New Oracle and MIT Technology Review study reveals the human drivers of cloud automation as the roles of finance, HR, and IT evolve to meet the needs of a more connected organization
To enable organizations to thrive in a competitive digital marketplace, Oracle and the MIT Technology Review – an independent media company founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1899—today released a new study that highlights the importance of collaboration between finance and human resources (HR) teams with a unified cloud. The study, Finance and HR: The Cloud’s New Power Partnership, outlines how a holistic view into finance and HR information, delivered via cloud technology, empowers organizations to better manage continuous change.
Based on a global survey of 700 C-level executives and finance, HR, and IT managers, the study found that a shared finance and HR cloud system is a critical component of successful cloud transformation initiatives. Among the benefits of integrating enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management (HCM) systems is easier tracking and forecasting of employee costs for budgeting purposes. Additionally, integrated HCM and ERP cloud systems improve collaboration between departments, with 37 percent of respondents noting that they use the cloud to improve the way data is shared.
The report also reveals the human factors behind a successful cloud implementation, with employees’ ability to adapt to change standing out as critical. Among organizations that have fully deployed the cloud, almost half (46 percent) say they have seen their ability to reshape or resize the organization improve significantly—as do 47 percent of C-level respondents.
The productivity benefits have also been significant. Nearly one-third of respondents (31 percent) say they spend less time doing manual work within their department as a result of moving to the cloud and that the automation of processes has freed up time to work toward larger strategic priorities.
“As finance and HR increasingly lead strategic organizational transformation, ROI comes not only with financial savings for the organization, but also from the new insights and visibility into the business HR and finance gain with the cloud. People are at the heart of any company’s success and this is why we are seeing finance and HR executives lead cloud transformation initiatives,” said Steve Cox, group vice president, ERP EPM product marketing at Oracle. “In addition, improved collaboration between departments enables organizations to manage the changes ahead and sets the blueprint for the rest of the organization’s cloud shift.”
The survey also reveals there is a blurring of lines between functions and individual roles as the cloud increasingly ties back office systems together:
- Increased Collaboration: 46 percent of finance and HR professionals say a full cloud deployment has led to significantly improved collaboration between departments, and nearly half expect a significant improvement in the next two years.
- This extends to IT as well. 52 percent of C-level respondents said the relationship between IT, HR and finance is even better than expected following their cloud implementation
- Cross-Corporate Intermingling: With the new roles of HR and finance professionals requiring them to work more closely with data and the cloud, 43 percent of businesses plan to bring IT people into these departments to help employees take advantage of new technologies.
- New Skillsets: Desired skills respondents want to improve upon include:
- Time management, with 40 percent saying this is currently an issue
- Active learning
- Problem-solving, mathematical reasoning and analytical skills
- The IT function also changes. Post-deployment, 56 percent of C-level respondents report that IT has significantly improved when it comes to producing innovations.
Cox added: “As organizations navigate technological changes, it’s critical for the C-suite to empower its employees to evolve their individual business acumen. Many businesses understand this and it’s encouraging to see 42 percent planning to provide their teams with management skills training to help them break out of their traditional back-office roles. The learnings from the move of finance and HR to the cloud will ultimately spread across the organization as, together, they conceptualize the shape of the next disruption.”