MIT Technology Review found that 35% of companies planned to create a shared finance and human resources function within the next year, and it's easy to understand why. With quicker access to data, better ability to automate and gather reports, among other things, a connected HR and finance cloud is something any small-to-medium business (SMB) should consider for their enterprise resource planning (ERP).
In many organizations, finance and HR departments work together or share data regularly. The finance function may protect the bottom line, but leaders in a SMB know that there are other functions that are important, too, like HR. It's also about people, and it's important to make sure that the organization has the right people in place, with the skills needed to help the business achieve its goals.
Because of their shared workflow, finance and HR also share common technology needs, such as streamlined processes, higher level of automation, and a holistic view of employees' responsibilities and performance data. With these needs in common, it makes sense that they run on a single unified cloud solution. Not sure where to begin? Oracle's finance and HR benefits calculator can assist you in determining the potential benefits of a unified platform in these four key areas.
Looking to reduce the time spent on repetitive, low-value work, such as data entry or transaction processing? Would you rather focus on areas that drive business growth? A shared finance and HR platform — with the capacity for higher levels of automation — provides this opportunity for finance and HR professionals. The result: a SMB builds new skills, identifies strategic priorities, discovers new ways to recruit and retain the best talent, analyzes individual performance, and advises the organization on what steps to take next. All while saving time that can be spent on other in-person tasks.
There are a multitude of touch points — 34 at last count — where finance and HR intersect. Consider the simple example of recruiting a new employee — both HR and finance store information about the new hire's line of business, who their supervisor is, their position, cost center and salary. An ERP solution with a common data model makes storing this data quick and easy. A shared solution means there is no duplication of work necessary, less margin for human error, and easier sharing of data between departments.
Oracle ERP Cloud extends the value of the common data model beyond HR and finance into procurement, projects management, supply chain and sales processes. For a small-to-medium business, who previously settled for fragmented data models from multiple cloud or on-premises solutions, this is a game changer.
While most of the HR and finance line-of-business respondents to the aforementioned MIT survey foresee true benefits in moving to the cloud, 41 percent cited integration challenges as a major barrier to migration. Some potential issues include the integration of new technologies with legacy systems and the coordination of multiple vendors.
Streamlining processes starts with a single cloud provider, and not multiple vendors across business functions. When it comes to legacy systems, many require specialist skills, and possibly even several IT staff, to run them.
The access afforded by the cloud — which is highly automated, user-friendly, and swift self-service — both creates efficiencies and increases employee engagement.
Finance and HR professionals are better informed and can have complete confidence that reports will be quick and reliable when they have real-time access to current, error-free, highly shareable, 360-degree data. This helps to improve decision-making, create more accurate forecasts, and align strategic planning to the appropriate business drivers.
Let's not forget about the ongoing access to the latest technology innovations with easy updates, which can help finance and HR teams stay on pace with change. Of the MIT survey respondents, 90 percent said their cloud initiatives provide better agility when faced with market opportunities and challenges.
So how can you calculate the benefits to your small-to-medium business (SMB) of moving to a unified finance and HR cloud platform?
By tapping a few details about your organization into our unified finance and HR benefits calculator, you can work out the potential impact on your company across all four areas detailed above. Your personalized report will also be accompanied by links to useful reading, and videos and infographics to help you build a convincing case.
By Indy Bains, Senior Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle