We’ve all seen the impact cloud has made in our everyday lives. It’s enabled us to take a photo on our phones and immediately access it on our computer, or automatically backs up our files so we don’t lose precious data. These conveniences, enabled by the cloud, have permeated the business world as well, enabling file sharing among offices and flexible work-from-anywhere policies.
Beyond our everyday work lives, cloud-based services are providing much-needed disruption in multiple industries that have experienced stagnation in their systems and processes in past decades. This change is notably seen in how cloud is improving the human resources department within businesses, both big and small. Businesses are leveraging cloud technology as part of a broader strategy to digitally transform their organizations, which has become a key priority in order to stay competitive and relevant. HR departments have become an important part of this process. In fact, some recent data we uncovered found that 57 per cent of CHROs say HR is now a driver of digital transformation within their organization.
Digital transformation is critically important to HR when it comes to improving the employee experience, and in adapting and overcoming challenges that are specific to HR. To achieve this, CHROs are relying on platform models and cloud-based tools to drive change.
One of the greatest challenges facing HR leaders is how to win the ongoing war for talent: attracting and retaining the best employees. Canada is facing a talent shortage, driven by a shift to new skill sets required for the changing workplace, with one study finding more than 41 per cent of employers in Canada report difficulty filling positions with the right talent. This means there’s a virtual war to attract the top talent to an organization, and technology-enabled employee experiences are core to winning in this competitive market. Top talent wants to work for organizations that make work, work for them, using technology to simplify mundane tasks, so they can focus on the challenges that only humans can solve. Cloud platforms are one of the most effective ways for businesses of all sizes to provide attractive and compelling workplace experiences in the competitive market for top-tier talent.
As cloud-based technologies evolve, they continue to redefine the employee experience by providing more personal, predictive and seamless technologies at work, and prioritizing a shift to consumer-like experiences at work. According to some our recent data, more than half of CHROs say the ability to create a digital and consumerized experience will define their roles in the next three years. Employees expect technological efficiencies to improve their work lives the same way they have improved personal lives.
In addition to improving work life for employees, cloud tools and solutions offer tangible benefits that impact human resources leaders. The HR department faces specific challenges in its operations, and there are greater sensitivity and privacy issues that must be considered. HR regularly deals with sensitive data and forms that must be kept away from prying eyes and – when stored digitally – protected and encrypted. HR is also regularly the first point of contact for employees facing issues, and it’s crucial for employees to feel their concerns are being received promptly and addressed. Cloud-based workflow tools offer HR the opportunity to securely store data that is accessible when needed and provide a simple system for employees to file a ticket and follow its progression through various steps towards a solution. This offers much-needed visibility into the process and reassurance that employee queries are being addressed.
As digital transformation in business evolves to prioritize the employee experience more and more, the role of HR and the CHRO has changed, too. CHROs, who just three years ago saw their responsibilities as largely delivering HR services and attracting top talent, now see their role in broader terms: advancing corporate goals; driving digital initiatives; and contributing to business performance. CHROs will continue to use platform models and cloud computing to drive business forward. In fact, over the next three years, 48 per cent of CHROs expect to use platform models to help bring consistency to HR operations, a huge shift from just 14 per cent who are doing so today. Cloud platforms have become an essential tool for efficient and effective business operations and will continue to provide an ideal solution for HR challenges, as companies continue moving toward the digitally-transformed and efficient workforce of the future.