Home / Educational Content / Oracle Cloud Applications / 5 Dangers to Avoid When Upgrading to HCM Cloud

5 Dangers to Avoid When Upgrading to HCM Cloud


Lori Pierson, Vice President of HCM Transformation at Oracle, laid out five dangers customers should avoid when upgrading their HR system to HCM Cloud. Moving on-premises human resources applications to the Cloud is continuously becoming more and more popular. If a company wants to take its HR applications to the next level, it’s important to take advantage of new technologies and deliver a better experience for current and future employees. Organizations need to prepare for what lies ahead before making the move to the Cloud and learn how to avoid the five dangers Lori listed when upgrading to HCM Cloud.

The five dangers to avoid when upgrading to HCM Cloud include:

  1. Delaying change announcements to the organization.
  2. Leaving key stakeholders out in the cold.
  3. Overcomplicating the implementation.
  4. Not anticipating hurdles along the way.
  5. Forgetting why you’re making the upgrade.

Delaying Change Announcements

While going through changes can be exciting, it is also challenging. Upgrading your HR system to HCM Cloud will likely require a transition period and a strategy for change management within your organization. Many on-premises systems have been around for years, or even decades, so it can be hard to move to a new system. However, frequent and open communication that includes everyone who is affected by the change will help reduce fear and ease the transition. Having a good communication plan will also allow HR teams to confirm that progress is meeting the needs of those who are involved and affected. Don’t delay communication about change announcements to your organization. Communication is the key to success.

Leaving Out Key Stakeholders

One common mistake that is made during HCM Cloud upgrades is leaving key stakeholders out of important decisions. In an effort to improve the experience for everyone, HR sometimes forgets to include key stakeholders in conversations or decision making. However, it’s important to partner with stakeholders across all departments and levels. These people might include people in operations, managers, HR staff, people who will help roll out new technology, etc. These key stakeholders need to understand how they will use the new applications and how they can help drive adoption rates during the company’s go-live period. Key stakeholder support can make a big difference in change management and adoption during your project.

Overcomplicating the Cloud Implementation

Upgrading to HCM Cloud, or any Cloud for that matter, can be a complex process. There are steps and decisions that may get compromised along the way. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s unlikely that any application will solve 100 percent of the needs that your user population has, no matter how robust your implementation is. However, you shouldn’t let this frustrate you or slow down your momentum. Lori advises customers to stick to the “80-20 Rule”—80 percent of effects come from 20 of causes, and 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of effort. This will help you make smart decisions and focus on delivering a system that meets the needs of your user population. The simpler the better—don’t overcomplicate things.

Not Anticipating Hurdles

Unforeseen challenges are an inevitable part of any upgrade. It’s important to prepare for them instead of pretending like they won’t happen to you. The trick is to decide in advance how you’re going to handle challenges when they come up and come up with a firm action plan. From there, you need to clearly communicate your plan to your entire project team. Having an action plan in place ahead of time can make a big impact on the success of your project. You need to develop a plan for addressing hurdles, develop a process for communication challenges to key stakeholders, and identify who decision makers will be when it comes to resolving challenges within specific areas of expertise. Following these steps and being prepared will help reduce frustration and keep your project successfully moving forward. It will only hurt you in the long run if you are unprepared for or unaware of unforeseen obstacles that will inevitably arise during your implementation project.

Forgetting Why You’re Upgrading to HCM Cloud

There could be several months passing between when you have the initial meetings to review Cloud options, when you select the best option for your company, and when you actually sign on the dotted line and begin your implementation project. Lori explained that as the team of decision makers and implementers continues to evolve and grow, the ultimate goals of the project can sometimes get lost. In order to combat this and keep goals at the front of your mind, you’ll need to have frequent communication and gut checks. It can be helpful to periodically review the reasons behind the upgrade to ensure that your team doesn’t lose sight of the end goal. You may also want to track your progress against those goals to keep everyone aligned and motivated. Don’t forget why you started your Cloud project in the first place.

When you begin your implementation project and start moving to HCM Cloud, keep these five potential dangers in the back of your mind. It can be easy to fall into some of these ways, so you will need to come up with action plans on how to handle communication, change management, unforeseen obstacles, and more. Don’t lose sight of why you decided to move to HCM Cloud in the first place, and make sure your team is keeping pace with goals, communicating change and challenges, and not overcomplicating the process. Keep your key stakeholders informed and involved and keep the communication gates open. If you keep these five warnings in mind during your project, you’ll be alright!

To learn more about these five potential dangers, other tips and best practices, and success stories of other customers who have made the move to HCM Cloud, check out Lori’s blog and the additional Quest resources attached below.

Additional Resources

For more Oracle HCM Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle HCM Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of HCM Cloud, including payroll, analytics, recruiting, and more!