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How to Start Your Journey to the Cloud Today

QFDE Cloud Week

During Quest Forum Digital Event: Cloud Week, Crystal Starr, SPHR SHRM-SCP Principal Solution Consultant at Oracle, and Lynda Heusbech, Senior Solution Consultant at Oracle, shared how to start your journey to the cloud in today’s disruptive, digital age. The pace of acceleration is faster than ever before – are you ready?

Changes in the Market

It’s important to keep in mind as the impact of disruption is rapid and widespread. In order to put this in perspective, imagine the top 10 companies back in 2001:

  1. GE
  2. Microsoft
  3. Exxon
  4. Walmart
  5. Citi
  6. Pfizer
  7. Intel
  8. BP
  9. Johnson & Johnson
  10. Shell

Technology had a small presence with Microsoft and Intel, pharmaceuticals were on the map with Pfizer, but the market strongly supported oil and gas with Exxon, BP, and Shell. In just 17 short years, the market has drastically shifted with GE falling to No. 65, Microsoft at No. 4, Exxon at No. 10, Walmart at No. 21, Citi at No. 39, Pfizer at No. 27, Intel at No. 19, BP at No. 52, J&J at No. 11, and Shell at No. 15. In 2018, seven of the top 10 companies were technology. In 2018, the market reflected the following as the top 10 companies:

  1. Apple
  2. Amazon
  3. Alphabet
  4. Microsoft
  5. Facebook
  6. Alibaba Group
  7. Berkshire Hathaway
  8. Tencent
  9. JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  10. Exxon

From this example, we can look back and evaluate what has changed just within the 21st century. We can also look forward and make predictions for human capital management (HCM) – let’s say within the next five years. So, by 2025, we can offer predictions such as:

  • HCM is experiencing change at an unprecedented rate and change will only accelerate.
  • Conversational AI becomes the new engagement standard for humans and automated bots.
  • Intelligent process automation enables more productive, personalized worker interactions.
  • Customers are intelligently automating to keep pace with the increasing pace of change.
  • By 2025, 70 percent of recruiting will be taken over by AI and bots.
  • The rise of AI-based machines will create new jobs that have not yet been invented.

Something to consider moving forward would be if you ready for the changing global business trends, which includes intense disruption, rising expectations, and an urgency to be agile. To put this in perspective as far as disruption, Starr and Heusbech explained that new players will replace 75 percent of the S&P 500 companies in eight years. By 2020, 50 percent if G2000 companies will depend on digitally enhanced products, and the pace of innovation will double every 18 months. Global enterprise will spend $7 trillion in digital transformation initiatives in the next four years, while companies that were successful in digital transformation grew EBIT by 7.3 percent.

As far as rising expectations, 89 percent of customers switch brands due to bad customer experience. Additionally, 46 percent of employees would change jobs due to poor software usability. The market will see increased pressure on executives to digitally transform their organizations.

Regarding urgency to be agile, we are facing complexity and multiple points of failure with data across multiple applications in the ballpark of 250+, runway costs to integrate and maintain complex IT ecosystems at 50 percent, and lack of agility due to resources bound to maintenance and integration activities at 80 percent.

In short, survival in this digital age truly does require one to think about methodological changes in the workplace – including on-premise solutions and the time it takes to update or enhance any changes that need to be made. Customizations and the time it takes to make sure they are all working properly should also be taken into consideration.

Factors to Consider on Your Journey to the Cloud

While there are a number of things for clients to consider when thinking about shifting to the cloud, Starr and Heusbech choose to focus on six major factors. These include:

  1. Mobility
  2. Access to history
  3. Manual process elimination
  4. Talent evaluation
  5. Innovation
  6. Integration


Taking your cloud mobile is significant because it allows companies to move to a more modern work experience where the new workforce demands connectivity at all times. This mobile shift is seamless for Oracle users because Oracle applications are natively designed for mobile use. In addition to cloud mobility, Oracle now enables the capability for offline learning while on a mobile device for users who find themselves working remotely without access to a cell tower. This is accessible through an additional app, which can be downloaded. Once the user returns to an area with cell service, the information in this app is automatically transferred to their cloud profile.

Access to History

Thinking about on-premise applications and having a plan for the shift is elemental due to the complexity of business applications. In the past, businesses had separate modules on-premises – forcing customers to do an expensive, complex integration. Because of the level of complexity involved, Oracle encourages phasing when moving to the cloud to ensure that the proper measures are taken. This is where having access to history comes into the picture because the cloud shift forces customers to think about what all has to be moved and the manner in which this will be accomplished. One thing to be considered about history is that shifting to the cloud is going to consolidate how information is stored and how it is produced – meaning that while the Cloud is vastly adaptable in regards to how much information can be stored, it’s going to be more about quality than quantity.

Manual Process Elimination

Another point of evaluation is manual process elimination. Moving to the cloud removes manually keyed errors, saves time with accuracy, and the fully integrated, all-in-one solution allows for point of entry. Typically, Oracle has found that clients have an uptake of 11 percent and the bottom line is nearly 7 percent.

Talent Evaluation

In addition to the items to be considered when moving, there are also advantages that come from the business processes within HR solutions themselves, for example, in the talent area. Think about how this area has changed just over the past 20 years. In the past, managers would do an annual employee evaluation. This gradually shifted to self-assessment after management decided employees should also have a voice in this process as well. This was often a painful and sometimes shocking process for both parties, and for this reason, many companies sought to eliminate the writing portion of the evaluation process. However, this did not altogether fix the problem as the real issue at hand was simply a lack of communication between employees and managers at large. Therefore, Oracle’s goal with talent evaluation is continuous performance management, meaning increased engagement between employees and management – leading to better retention and ultimately greater career mobility. In short, the three goals of talent evaluation would be:

  1. Find, know, and cultivate your talent
  2. Encourage continuous career conversations
  3. Ensure your talent is ready for new opportunities

In order to do so, the first step is to find the talent so you can grow and cultivate the talent within your organization. Roughly 83 percent of HR leaders say that attracting talent is their No. 1 priority. In response to this, recruiting solutions have transformed over the years from a transactional model to more of a candidate development, relationship-building model.

Also, with modern solutions, you should think about your internal candidates, current employees and associates, and how they can network with others within the organization. Additionally, utilizing connectivity and integration with partners such as LinkedIn is vital. Modern solutions allow companies to bring in information about employees to the cloud so that you can know the skills, experience, history of employees, and what they are bringing to the table. Utilizing this feature turns hiring and onboarding time from what used to take up to three weeks down to just two days.

Roughly 80 percent of CEOs see that new skills, or lack thereof, is the greatest threat within their organization. Without the right skillsets, an organization is not going to be successful; therefore, a cloud solution that enables these continuous career conversations is necessary. The platform Oracle created not only allows for performance evaluations, but also for career development and growth opportunities for employees.

Ensuring that talent is ready for new opportunities is important to keep in mind in order to ensure employers don’t lose their employees to their competitors. Studies have shown that the No. 1 factor for an employee to leave their organization is due to a lack of growth and learning. With Oracle’s best practices, your organization can have a real impact on this statistic. Clear guidance can be provided to employees as they progress through their careers. Clients can easily access talent and promote career growth opportunities.


The other concept to consider is the innovation itself. Delivering innovative solutions and enabling emerging technologies allows businesses the opportunity to take advantage of and transform their organizations easier than ever before. New and emerging technologies can enable companies to have the agility to change over time. The cloud gives companies the opportunity to configure without customizations. Many times with on-premise solutions, organizations have customized solutions so much they are unable to keep up with change. The cloud has the ability to make employee predictions as well.

In order to help with necessary customizations, Oracle has tools that are built into the cloud to help with process configuration. For example, the cloud can recognize a person’s persona, their location, what job they have, in which department, and what security access they have. Having this data, you can then proactively present the information in a relevant way. You, as a client, can change your business processes for some of these transactions to create specific conditions. For example, should salary information be shown to a manager as they are going through a promotion for an employee, or is that information to which only HR should have access? Other configurable options include the ability for the client to display or hide certain information. As well as the auto-completion rule, which shows the user an error box if the right item has not been selected from a drop-down pick list or if they don’t remember to key in the end date for a particular transaction. So, making sure that transactions have validity as they go through will cause fewer errors downstream.

The biggest advantage of the cloud is that updates are left up to Oracle. Not only does Oracle provide updates, but they have also provided various enhancements delivering over 1,200 new features (80 percent of which come from client requests). With that being said, Oracle has the capability to drive innovation not just from an industrial point of view, but also from the clientele point of view. Unlike on-premise solutions, you won’t ever be stuck in old releases with the Oracle Cloud updates. One thing to keep in mind would be that non-essential enhancements have to capability to be turned off. So, if a client is not ready to uptake that particular feature within their business process, they have to capability of deciding when to incorporate them on down the road.


Another benefit that Oracle Cloud users will find is that of a unified solution. Advantages of eliminating various interfaces and having to maintain those interfaces and ultimately connecting your business through an integrated solution include:

  • Connection to an entire organization
  • Management of employee lifecycle from hire to retirement
  • Human interfaces that are complete, secure, and adaptable with embedded AI.

Oracle supports business processes by providing all the necessary processes from an HR perspective in one place, such as:

  • Recruit to onboard
  • Benefits to payroll
  • Payroll to payment
  • Time collection to payroll
  • Goal setting to performance
  • Career planning to development
  • Talent review to succession
  • Absence planning to continuity
  • Employee analysis to work-life alignment
  • Employee separation to workforce analysis

To learn more about how to start your journey to the cloud, check out the Quest Forum Digital Event: Cloud Week presentation and additional resources attached below.

Additional Resources

Save the date for Quest Experience Week (QXW)! QXW offers 4 free, jam-packed days of practical Oracle product learning for users of JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Oracle Cloud apps, and Oracle Database solutions. There’s something for everyone – strategic insights, practical product how-to sessions, customer case studies, and best practices. Check out the breakdown below!

  • PeopleSoft Day: Monday, December 7
  • JD Edwards Day: Tuesday, December 8
  • Oracle Cloud Day: Wednesday, December 9
  • Database & Technology Day: Thursday, December 10

Registration for QXW will open on November 4!

How to Start Your Journey to the Cloud Today