Cloud-based platforms can offer many employers a more flexible platform on which to track and manage employees. Some 40% of the 300 companies PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed for a 2017 report on HR cloud migrations have moved to the cloud and, PwC says, even more plan to migrate. But shifting to a hosted environment can be challenging.
In order to be successful, PricewaterhouseCoopers consultants advise employers to concentrate on five critical areas.
1. Focus on the critical few capabilities during software evaluation
While a majority of employers seek “software functionality” as the most important factor when choosing a cloud provider, PwC says employers must also consider whether the cloud provider can handle an organization’s unique HR operational procedures.
“If there is a certain practice or policy that is very specific to your organization and it cannot be changed, make sure it takes center stage over the hundreds of common requirements that the vendors all handle in largely the same way,” PwC says.
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2. Make sure communication and change management experts are on hand
About half of all HR processes change in some way during a cloud migration, according to PwC. Having dedicated communication and management teams, whether internal or external, can “work wonders” in socializing the most impactful changes between the old ways of working and the news ones.
“Most people do not like surprises when it comes to how they do their work,” PwC says. “A strong change management and communication team can socialize process changes with stakeholders continually during the project, ‘pressure testing’ ideas as the team makes decisions.”
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3. Lean on the cloud vendor
Consistent and open dialogue with the cloud software vendor is critical. HR needs to know what’s on the vendor’s product road maps and the vendor needs to be aware of HR’s needs. PwC says HR and its vendor should talk weekly, if not daily.
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4. Ask company leaders to help champion change
It takes more than just money and manpower to transform to a cloud-based system. “Each stakeholder must be a willing and capable change champion, garnering support from other leaders in the organization to challenge the status quo,” PwC says. Senior leaders should maintain an inspirational and positive message to keep things running smoothly should hiccups occur during the implementation process.
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5. Mask data
Employers must ensure they are taking the necessary steps to ensure data security policies are applied just as stringently to cloud-based systems as they are to internal processes. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other personal data can be hidden using data scrambling methods such as substitution, shuffling and masking based on simple to complex rules, PwC says.
“Leading companies design and implement a data-masking strategy to prevent developers, quality assurance, and third-party service providers from having direct exposure to confidential data,” PwC notes.
The software maker said it increased the proportion of both groups by 0.3 percentage points in the past year, with Black workers rising to 4.9% of its U.S. workforce and Latino employees increasing to 6.6%.