By Indy Bains, Senior Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle
The finance function might be the guardians of the bottom line, but they know that business is about more than just revenue. It’s also about people—in particular, making sure that the organization has the right people in place, with the skills needed to help the business achieve its goals. In many organizations, finance and HR are closely intertwined.
So it’s no surprise that a 2017 survey by MIT (MIT Technology Review Custom Report) reported that 35% of companies planned to create a shared finance and HR function within the next year.
Finance and HR also share common technology needs, including:
With this much in common, it makes absolute sense that finance and HR should run on a single unified cloud solution.
Oracle’s finance and HR benefits calculator has been specially developed to help finance and HR leaders determine the potential benefits of a unified platform in four key areas.
A shared finance and HR platform, with the capacity for higher levels of automation, will allow finance and HR personnel to reduce the time spent on repetitive, low-value work (such as data entry or transaction processing) and focus on areas that drive business growth. The result: the business gains the opportunity to build new skills, discover new ways to recruit and retain the best talent, analyse individual performance, identify strategic priorities, and advise the organization on where to go next.
From our experience working closely with both finance and HR functions, we’ve identified a multitude of touch points (34 at last count) where the two come together. If you take the simple example of recruiting a new employee, both HR and finance need to hold information about the new hire’s line of business, who they report to, their role, cost centre and salary. A unified cloud with a common data model makes each of these steps quick and easy, with no duplication of work necessary, less margin for human error, and easier sharing of data between departments.
The Oracle Cloud uniquely extends the value of the common data model beyond finance and HR into procurement, projects management, supply chain and sales processes. This is a game-changer for organizations, who previously had to settle for fragmented data models from multiple cloud or on-premises solutions.
Although most of the finance and HR line-of-business respondents to the MIT survey foresee real benefits in moving to the cloud, 41% of them cited integration challenges as the top barrier to migration. Potential issues could, for example, lie in the integration of new technologies with legacy systems; then there’s the co-ordination of multiple vendors to consider.
Streamlining starts with a single cloud provider, rather than multiple vendors across business functions. And when it comes to legacy systems, many of them require specialist skills (and possibly even several IT staff) to run them. By contrast, the highly automated, user-friendly, and swift self-service access afforded by the cloud creates efficiencies and increases employee engagement.
With real-time access to error-free, current, highly sharable, 360-degree data, finance and HR executives are better informed, and can have complete confidence that reports will be quick and reliable. Decision-making is therefore improved, forecasts are more accurate, and strategic planning better aligned to the appropriate business drivers.
A further benefit of a unified finance and HR cloud is its ongoing access to the latest technology innovations through easy updates. This means that finance and HR teams can effortlessly keep pace with change. A huge 90% of MIT survey respondents said their cloud initiatives have given them greater agility when faced with market opportunities and challenges.
So how can you calculate the benefits to your organization of moving to a unified finance and HR cloud platform?
Simply tap a few company details into our unified finance and HR benefits calculator and you can work out the potential impact on your business across all four areas detailed above. You can provide as much or as little detail as you like, but the more you provide, the more accurate your resulting report will be. Your personalized report will be accompanied by links to useful reading, videos and infographics to help you build a convincing case.