In today’s Cloud market, you will find global, leading enterprises that provide Cloud services as well as smaller companies that specialize in various technologies and Cloud strategies. To assess the potential fit of a vendor with your business, a good idea is to request customer references of companies similar to yours.
Just like making cost savings, the motivation for moving to the Cloud could limit the positive outcomes you can achieve, thus choosing a vendor based on price alone would not be a recommendable approach. So what are the capabilities you should look for in a Cloud services provider?
Closely review the skills and expertise offered by Cloud service providers and evaluate how they would complement and extend your own IT team’s capabilities. While some Cloud solutions are highly standardized and can serve many different companies others require the expertise to expose data properly and translate your business rules for the Cloud. If you can rely on a vendor’s existing skills and capacity, that will probably yield desired results much faster and be far more affordable than building your own team of Cloud experts.
Many Cloud providers have budgets and hiring strategies that enable them to bring the industry’s most capable practitioners onboard and most likely, that can provide cutting-edge skills that would be too challenging for you to maintain in your team. However, it is wise to build your own know-how during the project and make a bridge between HR/IT and the vendor to make yourself less vulnerable when the project comes to an end.
You should go into a Cloud initiative fully informed and with a good idea of the Cloud’s potential for your organization. But – what are you hoping to accomplish? Of the many advantages that are possible in Cloud computing - which ones will really make a difference to you?
- Do you want to take advantage of advanced Cloud business analytics tools?
- Are you anticipating a larger number of transactions or an optimized HR performance cycle?
- Are you connecting products or systems and expect to store, manage, and analyze the data in the Cloud?
- Are you looking for an increase in efficiencies throughout all of your HR teams or only some?
- Do you want to rely on more advanced tools available in the Cloud for your company’s HR applications?
Once you have defined and documented your goals for moving to the Cloud and the company’s business leaders have signed off, there will be less ambiguity in deciding which systems/apps you want to move.
When is a Good Time?
When, where and how do you start taking your business into the Cloud?
It can seem like a massive decision – but to help you overcome it and make it more simple a good, manageable and low risk approach is a “proof-of-concept” project. Pick a relatively uncomplicated and not necessarily business critical application that does not impact customers – maybe a work process for a group of employees to submit vacation and leave requests, or another HR process that is well-isolated from other business operations, like e.g. benefits. Move that to the Cloud. This “test” will offer valuable insights and help you define best practices for migrating larger HR modules afterwards.
It can at times be more productive to transition some processes and leave others on-premise for a while. Companies realize that for a period of time, Cloud and on-premise environments can be combined in a hybrid way and be beneficial and with nice new self-service features that staff can slowly get used to.
You could also implement areas such as talent, performance management and e.g. onboarding in a second implementation stage – and they can be surrounded by, for example, Core HR that could be your first Cloud implementation since Core HR has a broad benefit to most staff. Many add-on modules that come after HR Core can give very high return of investment, e.g. talent management that is widely used in all levels of an organization. Easy to implement, and an instant relief to management and teams.
Whatever your goals are for moving to the Cloud, ensure that they are implemented with a clearly articulated change management strategy so that your staff feel involved and empowered which will improve the adaption and not least, increase employee satisfaction.
An article by Sandra Skoglund Henriksson, HR Service Center Director at Nynas and Stina Gamst on Cloud thoughts and tips
This is the second article of a series of three, so stay tuned on more Cloud talk….to be continued in a couple of weeks
If you want the initial post in this series: