Why Your Path to the Cloud Should Mirror the Choice and Flexibility of the Technology Itself

Digital technology continues its incredible pace with a seemingly endless number of options coming at us.

From bots and blockchain to intelligent apps and analytics, HR organizations, like all other business areas across companies, have a game-changing opportunity to transform and individualize how work gets done inside and outside the office.

Regardless of what technologies we choose to support business transformation and reimagine the employee experience, cloud is the fuel for innovation. According to research and consulting firm Computer Economics, organizations are steadily moving their legacy on-premise systems to cloud environments as fast as reasonably possible to more easily take advantage of the latest waves of innovation. Still, given that SAP has over 300,000 customers globally, we often hear that managing the cost, risk, and uncertainty of digitalization — the new business models, evolving industries, and entirely new behaviors required to interact with customers, partners, and employees — is a challenge for many.

At SAP, we consider these concerns voiced by our customers in everything we do. While the adoption of SAP SuccessFactors solutions continues to accelerate in all parts of the world, some are moving faster than others to fully embrace a new IT operating model in the cloud. Our long-term strategy is to showcase the benefits and the full range of innovation that comes in the cloud, and enabling customers to move when they’re ready with the confidence, resources, and expertise needed to succeed.

Simplifying – and Demystifying – the Cloud with Empathy and Choice

We recently developed two offerings to help organizations ready to gain the significant competitive advantages that come from cloud-based solutions, simplify their path to the cloud:

  • SAP SuccessFactors People Central Hub connects legacy HR systems to on-premise deployments of SAP ERP, SAP Business Suite, and SAP S/4HANA. The solution gives customers predefined integration content and quick access to organizational charts and employee profiles – online and through a mobile app. Although this is not an additional version of our HR solutions, it is another way to resolve a fundamental hurdle when moving to the cloud: HR master data management.
  • Upgrade2Success cloud adoption program brings together updated guidance, services, and tools to help address the business case, prove the ROI of cloud investments and plans, and integrate data with ease. By taking the guesswork out of moving to the cloud, businesses can better identify which components and data should be transferred to the cloud while protecting their existing instances of human capital management solutions.

For our customers, especially those operating in highly regulated countries, these offerings bring a welcomed opportunity to address the need for long-term planning and security considerations. In fact, the planned SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA solution gives customers until 2030 to stay on premise as they sort out the details of their cloud strategy while taking advantage of the data processing power, speed, and capacity of the SAP HANA platform.

And as David Ludlow recently described to the SAP Americas User Group (ASUG), “We’ve been getting an increasing number of questions with regard to what happens to the on-premise segment for HCM past 2025—there’s no native HCM capabilities in SAP S/4HANA. The assumption has been that customers will leverage SAP SuccessFactors as they move the enterprise parts to SAP S/4HANA. What we also know at the same time is that there are customers moving to SAP S/4HANA that want to remain on premise for HR for the foreseeable future.”

People Central Hub and Upgrade2Success provide HR organizations with a digital foundation that helps:

  • Rethink and simplify the HR function with standardized and streamlined business processes, while lowering cost and complexity at the same time
  • Meet the expectations of today’s workforce with user-centric technology that is simple to deploy and enjoyable to use
  • Change the way HR serves the business with analytics and intelligence available in real-time
  • Stay current with technology innovations with updates every quarter
  • Free IT resources from customization and maintenance giving them more time to focus on business-value creation and innovation. (Isn’t that what we’re all looking for at work? Fewer manual tasks, and more time spent on contributing to the success of our companies.)

SAP SuccessFactors solutions, development, and leadership teams are 100 pecent focused on providing the innovations that our customers need to adapt their processes to an increasingly digital, fast-paced world. Whatever your journey, we want to offer you a low risk, low cost, high value path to success.

Greg Tomb is president SAP SuccessFactors