Cloud platforms can help professionals perform a huge range of tasks by putting data at their fingertips, opening windows of insight into how the organisation is dealing with customers, partners, and supply chains. Just as important is data about how the enterprise is performing internally, in terms of productivity, efficiency, cost management, and meeting the board's strategic goals.
In a world where many of us use our own devices for work or need authenticated access to systems on the move to support flexible lifestyles, such platforms can be invaluable. This much is known, which is why these are among the many reasons for organisations moving functions into the cloud.
But when talking about how these technologies can help HR managers, the focus is often on day-to-day business continuity, ‘onboarding' new employees, managing their training, or ensuring that they pass their probation periods. In other words, it is usually about helping existing managers to do their jobs better or access data that used to be ‘siloed' in the enterprise.
Meet the new boss
Less often discussed are the benefits that enterprise cloud platforms can offer when a new manager joins the company or takes over the HR department. The same principle applies to professionals who step up to lead other critical support functions, such as Accounting, Finance, and Payroll.
How can they succeed from a standing start?
Cloud platforms can bring incoming managers up to speed so they can pick up where their predecessors left off, with the same depth of knowledge about how their team is doing - and how well employees throughout the enterprise are performing too.
This is a use case where the augmented analytics that are available in the best enterprise platforms really come into their own.
On day one, a new manager needs information about the team they have just inherited, how each member is performing, how they are meeting their targets, and how their work fits into the organisation as a whole.
Who are the strong and weak performers, and why? All of this information and more can be found in the cloud for new managers. No longer need they spend weeks or months getting to grips with the basics of their job - both the big picture and the details.
Welcome the new recruit
For example, a welcome screen could show a new leader the names of all those who are in the team. But this is merely the first step in presenting key data to the new recruit. In-depth analytics can then provide more granular information, allowing the new boss to drill down into the workings of the team and the enterprise that surrounds it.
Increasingly, these functions can be supported by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP), all integrated as standard into the cloud platform.
Picture this on day one of the new job: "Welcome to your new team - Claire has had four managers in the past year, Miho is a high performer, but is low on the pay scale, Imran has taken four training courses in the past year, but does not have a mentor, and Ben has not defined any goals or received any feedback for the past two quarters."
From there, the new manager could look into each of their CVs, talents, and experience.
In this way, critical business applications and their underlying data have been seamlessly integrated, with the power of AI, ML, and NLP augmenting the platform's analytics capabilities.
But for such a system to work to its full ability, data needs to be visible to people and applications across different departments and functions. But is this the reality for most businesses?
Not according to Computing Research. A new survey of over 150 IT and data leaders throughout the economy found only one-quarter saying that they had integrated HR management systems (HRMS), Payroll, Finance, and Accounting to the extent that HRMS users could access Finance and Payroll data in real time, and vice versa.
Only 12 percent reported full embedded analytics with transactional and analytical data within the same system. The remainder were struggling with limited analytics via bolt-on modules, or with entirely separate analytics platforms.
Only 25 percent of respondents enjoyed full data democratisation (where non-analyst users can access all relevant data, visualisation, and analysis tools). This means that for many respondents, skilled data scientists are spending too much time on mundane tasks, making them reluctant gatekeepers of better business insights.
For incoming managers in particular, that just isn't good enough, and leaves them spending too long on getting up to speed.
As a result of this trapping of data in unnecessary silos, fewer than half of Computing's survey respondents said that data-guided decision making was easy or very easy. This is why integrating crucial systems into a single, accessible platform is the first step to overcoming these obstacles.