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  • October 16, 2018

Business in Front, Party in Back: A Business Case for Success in the Cloud

Written by: Jeff Haynes, Director, Baker Tilly Human Capital Consulting Practice

From shoulder pads to big hair, John Hughes movies to Madonna, the 80s gave us some iconic trends. One of which was the most popular hairstyle– the mullet – that will haunt every family portrait until the end of time. It turns out that the mullet actually makes for a pretty good metaphor when it comes to human capital management (HCM) implementations. The phrase “business in the front, party in the back” has historically described the infamous hairstyle, but as it relates to HCM implementations, consider the following: A successful transformation requires a compelling business case to justify the first steps – business in the front – and an enduring governance model to continuously measure and sustain that business case for the organization – party in the back.

Quantitative and qualitative measures of success

The art of combining a financial return (hard data) with human resource (HR) effectiveness (soft data) can be difficult to quantify, and frankly, sometimes difficult to swallow. From a quantitative perspective, there are a number of hard dollar savings to gain from moving from an on-premises solution (come on, it’s not the 80s anymore!) to the cloud:

  • Eliminating HCM servers and maintenance
  • HCM server upgrade cost avoidance
  • Lessening/eliminating HCM application/software support, maintenance and updates
  • Reducing overhead support costs (patches, IT overhead, IT chargebacks)

For more qualitative measures, organizations will look for a return on leveraging technology for more efficient and effective HR programs. This criteria might include:

  • Reduction in onboarding time
  • Reduction in voluntary turnover
  • Improvement in strategic workforce planning
  • Elimination of manual/email/spreadsheet based processes

Capturing these measures and criteria, designing the processes to improve it, and building the tools and capabilities to measure it during implementation, will enhance the governance framework and drive the organization toward successful outcomes.

Now that you’ve taken care of business up front, it’s time to party (or in other words, after the implementation is underway, it’s time to focus on governance). This is where an organization builds the muscles required to sustain themselves in this new cloud environment and realize the benefits and value that they are banking on. Baker Tilly takes an approach to governance that drives successful outcomes from organizational alignment, ongoing solution support, maintenance and enhancement. We strongly emphasize this because we often see it as a common misstep in the marketplace - where organizations have moved to the cloud but were not properly equipped to sustain themselves post implementation.

4 key dimensions of governance and the interplay between them

  1. Structure: Just like any good mullet needs structure, an enduring governance model needs continuous assessment of the organizational alignment of the solution.
  2. Solution support: In the same way your favorite hairspray keeps your ‘do in place, an organization needs to build end-to-end support processes to get the most out of the investment and the continuous R&D reflected in multiple updates per year.
  3. Maintenance: Just as you’d comb your mullet to keep those locks tame, your governance model should provide tools and templates to support continued maintenance and upgrades.
  4. Enhancement: Like teasing your hair to create that ideal 80s volume, building the ongoing relationship with the client’s technology vendor (Oracle) to play an active role in the HCM cloud ecosystem, is important to ensure innovation for the future.

Learn more at Oracle OpenWorld 

Our clients have success with HCM Cloud by establishing a business case that measures success and alignment to business outcomes, which then leads to a tailored implementation, supported by a foundational governance model that ensures continued support and innovation. To learn more about our approach, we hope you can join us at Oracle OpenWorld for our session, Business in Front, Party in Back: A Business Case for Success in the Cloud [4] Monday, Oct 22, 11:30 am - 12:15 pm | Moscone South-Room 208, to hear how Creighton University built an effective business case to justify its move to Cloud and an effective governance model that is supporting Oracle HCM Cloud for long term success.

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