Big push for Cloud from HR

As someone with a keen focus on all things HRIS (with a particular nod to Workday), there has been a slew of interesting research and data coming out recently about the intention of HR departments around the world to make the transition to the Cloud. One bit of research which makes for interesting reading is that there are in excess of 25,000 multinational organisations running on-premise HR Systems, and one of leading actors in this space (SAP) whilst having a lion’s share of 12,000 customers, only 700 of these customers are running their Cloud solution SuccessFactors. Current spend in HCM is roughly $16 billion globally and set to significantly grow, with Deloitte identifying that IT spend for Software-as-a-Service in 2016 will mainly be driven by HR, and my own personal interactions with HR Directors and CIOs alike seems very aligned to this view. Of course there is a business case to be made for any new investment in technology which is not seen to be revenue generating, but as businesses drive forward with a more employee focussed model, a 1st class HR experience is very much a part of that, as well is the desire not to seen as an organisation using yesterday’s technology.

With this in mind, there is aggressive competition amongst the three leading vendors; Workday, SAP and Oracle to convert these on-premise customer’s (primarily SAP and Oracle) to their SaaS offering. Workday does have a head start having sung the praises of Cloud for close to a decade, and has convinced business the likes of HP and Bank of America to ditch PeopleSoft (Oracle) and migrate to Workday HCM – a big blow to Oracle. However it seems both Oracle and SAP have sat up and took notice – SAP now has a dedicated workforce of 700 developers working to make SuccessFactors every bit as appealing and competitive as Workday, with SuccessFactors LMS a leading solution in the Learning Management market – and Oracle Fusion has also had its share of success with British Telecom utilising the software to service their 150,000 global workforce.

For any HR Director who is currently assessing their options, the decision just got a lot more difficult. It would be interesting to see if Workday continues to stay ahead of the curve at the end of 2015 or if Oracle and SAP follow through on their commitment.