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Finance, HR leaders shape digital disruption

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A holistic view into finance and HR information, delivered via cloud technology, empowers organisations to better manage continuous change and thrive in a competitive digital marketplace.
An Oracle and the MIT Technology Review study, Finance and HR: The Cloud’s New Power Partnership, highlights the importance of collaboration between finance and HR teams with a unified cloud
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 organisations that have fully deployed the cloud, almost half (46%) say they have seen their ability to reshape or resize the organisation improve significantly – as do 47% of C-level respondents.
The productivity benefits have also been significant. Nearly one-third of respondents (31%) 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 organisational transformation, ROI comes not only with financial savings for the organisation, 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,” says Swami Natarajan, SaaS sales development and strategy leader at Oracle.
“In addition, improved collaboration between departments enables organisations to manage the changes ahead and sets the blueprint for the rest of the organisation’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% 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% 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% 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% saying this is currently an issue; active learning; problem solving, mathematical reasoning and analytical skills.
* The IT function also changes. Post-deployment, 56% of C-level respondents report that IT has significantly improved when it comes to producing innovations.
Natarajan adds: “As organisations 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 organisation as, together, they conceptualise the shape of the next disruption.”