No industry is immune from the current pace of technological change. While this acceleration presents radical opportunities for growth, analytics, and connectivity, it also brings real and pressing challenges to the adaptability of business organizations. At COLLABORATE 19, Chinam Kry, VP of Cloud Business Group at Oracle, shared with the Quest community how aligning HR and Finance through Cloud-based applications creates an agile, adaptable business response to navigate both the current business landscape and future innovation.
Challenges Facing Current Business Adaptability
The technology revolution over the past twenty years has taken businesses from the advent of the internet and social and mobile revolutions to what “Big Data” and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning still have in store. Yet, the current rate of technological change is exceeding the pace of human adaptability. The crux for organizations is that further lagging behind the pace at which we humans can keep up is business adaptability.
Kry suggests that this is due in part to the nature of the legacy systems that most organizations employ. Legacy systems tend to be more rigid and complex, requiring customization and IT to keep pace with the changing business landscape. Additionally, Kry references a Sierra-Cedar study that shows that most organizations larger in size run between 10 and 15 HR systems. With multiple systems, effectively and accurately accessing the right information is challenging and impacts the agility of an organization’s decision-making process.
Ask yourself how efficiently and accurately you can answer the following questions about your organization and how extensive the required time and work is for analysts and managers to do the same:
- Do you know your total workforce, including those who are part-time, seasonal, contingent workers, and retirees?
- Do you know who your top performers are?
- Do you know your total cost?
- Do you know which employees are assigned to your organization’s specific projects?
Without accurately and efficiently understanding the people and costs associated, determining business outcomes becomes compromised. Add to this equation that technology is not the only changing dimension for businesses today. A more mobile, global and diverse workforce, the increasing representation of independent and contingent workforces, evolving organizational structures and changing business models (think service-centric over product-centric), all impact today’s industries and the legacy systems upon which they rely.
A Strategic Solution: Aligning HR and Finance
Kry proposes that the first part of an adaptable and sustainable business solution is strategically aligning HR and Finance through data integration. This alignment allows for business data in a shared framework to enrich both business outcome and employee experience. Kry cites a survey conducted by MIT Technology Review summarizing four critical reasons to align HR and Finance:
- Enhanced business performance
- Strengthened alignment between employee skills/availability and business projects
- Improved data-driven decision processes
- Robust security
The alignment of an organization’s people with its business priorities directly influences the agility of the overall organization. Whether business priorities take the form of mergers and acquisitions, product launches, or office openings, having improved collaboration between HR and Finance through data integration can advance forecasting, budgeting, and workforce decisions based on these priorities.
An Agile Solution: Digital Transformation in the Cloud
The remainder of creating an adaptable and sustainable business solution is accomplishing it digitally. Kry references a recent cross-industry survey conducted by Oracle and Research Now that asked companies in an enterprise space across North America, Western Europe, and in parts of Latin America about the priority they ascribe to digital transformation. Over 89 percent of the companies surveyed believe that digital transformation is critical or of high importance from an organizational perspective. Nearly all of this group responded that embracing digital transformation is vital due to today’s pace of change, as well as for margin expansion and to drive growth.
Given the accelerating pace of technological and business change, organizations must wrestle with how important digital transformation is to them.
According to Kry, the Cloud is foundational to everything currently being seen from a digital transformation perspective. The dynamic and flexible nature of Cloud applications enables organizations to embrace change in any environment and to drive engagement across the entire enterprise.
In the case of aligning HR and Finance, Cloud solutions allow for HR and Finance to share a common data source, thereby actively supporting business decisions from workforce and operational to cost analysis from a single “source of truth.”
In the case of aligning HR and Finance through Oracle Cloud solutions, the following benefits also elevate business outcomes:
- One security model and one technology platform more easily managed by IT
- Continuous enhancement and innovation with four updates per year
- Mobile responsive designed with built-in modern best practices
- Digital assistants transforming the user experience
- Configurability improving overall flexibility, usability, and product satisfaction
- Expanded use of data extending beyond descriptive models to predictive use
- Agility to match business priorities including mergers and acquisitions and scaling business operations
- Adaptability to business, organization, or workforce changes
- Reduced compliance costs and maintenance costs associated with legacy systems
For many customers who have moved ERP and HR to the cloud, Kry has observed tremendous benefits, including the ability to scale and grow, increase staff productivity, and improve the close process. Aligning HR and Finance data through flexible Cloud solutions offers an agile and responsive framework that is capable of embracing change from both within the organization it serves and the greater business landscape.
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!