Article: Trends and challenges of Cloud-based HCM technologies

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Trends and challenges of Cloud-based HCM technologies

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Shakun Khanna - Senior Director - HCM Strategy & Transformation at Oracle, Asia Pacific on trends and challenges of cloud based HCM technologies in the Indian context
Trends and challenges of Cloud-based HCM technologies

Seamless integration, the ability to engage employees and deliver insights are some key features of cloud based HCM that are pushing HR to the next level


What are some trends in the HCM space in India?

The Indian landscape is fairly complex and challenging – it is one of the few countries where the demography is predominantly young and is getting younger. While technology adoption is on an all-time high –in terms of the smartphone penetration, the way e-commerce has gained prominence– not just in metros but also in smaller cities -the use of human capital management tools is still in a nascent stage. 

On one side, companies which have already used some kind of human capital management software are upgrading to a cloud-based system because of its user friendliness, effectiveness in terms of user engagement and overall capability that the software brings to the table. The use of such technologies in the startup space is also a trend that’s pushing demand, particularly in the services and e-commerce segment. The reasons for the adoption of sophisticated systems by startups are: cost efficiency, contribution to the employer brand, enhanced employee experience and the competitive edge for companies that use them. The third trend has to do with increased adoption of technology in traditional companies such as manufacturing and industry heavy firms, where there is more openness to use new technology.

On the other hand, only a small segment of the market currently uses technologies like the cloud-based human capital management. There is very little awareness about its usage and adoption. And that’s something that Oracle is working on, to create more awareness.

What are the expectations from companies using HCM technologies?

The ability to engage people is one definite expectation outlined by most companies. Unlike earlier days, when different parts of HR were divided, the expectation now is to have seamless integration – right from a pre-hire stage to a post exit stage of the employee life-cycle, the emphasis is not only on uniform user experience but also on personalization. These are attributes that our clients are experiencing elsewhere, whether it is their social networks or their interaction with clients and employees. Companies want HCM technologies to enable such integration. 

While much of the traditional HR software has been fixated on process automation, organizations today are looking at driving strategic effectiveness. That is going beyond plain reporting and driving insights – which not only predicts outcomes but goes a step further and prescribes solutions. 

What areas of HR are most likely to be impacted by such insights?

HCM based predictive to prescriptive analytics will impact every aspect in the HR value chain. It will impact talent acquisition, talent management and even talent retention. Organizations are already using it to assess the role and culture fitment of candidates.  Take the example of creating warm talent pipelines – which does not mean just creating a database of employees. It means creating a community of engaged active and passive users – who may have the talent that you require. When someone visits a career portal and goes away, there is no way to track it. But using HCM technologies it is easier not only to identify candidates, but also engage them – whether that is through sharing knowledge bytes, update mailers or congratulating them on their key milestones through social media. It is a much more effective and proactive process. 

Traditionally, managers have had a very reactive approach towards talent retention. But today, insights delivered by HCM tools are capable of identifying employees who are at a high risk of leaving the company. It changes the entire game. Now, managers can proactively identify reasons and on the basis of those reasons they can identify the right solutions to engage the employee.

What are some big challenges in the Indian context? 

One has to do with the view that HR and IT are separate processes. There is a need for cross pollination of ideas so that they do not operate in separate silos.  Using HCM, we’ve been able to address behavioral issues using technology. We also have to create awareness; while we are playing a role in educating the community, the market also needs to respond to the gap in knowledge.

The outlook of HR, like I earlier mentioned, has been focused on process automation. It has had a reactive approach when it comes to new technology. So that needs to change. There is also the aspect of data security; many organizations are of the view that their security is up to date and they opt out to upgrade themselves, which might have a repercussion on where they stand in the competitive landscape. The security features we enable are of global standards – something that the regulatory bodies in the country may not have picked up as yet.

This article is a part of the People Matters- Oracle Let's Talk Talent series. Click here to visit the Let's talk talent page to read more such articles.

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Topics: Technology, HR Analytics, #Lets Talk Talent

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