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How modern is HR?

Posted on from Oracle

According to recent research by Oracle in collaboration with Changeboard, many organisations are still not adopting the HR solutions – such as a cloud and other social collaboration applications – that can help them move forward. Richard Doherty takes a closer look.

Cloud HR apps

When we asked our 170 survey respondents if they had used any non-recruitment-based HR solutions, 68% said they had no cloud HR apps. This comes despite most vendor discussion on human capital management (HCM) applications being focused on cloud-based solutions. However, 17% were moving to cloud apps and 15% were using them.

Would you consider moving to a Cloud?

Given the relative youth of Cloud HCM apps, it’s impressive that almost a third of our sample are either already in a Cloud or on the way there. Encouragingly, 40% of the remainder said they were considering moving their HCM apps to a Cloud.

How mobile is HR?

The shift to a Cloud appears to be gathering pace and it’s likely that soon there will be more Cloud than non-Cloud HCM apps.

Of the organisations that were considering moving to a Cloud, 33% believed it would result in a better user experience while 31% said they wanted to improve reporting and analytics.

Less popular reasons include reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), unhappiness with existing HR systems and the desire for easier upgrades. Although reduced TCO and easier upgrades are arguably very real benefits, HR does not appear to realise this.

Many organisations express concerns, with 45% citing security as their biggest worry. It can be difficult to get used to the idea of not having employee data in your own server room, managed by your own employees. But Cloud providers offer excellent levels of security, often higher than most organisations could provide themselves. To dispel fears, HR must get IT teams to evaluate Cloud HCM providers.

How mobile is HR?

Mobile will have a profound effect on how HR delivers service to the workforce, driving operational efficiency and reducing costs per HR transaction. However, 73% of survey respondents admit they do not currently use it.

What stopped you from adopting mobile?

When asked what stopped them from adopting mobile, 35% of respondents said they had security concerns, 33% experienced cultural resistance and 32% believed their existing HR technology was not capable. But with almost half of respondents planning to go mobile, it seems these technology and cultural concerns will be overcome.

Social collaboration in the workplace

HR often struggles to articulate the value that social tools will bring. However, 88% of survey respondents believe that social collaboration and social networks behind the firewall will add value to the business and 91% say HR should have a role in deciding how social tools should be used.

It would help HR’s case to engage with vendors that have the experience of deploying social collaboration embedded in HR processes and building robust business cases to support the investment.

Internal social networks

Since an organisation’s HR applications are used by all of its employees, HR is the ideal place to start. If social collaboration is embedded in the HR process and helps employees and managers to get their jobs done, it will become a natural part of the process and adoption rates will increase.

The alternative approach is to build a stand-alone social portal where employees can collaborate and information can be shared, but this requires employees to make a special effort to use a portal whose purpose isn’t necessarily clear.

We also found 48% of survey respondents have an internal social network, while 75% of those without are planning to install one. These figures suggest that, as organisations move to more knowledge and project-based working structures, internal social networks are becoming a standard business tool. However, when asked what were the biggest barriers to deploying them, 23% said they offered little or no value, 28% were concerned about compliance and 25% were worried about adopting them. By embedding internal social networking and collaboration tools into people processes and HR systems, ‘being social’ becomes a part of getting the job done.

How insightful is HR?

For years, organisations have struggled to go beyond basic HR reporting. Our survey results suggest 74% use basic methods (eg. headcount reporting), 48% use dashboard and metrics, while just 13% engage in advanced analytics.

The top three reasons preventing reporting and analytics goals being realised were ‘lack of the right tools’ (31%), ‘costs’ (25%), and ‘unreliable data’ (22%). It seems cost only becomes a factor when value has not been properly realised. Many organisations move HR apps to a Cloud to create a single source of ‘truth’ and the ability to support evidence-based decision-making for HR-related matters.

Next gen HCM solutions: four tenets of HR

1. Talent-centric: HR must focus on talent strategies providing employees with clear goals, structured career paths supported by robust L&D plans, and differentiated reward for high performance.

2. Collaborative: Social platform use in the workplace is gaining pace as more organisations move to knowledge- and project-based working structures requiring effective employee collaboration. HR needs to take an active role in driving social collaboration in the workplace.

3. Insightful: Executives, managers and employees are demanding more insight to make better people-based decisions. By moving to evidence-based decisions, HR will increase its credibility.

4. Engaging & mobile: HR apps should mimic the simplicity and intuitiveness of consumer apps to boost operational efficiency and reduce cost.

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