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Cloud-enable your HR - Smartly transform Human Resources by combining cloud technology with outsourced service delivery


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Over the last five years, cloud technology has transformed HR perhaps more— …

Over the last five years, cloud technology has transformed HR perhaps more—
and more rapidly—than any other business area. Cloud technology has enabled
HR to move from a transaction-based to a more strategic discipline that creates
value for its stakeholders—senior management, business partners and
A variety of cloud-based solutions lets you continue this HR evolution and
address the increasing complexities of a volatile world and changing workforce
with more flexibility and agility than ever before.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • 1. Cloud-enable your HR Smartly transform Human Resources by combining cloud technology with outsourced service delivery
  • 2. 2 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR Contents Introduction Cloud-enabled solutions create new opportunities Accelerating the transformation of HR Cloudsourcing: Wrapping HRO services around cloud platforms Why wait? 3 4 7 8 9 About the Author This white paper has been written by Hank Johnson, VP Cloud Transformation Services at NGA. With over 30 years of HR experience, Hank joined NGA in February 2013 and leads the Cloud Transformation Services practice to guide companies of all sizes through cloud technology implementations, ongoing application maintenance, HR process support, change management and user adoption. Hank has always been in leadership roles in the HR technology, service delivery, consulting and outsourcing business. He is also a frequent industry speaker with such organizations as IHRIM, APA, SHRM, The Conference Board, and the National Diversity Council. Hank holds an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and a B.A. from Westfield State College. Copyright 2013 NGA Human Resources
  • 3. 3 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR Introduction Over the last five years, cloud technology has transformed HR perhaps more—and more rapidly—than any other business area. Cloud technology has enabled HR to move from a transaction-based to a more strategic discipline that creates value for its stakeholders—senior management, business partners and employees. Basic HR functions have been routinely automated and/or outsourced, while users across the globe input, access and share data that allows HR leaders to do everything from foresee and respond to shifting global trends to meet their employees’ individual needs. A variety of cloud-based solutions lets you continue this HR evolution and address the increasing complexities of a volatile world and changing workforce with more flexibility and agility than ever before. In fact, the convergence of a number of factors—compliance requirements, globalization, empowered employees and the social revolution—has created a fertile landscape for cloud-based solutions that are user-focused, process- driven and increasingly cost efficient.
  • 4. 4 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR Cloud-enabled Solutions Create New Opportunities 1. The democratization of technology Not that long ago, technology was understood, deployed and controlled exclusively by IT departments. Organizations relied heavily on IT for everything technology related, however small. But technology has now been thoroughly integrated into virtually every aspect of our lives—and is no longer uniquely deployed by IT professionals. We effortlessly use cloud-based services to search for information, connect through social media and expand the functionality of our smart devices by downloading apps. Meanwhile, this technology for “the rest of us”—intuitive and ubiquitous—has completely changed the way we live, work and connect with others. It has changed the way we think – faster and more collaboratively—and has raised the level of our expectations for speed, usability, accessibility, mobility, agility and accuracy. And these expectations have carried over to business technology solutions and the user experience at work. We’re no longer dependent on IT but instead interface directly with business technology, increasingly on mobile devices from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based solutions make this possible. 2. The consumerization of HR So it is a digitally savvy, socially networked and mobile workforce that expects — and demands—direct access to HR services (not just software). HR’s role as middleman is over. Self-service capability enables employees to be active participants in managing their own careers, both inputting and accessing important data for everything from performance tracking to retirement planning and a variety of individual needs.
  • 5. 5 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR HR, then, as a discipline can no longer be transaction-oriented but instead must be out ahead of the curve in acting as a strategic, process-centric partner to senior management; anticipating and functioning as an agent of change; and serving as a process-enabling champion to employees. HR must create ongoing value for the organization by mastering and monitoring globally compliant, easy- to-access and highly transparent HR processes, across the employee life cycle. 3. Economic pressures As the world slowly emerges from the recession of the past several years, organizations face intensifying pressure to justify expenses and cost-to-value ratios. Technology and HR expenditures are, of course, among them. With rapidly evolving technology and escalating costs, it is often increasingly difficult and unrealistic to build and maintain an internal IT infrastructure—it’s just too expensive, time-consuming and unwieldy. Likewise, it often doesn’t make sense to maintain every specialist HR function in-house, especially in a global environment. So organizations are looking more and more to HR outsourcing enabled by cloud-based platforms. This combination reduces some of the upfront costs and also provides an elasticity that enables organizations to scale them up or down as business conditions change. This allows for variable costing models, calculated on a per-employee, per-month basis, which are much more palatable to senior management than fixed capital costs. 4. Globalization As the world becomes flatter, a growing number of companies have employees all over the world. Whether there are seven or 700 employees in a given country, they still need to be connected seamlessly to applications and to each other. Organizations, in turn, must be able to pay and provide the full range of HR services to employees in every country, each one of which may have its own currency, language, compliance regulations and employment laws. It is cost-prohibitive and just not feasible to locate HR experts in every country, stay current on constantly changing compliance requirements and be able to respond to the needs (like benefits and health care) of an increasingly diverse, global workforce. The answers are increasingly found in the combination of cloud-based technology platforms and outsourced HR processes, which enable the maintenance of global databases of information, which can be used to update employee data almost instantaneously. 5. A shrinking, evolving workforce As more and more of the world’s population ages and moves into retirement, organizations suddenly find themselves with critical skills gaps, insufficient bench strength and a workforce that is mismatched to key positions that need to be filled.
  • 6. 6 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR HR must be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the talent pool on an ongoing basis and forecast future needs. HR must also be able to deploy the right strategies, which are increasingly digital, in recruiting the best talent from all over the world, as well as effectively onboarding, developing and retaining them. Although HR may set the strategy and lead or manage the processes, talent management in today’s environment is shared among HR, managers, business partners and the employees themselves. How is this possible across various geographies, legislations, business cultures and languages? The combination of cloud-based technology platforms and outsourced HR processes not only makes it possible but also adds robust, interactive qualities to the process. Organizations can follow their own growth path and roll out the processes of their choice, in the geographies they prioritize. 6. The rise of big data Data is the driver behind the “knowledge age” we’re in now, defined as an era when growth and profitability are propelled by information and ideas that can directly affect an organization’s competitive position and bottom line. “People data,” especially, are an important part of this equation, whether required for legal reporting, compliance, strategic planning or talent development. Access and availability to a unified, global HR solution becomes a strategic necessity. The growing complexities of our world demand robust solutions and evidence- based decisions that derive from the ability to access, integrate, analyze and deploy massive amounts of people data with cloud-based technology solutions, while ensuring maximum transactional efficiency through a global HR service delivery network. Reporting and analytics, more important as organizational tools than ever before, are completely dependent on the ability to amass good people data and to put relevant reports in the hands of HR, managers and employees.
  • 7. 7 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR Accelerating the Transformation of HR This is the landscape against which HR finds itself today, as it undergoes significant shifts in function and purpose, as well as in perception—how it sees itself and how the organization sees it. For decades, HR was viewed as unchanging and transaction-based: payroll, benefits administration, file updates and record-keeping were all in HR’s scope. Those responsibilities will continue to remain key functions. But in relatively short order, the HR profession has had to reassess and redefine its role in the organization, transforming itself from transaction-focused to a more strategic, dynamic business partner for the C-suite, expanding its responsibilities and mission. This evolution continues—and will continue—as HR seeks new ways to create value for stakeholder groups that include senior management, managers, business partners and employees themselves. The transformation of HR’s purpose and function has been possible only through the ability to harness the power of technology and the availability of new, innovative technology solutions and process deployment options. For more than a decade, HR outsourcing (HRO) has enabled the streamlining and standardizing of HR processes, making it an important driver of HR transformation. The advent of SaaS and BPaaS solutions has brought even greater potential for accelerating this evolution by delivering all kinds of critical benefits, including continual innovation, shared infrastructures and unified global technology platforms. Among other things, this has enabled transaction-based HR processes like payroll to be automated and offloaded, which in turn frees up HR leadership to focus on higher-level, strategic issues like talent management and value creation. More than ever, payroll and HR outsourcing are key instruments for delivering efficiencies, guaranteeing global compliance and helping to transform HR. In the cloud or on-premise, HR outsourcing remains a proven and highly effective way of offloading certain HR functions, so that the organization’s HR group can lead more strategic HR processes.
  • 8. 8 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR Cloudsourcing: Wrapping HRO Services around Cloud Platforms It is cloud-based technology solutions—SaaS and the newer BPaaS that combines HRO and SaaS into “business process as a service”—that so remarkably satisfy today’s organizational imperatives for agility, accuracy, compliance, user focus, cost-effectiveness and global reach. Here’s why: • Ownership costs shift to usage costs. Investing in hardware and software, along with the staff to maintain it, is no longer necessary or even possible in many cases. Cloud-based SaaS solutions enable organizations to access and pay for the services they use in a convenient and flexible “pay by the drink” model. • Scalable—up or down. As business conditions shift, solutions can be easily scaled up or down accordingly. This “elasticity” gives the organization an unmatched agility and the ability to respond to a changing environment and workforce. Costs scale up or down, too, making cost-justification nearly automatic. • Configuration, not customization. More standardized, less customized solutions also drive down costs. Solutions are pre-built, designed for one-to- many delivery, which is very cost-effective. However, they are also configurable and can be adapted to the individual needs of an organization. Changes can be made on the fly, too, because they can be implemented by application administrators and don’t require IT involvement or coding. • Users & business lines are driving. Cloud-based solutions put HR users and the entire HR line of business, from executives to managers to business partners to employees themselves, in the driver’s seat. The technology is fast, user- friendly and intuitive—everything we’ve come to expect in our personal technology. Likewise, these cloud-based systems can be activated and accessed from nearly any mobile device, from anywhere in the world, enabling a diverse, geographically dispersed and mobile workforce to stay connected at all times. • More robust analytics. In the past, organizations found that if nobody was using it, technology was useless. Because cloud-based solutions are so accessible and user-friendly, users simply use it more. More use means more data. And as usage and the amount of data rises, so does the quality of the data. Which ultimately results in a wider range of better reports—and better decisions. In addition, the openness of cloud platforms makes it easier to integrate with other technologies and enables the organization to capture data from multiple sources in order to compare and analyze the correct data.
  • 9. 9 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR • Service-oriented solutions. Cloud-based solutions are accessible from anywhere in the world but also can accommodate variability across countries, cultures and languages through elements like global databases of compliance requirements. HR services are delivered via different models that range from total automation to a combination of automated and personal service through HR service centers, located strategically across the globe. These can be SCCs, or shared service centers, staffed and maintained by the provider for many different client organizations, which is another way to drive down costs. • Enhanced strategic functions. Perhaps the most critical area of HR today is talent management—finding, recruiting, developing, managing and retaining the right people (talent) with the right skills in the right jobs. Cloud-based talent management solutions enable organizations to better understand their changing workforce and to identify and project future gaps and needs. For example, recruiting is transformed from a timeintensive process to a more streamlined one by, among other things, having the ability to search profiles and resumes worldwide on key words. This results not only on significant time savings but also in the ability to zero in more quickly and effectively on the best candidates. • Hybrid possibilities. Migrating to cloud-based technology doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. It can be done in steps, and your current investment doesn’t have to be scrapped. Cloud-based solutions allow for hybrid models that combine SaaS with your on-premise technology. Why wait? Transitioning to cloud-based HR service solutions doesn’t have to be difficult, prolonged or disruptive. The right partner will not only guide your organization to the right solutions but will also implement them in an efficient, streamlined way. And it will help transform your HR function into the analytics-driven, strategic leader that 21st century organizations demand.
  • 10. 10 White Paper | Cloud-enable your HR NGA Human Resources is a global leader in helping organizations transform their business-critical HR operations to deliver more effective and efficient people-critical services. We help our clients become better employers through smarter, more streamlined business processes - to save money, manage employee life cycles and support globally connected, agile organizations. This is how NGA makes HR work. What sets us apart is The NGA Advantage. It’s a combination of deep HR expertise and insight, advanced technology platforms and applications and a global portfolio of flexible service delivery options.