Human Resources | May 3, 2017

Considering Cloud-Based HCM Applications? Start With a Transformational Journey

By: Cognizant & KBACE | Oracle Cloud partners and sponsors of Oracle HCM World 2017


Making the transition to Cloud applications is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” Gartner forecasts that 30% of new software acquisitions by the world’s largest vendors will be Cloud-only by 2019 while IDC predicts by 2018, at least half of IT spending will be Cloud based, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure and 60 to 70% of all software, services and technology spending by 2020. Clearly, Cloud is quickly becoming the dominant business software model for global businesses.

So what does that mean for HCM and HR organizations? It’s already been proven by current adopters that Cloud applications for HCM can help lower operational costs, boost business agility, and increase efficiencies for compensation, benefits, and payroll. What’s not so clear is what an organization will look like after Cloud adoption. How will the Cloud change how your people work and how your business operates? Are you ready for those changes, or do you need to understand how to prepare? 

Before making a blind leap onto the Cloud, it pays to start by taking what we call a “transformational journey.” Cognizant Transformation services partners with Oracle to help customers step over potential landmines of change along the path to Cloud adoption. The goal? To customize and accelerate a successful journey to the Cloud.

Transformation is your map for change management

People often think that transformation is just another word for change management, but in reality each process has a very different and specific focus. Think of transformation as strategic planning, whereas change management focuses on the execution and management of the Cloud implementation. So transformation actually begins even before the project starts, and here is why it is so important. Oracle Cloud Applications follow best practices to help you continue your business in a lean way while having the latest and greatest software updates to support that business. It’s critical to understand what your organization would look like after implementing Oracle Cloud to ensure that this is the right move at the right time. 

Whether you have made a commitment to implementing the cloud or are still thinking about it, Transformation services provide a view of what your business will look like in its end state after cloud adoption. 

While transformation is not change management, a transformation approach helps you map out a clear path to the change management best suited for your organization throughout the project. For example, Cloud applications for HCM and HR introduce automation into what were previously manual processes. Sometimes HR departments manually enter a lot of employee data themselves, whereas a Cloud app may put that process into the hands of the employees themselves through a self-service model. Other operational tasks may either change or go away completely. Based on Cognizant’s discussions with you, we will undertake future-state modeling to illustrate what your business might look like with a Cloud-based HCM system in place. We may also perform a job impact analysis to determine how we can move your applications seamlessly to the Cloud and help you manage business changes in the same way.

Through transformation we also identify other change-related landmines–often called disruptive changes–and offer ways to overcome them. For example, when migrating from an on-premise ERP system, we can examine how the Cloud will change the way your people work, both in HR and across the global enterprise. It’s not just all about the new technology. Think about the new ways HR will have to adapt to a very different service delivery model. How can you plan ahead and marshal the right resources to help HR weather this disruptive change? By following best practices and a well-defined process, you can help ensure successful Cloud adoption for HCM.

Why transformation and what’s in it for you? 

The big advantage of having a transformation approach is that you will already know what kind of changes to expect and how to successfully manage them after Cloud implementation. What’s more, the decisions made in transformation spill down into change management, which usually results in a faster track to Cloud implementation and faster return on investment. Cloud implementations usually happen faster than traditional ERP—26 weeks is fairly typical—so having a strategic plan of transformation and change management can save time and avoid delays. In addition, the transformation process will help ensure that your entire company is ready to take on this rapid change, not just HR.

In fact, during the transformation process you’ll uncover many other ways that a Cloud-based HCM system can benefit your organization beyond the corporate HR department:

  • Technology. The HCM Cloud implementation will likely drive the need for new and updated technology tools, systems and apps across the enterprise. Companies with the latest technologies are more likely to attract the best talent in today’s young, tech-savvy workforce. 
  • Data sharing. A Cloud-based solution will make it easier and more efficient for HR to share HCM data with other areas of the business, including Big Data planning and strategy initiatives. In turn, employees throughout your organization will have access to more actionable business insights. 
  • Capitalize on employee talent. Employees, too, will be empowered to provide more valuable information to the company about themselves, since they can continually enter and update their skills and interests themselves in the user-friendly HCM Cloud system. Business units throughout the enterprise can use this information to discover and capitalize on employee skills and talent, as well as promote proactive career development.

Let’s Talk

Drawing from our experience of over 200 Cloud engagements, we’ve found that a successful Cloud deployment for HCM requires a balance between process and organizational transformation and pure change management. Remember, too, that a successful deployment of Cloud applications is a journey of many steps, rather than one big leap into the Cloud. Let’s talk about transformation before your move to the Cloud and how Cognizant can help you maximize ROI as you transition to Oracle Cloud Applications.

To learn more from our cloud transformation experts at Cognizant and KBACE, contact us at salesteam@kbace.com.

Oracle Cloud partners and sponsors of Oracle HCM World 2017
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