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HR Departments Stick Their Collective Heads In The Cloud

By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager.

Dan Staley’s career has him wearing a few different hats.

“I lead our HR technology practice. Part of my day job is helping clients solve important problems around their people strategy and that usually involves their HR technology,” says the Principal at PwC.

“My night job is developing our HR tech for the firm.”

A new report by PwC and Oxford Economics – PwC’s Annual Technology Survey: Innovating for tomorrow’s workforce; Transformation enabled by HR in the Cloud amplifies what Staley understands about the industry’s transformation—that the shift to the cloud for HR applications is gaining momentum and unstoppable. In fact, the survey reports two thirds of organizations already have at least some human resource applications in the cloud and a similar number use mobile HR applications. Those implementing SaaS have risen to 44% with 30% planning the move within three years.

Staley explains some of the reasons for the rapid change.

Dan Staley

Dan Staley

“Our experience with the cloud software is it allows companies to innovate more quickly,” he says juxtaposing this modern landscape against past scenarios where on premise software from the leading vendors might be upgraded every three to four years. The cloud offers shared updates much more frequently.

“Now there’s a cycle where you’re getting new functionality every six months. The software is ready to go and much more innovative.”

The cloud offers another important difference in that while it can be configured, there’s no room to customize as was the case with past software programs. This difference and the fact updates aren’t optional supplies the needed catalyst for change that 30% of the respondents were looking for. Simply put, the cloud forces organizations and the people who work for them to adapt.

Staley also noted that while bigger factors behind the need for the shift focused on ROI and the desire for self-sufficiency, the lack of readily available talent in the field played an important role for organizations’ HR departments.

“When you move to the cloud, you’re putting more onus on your software vendor to develop innovations and be part of your development team. In the past, you would customize and come up with new functionality and now you really don’t do that anymore,” he said, adding this particular shift allows organizations to do more with less resources internally.

 

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