The Golden Rules of Cloud HR Technology Integration

Fri 26 Jan 2018 | Thought Leadership

1. Less is More.

Cloud HR Technology harnesses data to improve employee experience. Sounds simple, right?

Sadly, like anything that appears effortless on the outside, the process of collaborating the data and applications on the inside can often be lengthy and difficult.

In reality, those that believe it’s a simple matter of plug and play once it’s out of the box are quickly brought back down to earth. This is because implementing any new HR system necessitates several crucial requirements, before the box even arrives.

In short, the Cloud means more integrations, not fewer.

2. The Early Bird Catches the Worm.

Like any complex programme, the key to success is in the planning stage, not the delivery. With such comprehensive benefits waiting at the end, it’s imperative to avoid the temptation of starting implementation immediately, or conversely doing nothing until it arrives. If you don’t follow this, you’re more likely to hit some of the following hurdles which could have been avoided if they’d been solved at the start of the programme.

3. A Design for Life.

Decisions you make regarding design may be influenced by understanding the key limitations other HR technology systems display; data formats for example. The importance of deciding on the design of your Cloud HR Technology before the start of the project is to ensure you have the ability to alleviate the risk of key interfaces not working before the design phase begins. Unfortunately, some systems have ‘non-negotiable’ data formats integrated – understanding this prior to the designs being finalised will save potential issues down the line.

4. A stitch in Time Save Nine.

Often, interfaces will be delivered by an overstretched internal IT team or an external third party, which in turn increases the risk of not being able to deliver the project within the expected timescales. The responsibility of delivering interfaces not lying within the main project team intensifies the importance of engaging resources prior to the start of the project. This is a consequence of the fact that the required resources depend on external sources which lengthens communication and therefore increases timescales.

5. Be Carful What You Wish For.

Introducing new, innovative technology means that manual work may become redundant if the process it currently carries out is duplicated by the new Cloud HR Technology. It’s critical that overlapping roles are identified and corrected prior to the implementation of the design phase in order to stop a key stakeholder finding out during a workshop that a new interface has removed a portion of their work.

6. The Devil is in the Detail.

A good example of where exacting definition of cloud HR integration requirements is crucial to integration is business intelligence (BI).  What often causes delay and frustration with BI is not the sending of physical data to the BI tool, nor the building of the report.  The hard part is agreeing definitions.  For example, absence.  If you have employees on different T&Cs, it may be that the definition of a working day is defined differently for each; therefore, a half day will also be different.  Agreeing upfront some core definitions will help with any interface work, as it means everyone is working to the same meanings and understanding.

7. Never the Twain Shall Meet?

One of the biggest integration headaches is payroll. In many companies, HR data is held in one system, and pay is processed in another.  This is because payroll requirements can be very specific with many variations of codes and calculations that may not work well in the HR system, especially when an organisation operates on a global scale.

Another reason for this separation could be that businesses have decided to outsource their payroll operations to a third party vendor and therefore do not need payroll functionality in-house.  Or payroll might be owned by Finance, and their system of choice is different from the HR system of choice.

Whatever the reason for having separate payroll and HR systems is, it is imperative that you know how each system is going to talk to each other before you start your HR project.

If this is the case, some of the following fundamental decisions might need to be made up front:

 • What is the boundary between the data you hold in HR and the data you want to hold in Payroll?

• If HR is the master and payroll the slave, will you disable edit function from local payrolls?

• Do you want to hold all the information that forms part of a contract of employment (base salary, bonus eligibility, pension information, benefits, etc.) in HR? If so, is this true of all geographies  or the larger regions only?

• Do you need data to come back from payroll and into HR? If so, what data and how often?

• How / where will the employee view compensation information, be that salary, bonus or other elements of total compensation?

8. The Proof is in the Pudding.

Employee IDs are a common ‘non-negotiable’ in many systems, be they payroll, expenses, travel or benefits.  Your pre-cloud implementation activities should include a mapping of all the systems you are linking with and documentation of the Employee IDs.  This way, you’ll know at the start if you have a major issues and need to make changes.

9. Every Cloud has a Silver Lining.

For more information relating to Workday, Cloud HR or HR transformation, contact Hensen Associates on the following details below:


T: +44 (0) 1189 901 137 


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