HR Technology Leader,

As digital continues to shape the future of work, human resource leaders are increasingly looking to invest in technology solutions to help solve their biggest challenges. From enhancing data analytics for HR teams to managing remote employees to winning the war for talent, investments in technology are a part of a broader business transformation that starts in the hands of HR.

Enter cloud technology, a now integral part of both corporate strategy and day to day operations for businesses. As HR leaders look to make investments in technology solutions, cloud migration continues to remain an attractive bet as businesses navigate post-pandemic hybrid working models.

While organizations across the globe are benefiting from cloud transformation, challenges in adopting, migrating to and embracing the tech among HR departments still exist. In fact, HR leaders today report that cloud transformation is the third biggest human capital challenge for their business, highlighting a need to rethink people strategies, vendor partnerships, training and more.

As HR leaders look to invest in cloud transformations, they need to be aware of the potential obstacles that may arise along the way. In order to overcome rollout challenges and uncover the value of the technology, they’ll need to determine the effective adoption methods that work for their employees, address common challenges early, and evaluate vendor proposals carefully.

Evaluating Methods to Cloud Adoption

The challenge in rolling out any new technology is getting employees to embrace it and use new tools effectively. There are a variety of methods HR leaders can leverage to help ensure a smooth adoption process. That said, the effectiveness of some methods can vary based on the organization and their employees. Some HR leaders may also choose to layer their methods, leveraging a variety of solutions and practices to address adoption challenges.

The first step is identifying what method works for your workforce. With remote and hybrid work taking shape as the new way of work, employee demand for anytime and anywhere access to technology tools has increased. If your workforce relies on a hybrid model, leveraging mobile cloud applications may benefit your employees. Mobile options provide flexibility for workers, allowing them to train and leverage tools on their own time.

Another way to boost cloud adoption among employees is to incentivize usage, integrating training as part of a “gamification” process. There are a multitude of ways leaders can reward their workforce for completing training, logging on and using the system to accomplish intended objectives. Examples could include spot bonuses, time off, or professional development opportunities. Our mindset needs to shift when it comes to HCM cloud transformations – the job is not done at go-live. Victory can not be declared until the new system and the new ways of working are widely adopted. 

Addressing Cloud Challenges From the Get-Go

Moving core HR applications to the cloud is a daunting task, and even if HR leaders are pleased with the process, problems will likely still exist.

It is essential to fully vet any potential challenges or risks ahead of migrating over to cloud technology. This means HR leaders need to address cloud security issues and any skill challenges prior to investing in the technology. With 21% of HR leaders citing concerns over the security of critical HR data stored on the cloud, and the influx of ransomware attacks the U.S. has seen over the last year, acting swiftly on cloud skills and cloud cybersecurity can make the migration process more successful in the long run.

In order to address these challenges from the beginning, HR leaders should consider closer integration with cyber teams so that employees are trained in security practices, and security policies are followed. HR departments should also evaluate the current data they have available prior to migrating to confirm all information is protected against potential internal misuse and external threats.

Avoiding Vendor Regrets

While the concept of software-as-a-service in the cloud may be a favorite among HR leaders today, many organizations aren’t always delighted with the vendors they have chosen.

More than a third of HR leaders today say it is very likely that they will switch vendors at the end of their subscription term. There could be a few reasons for this, but when looking through a technology project lens, HR leaders tend to cite budget and integration with other tech solutions as primary challenges. Some vendors may be overpromising on both these counts.

No business wants to look back and regret a partnership with a vendor, particularly when transformation efforts, significant investments, and employee satisfaction are on the line. To avoid challenges with vendors, HR leaders should focus on a few critical capabilities when reviewing vendor offerings. This includes ensuring that an organization’s most critical future-state needs are front and center during the evaluation process. For example, what are the moments that matter most to your employees and managers when they engage in various HR processes?

HR leaders should also assess a laundry list of vendor factors prior to striking a deal. Some of these include cost (subscription and support), ROI, integration with Finance and Supply Chain, client satisfaction references, cloud architecture and tools, culture alignment and partner ecosystem.

Ultimately, it is important to build a trusted relationship with your vendor. When partnering, businesses and vendors must clearly define what capabilities they both contribute, receive from and deliver together in their own ecosystem. It is only when both parties invest in building trust that the true value of cloud is unlocked and your return on investment is maximized.

Moving to the cloud does not come without road bumps. Identifying the right adoption method, addressing potential security risks, and assessing vendor partnerships are all key elements that HR leaders need to consider prior to making the jump to cloud. While the cloud transformation process might feel daunting, it ultimately will help modernize the HR world, helping leaders solve some of their biggest challenges today.