Transforming HR service delivery: Next steps on the journey

Once you’ve made the leap to the cloud, leveraging existing technology can further propel you toward true High-Impact HR.

Posted by Derek Polzien and Shira Bortniker on September 20, 2018.

Transitioning HR’s system of record from legacy, on-premises technology to a cloud solution is a giant leap forward in transforming HR to better serve the business and employees. But why stop there if you can keep the momentum going and unlock more value? Let’s look at some ways to increase HR effectiveness and build on previous transformation efforts—without undoing or redoing what’s been accomplished so far.

Setting the stage

Transitions from legacy HR systems to cloud-based systems are often spurred by some type of burning platform or compelling reason to make the switch as quickly as possible. Perhaps a prior HRIS was coming off support or a broader transformation was taking place in the enterprise—an M&A or consolidation, a change in product/service/market focus, an enterprise digital initiative, or the like. Situations like these can lead organizations to prioritize speed and efficiency of implementation over other factors (such as a full-blown HR Operations visioning and redesign).

Thanks to an all-out push, that burning need was met, and HR is now up and running the cloud with some level of employee and manager self-service capabilities in place. It’s at this point, within a year or so of go-live, that we often see organizations wanting to build on their previous work and further leverage their technology investment. There can be a few drivers for this:

  1. Internal questions from HR leadership, IT or Finance about the value of the investment—were the gains worth the costs? Is there more to do to increase return on investment?/li>
  2. Continuing need for HR business partner (HRBP) intervention with end users. Even though the cloud technology enables employees and managers to perform transactions on their own, HRBPs must still spend time fielding process, policy, and “how to” type questions. For example: How do I change my address in the system? Or, I know you don’t do X for me, but who does? Or, Where can I find out more about my benefits package? As a result, HRBPs still play an administrative role and haven’t been able to transition to becoming higher-level, more strategic advisers to the business.
  3. HR’s desire to continue to progress toward a High-Impact HR operating model.

The good news is that we are seeing many clients effectively address all of these concerns with much less effort than you might imagine.

Taking HR service delivery to the next level

One opportunity to address HR interactions “left on the table” after a cloud implementation lies in leveraging enabling technology tools that can wrap around core cloud technology. Adding this interaction layer can address gaps and lessen HRBPs’ administrative burden while also improving the employee experience. For example, these enabling technologies can involve front-end portals, case and knowledge management tools, and robotics and cognitive tools like chatbots and digital advisers (such as Deloitte’s own ConnectMe™ digital workplace). Implementing these solutions is often expedited because organizations have already made enterprise-wide decisions about particular tools, so it’s more a matter of working with IT to implement a solution, rather than starting from scratch.

Another potential opportunity to extend returns on a cloud investment is to explore true operating model transformation, now that the burning need to quickly transition to the cloud has been met. A core cloud-based system, supplemented by a user-interaction layer of enabling technology, positions organizations to move further into an optimized, digitized environment and closer to achieving High-Impact HR. Taking the next step to explore how far you might go—and how far you want to go—can continue the momentum from your initial implementation so you can better meet end-user and business expectations for continuous improvement, and deliver more from HR as a service provider.

Exploring the opportunities: Does this sound like you?

Could your organization benefit from exploring ways to further leverage your core cloud technology?

  • Are HR business partners still spending a lot of time answering inquiries?
  • Are employees seeking more just-in-time or “when it works for me” attention to their inquiries or issues?
  • Does feedback from the business indicate that HRBPs could be doing even more for them?

If the answer is “yes” to even one of these questions, you may be leaving transformation opportunities on the table that could potentially be turned into value for your employees and the business. HR transformation is a journey—maybe one that you never fully complete, given the pace of disruption and the desire for continuous improvement. Shifting to the cloud was a leap forward. Are you ready to keep going?

Derek PolzienDerek Polzien is a managing director in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, with more than 20 years specializing in helping companies leverage new HR Operating Models and enabling technologies to achieve Human Resources transformation.

Burt Rea Shira Bortniker is a senior consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice, where she supports organizations in HR strategy, HR transformation, HR service delivery, and the people dimensions of transformations.

Leave a Reply