, I have written about two main issues. These are from my experiences of customers who are taking their first steps in moving HR processes to the Cloud.

The issues

1. The expectation gap between 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 need to define, plan and design a unique digital HR journey. This would factor in elements such as geographies, investments as well as 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, 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. This suggests that my earlier statements were right.

I’m a Cloud believer

I am an absolute advocate of the 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 Cloud 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 and the most important step you will take.

In the meantime