Last time I blogged, the topic focused on three key reasons to move to a better world: cloud-based HCM technology delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). So let’s assume that you’ve made the (wise) decision to start this process—and that your new technology will be, preferably, a single application. You’ll want the feelings you experience during transition to match those you have once your HCM technology finally is in the cloud and SaaS-delivered. There are several challenges. Here are two big ones and how to navigate them successfully.
It can feel like hype, all those industry-wide calls to migrate to the cloud and to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model of delivery. But, really, it isn’t hype at all—especially when the move is from an on-premise system heavily dependent on data interfaces and platform integration to a clean, single application based in the cloud. The reasons to make a switch are many for your human capital management technology, but if I had to choose just three, they’d be these:
Maintaining Customer Loyalty During Times of Change
Change is hard and the only constant. Those are clichés, but that’s because they’re realities, right? Every time a big vendor of technology for human capital management gets acquired by an even bigger vendor, customers of HCM technology face uncertainty. The aftermath can be hard. Customers look for help, consistency and guidance. And they want loyalty from their vendors.
It was 30 years ago October that I took my first job at Unisys supporting payroll for K-12 school districts. I’ve seen and heard it all, and I know for a fact just how hard it is to integrate disparate systems with legacy data models, processes and frameworks. One of the reasons I found the move to Ceridian so exciting was to be liberated of that headache. It takes guts to start over, and with Dayforce HCM, we’ve done exactly that—built a unified system with no need for integration (or interfacing) between modules. It makes product development infinitely easier. Combine that with deployment in the cloud, and you have the kind of story that has customers choosing Dayforce HCM in large numbers. I’m not going back, and you’ll have to decide for yourself when it’s time to make the journey. In the meantime, here’s a little more on what I mean about modern HCM technology in 2013….
Last week, I wrote about my vision of integration’s future: as little of it as possible. There’s a desire percolating to leave behind functionality-sapping, overly integrated human capital management technology. But what does it take to start over? Well, that is what it often takes—starting over. And starting over takes courage.
Cloud, SaaS and Integration: Having Courage at the Crossroads
So, let’s say your HCM system is integrated to the hilt. It’s clunky. And your legacy HCM technology goes way back, too, and none of it is in the cloud or delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). Costs associated with the upkeep of an outdated or clunky system are holding you back. And that’s the upkeep that’s still possible to perform: Many companies use systems with no vendor-provided support at all!
None would be ideal. Startled? Think about the sound of the word integration. Inherent in it are notions of a seamless user experience and a system functioning perfectly, as one unit with nothing impeding its operation. Integration brings to mind harmony. But integration in practice usually looks and feels much different and tends to cause the very challenges it claims to solve. The best strategy? Eliminate integration wherever possible.
The Sound of Integration
Without an explanation, this reality can be confusing. Integration, after all, is a concept with positive connotations. Integration, the word, sounds good in advertising copy and, as a concept, tends to sell HCM technology. It symbolizes the idea of togetherness, synchronicity and coordination. Buyers hear the word integration and imagine intuitive functionality. By its label, integrated technology leads users to expect a hassle-free experience involving moving parts cooperating and understanding each other perfectly. Toss the cloud or the concept of SaaS into the equation, and integration sounds even better. But neither the connotations nor expectations reflect the reality of integrated HCM technology, not even when it’s cloud-based or SaaS-delivered.
The HR Technology conference is always one of those things that helps anchor me in how a year progresses. I realize that’s pathetic, but after having attended as many of these as I have, it kinda gets under your skin.
This year is a different animal, I think — for a variety of reasons. And with that, allow me to offer my top five reasons to consider attending the conference:
- The Cloud is really changing the way we think about HR technology, and this year is a big one for products and services that leverage it.
- I can almost smell the transition the market is about to take. As an old-timer, I was here when PeopleSoft took over the world in the early 90s, and it looks, smells and tastes like another one of those cycles. The product announcements are going to reflect that.
- Product implementations are aging, and the economy is improving. That means lots of companies that badly need to upgrade their systems are finally going to be allowed to start doing it. And it also means that vendors will be at the top of their game. The fact that the conference hotels are sold out and exhibit space is non-existent (so I’m told) is a strong indicator that this one’s going to be a blow out. Come and learn.
- I can’t resist the temptation to express my excitement for the Dayforce HCM launch that will be front and center at the event. I can’t tell you any more than that (wouldn’t want to steal the thunder), but it’s certainly going to be the highlight of my first year at Ceridian. I’ll be there with bells on.
- The conference guys gave me my very own, personal code that you can use to register for the event and save $500 on the registration fee. So make me look good and now that you’re ready to sign up, go to http://www.hrtechconference.com and use the promotion code DUNIVAN12 to get the discount. It’s just that easy!
I’m looking forward to meeting friends (both new and old) and continuing the great legacy that this event represents for our industry. See you in Chicago!