June 20, 2018

Why should you take your HCM system to the cloud?

Hannele Koskenmäki

Lead HCM Consultant, Tieto

Companies are now ardently deliberating how to develop HCM systems that would better serve digitalizing business environment and continuous change. Tools for managing employees and their capabilities are improving all the time.

HCM cloud transformations are carried out so that companies could better answer change brought forth by operations and digitalization. In this blog I will tell you about Kesko’s SAP-awarded cloud based HCM system, and also offer advice on renewing HCM systems.

Tieto experts took part in Kesko’s HCM project that was awarded a significant SAP quality award in cloud innovations as the best project in the Nordics and third best execution in EMEA.

SAP SuccessFactors helps identify talent and offers the opportunity to utilise various reward, leadership, and development models to use throughout the organisation. SAP is making considerable overall change to the cloud and investing into making sure every action can be conducted via mobile.

New tools for HR management and steering

Above all, HCM cloud transformation supports the digital development of companies. Kesko now has for the first time one centralised user interface in HCM that offers transparency to HR processes and comprehensive reporting. Employees can set goals that support the company’s strategy and common ways of working can be efficiently advanced. Supervisors receive new tools for employment management, steering employees and feedback. Employees gain transparency to their own information.

The solutions can be expanded to analytics, social communication, daily work supervision and goal setting. Reporting and measuring can be developed as usage increases.

HR professionals can spend less time in managing manual processes and data entry, and concentrate on consulting and steering personnel and business units. The centralized HR support function improves services. In addition to Finland, Kesko has SAP SuccessFactors users in Sweden, Norway, Russia and Poland. The solution also works for the users in local languages.

The user’s identity and access rights to different information systems such as SAP SuccessFactors, is ensured with AD integrated identity management. This adds to information security and helps protect and manage personnel data according to GDPR obligations. Historical data can be released to employees if they ask for it.

How would you carry out an HCM transformation to support your business?

The collaboration between the service provider and customer becomes very close in a project like this, as continual fine-tuning is required as the project advances. Taking the service into use in phases requires flexibility from both parties and there are also risks involved for both parties. In addition to the technology change, it can also mean a huge process change. Here are a few pieces of advice I recommend you follow: 

  1. Ensure good collaboration internally between HR and IT. You need to be able to handle continuous change and solve arising challenges as a team. The customer’s HR and IT must work together seamlessly. There will always be surprises, but a competent and well-working team will overcome difficulties and find solutions also with the partner’s experts.
  2. Choose the technology with care.  Ensure the technology matches your enterprise architecture, for example, with Proof of Concept. There are probably several systems that could replace current decentralised, manual processes, but differences can be identified by analysing the aim.
  3. Invest into an iterative way of working during the project. A system that is easy to modify enables the customer to take integral part in the development phase. Development areas are easily identified, because the solution can also be displayed in mid-design. The long development and blueprint phases of a traditional waterfall project delivery model are history in HCM cloud projects.
  4. Business and personnel needs should be the focus of attention. An optimal outcome cannot be achieved if you are in too much of a hurry. Ensure your organisation has sufficient time to carry out the change. How can the change serve supervisors and personnel in an optimal manner?
  5. Choose your partner with care. Collaboration has to work well even in difficult situations. Does your partner see your real business needs? Is your partner skilled enough to carry out such a project? What would collaboration be like with this specific team?
  6. Secure continuous development and support also after the project. The only constant is change and therefore I would ensure continuous development. It calls for a dedicated personnel either in your own organisation or via outside resources. HCM systems can be used for a long time and thus support through the system’s entire lifecycle is extremely important.

Cloud based HCM systems are stirring enormous interest. In these projects, the driver’s seat must be taken by the HR department, not necessarily IT anymore. Starting an HCM cloud project calls for a different kind of attitude and a close collaboration model.

Tieto experts have extensive experience and versatile skills in HR processes, HCM cloud based systems and creating them. We guide the development project in the right direction, carry out long-span, sustainable planning, taking into consideration each customer’s business needs, and we offer support for the entire life-cycle. As Kesko’s project shows, the benefits are substantial!

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