By: Paul Rose, COE Practice Manager, Aasonn
The shift to cloud based HR systems can provide companies with an effective foundation to build Robotic Process Automation technologies into their infrastructure.
What is RPA?
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform.
The cloud philosophy is synonymous with simplicity and standardization. Simplifying the process for the end user will create a platform for RPA. The simpler the process, the easier it is to automate. An example may be something as straightforward an address change. If the company enables Employee self-service with HR notification in the HCM system for this area, and has a comprehensive integration flow to downstream payroll, benefits or time applications this is a nice platform for an RPA architect.
Conversely, if we take a HR process like a promotion for a global corporation rolling out a slick new HR platform. We see pushback from the business that a promotion should be initiated by a manager in certain business locations/functions with HR Business partners initiating in different areas. The approvers then will vary by business unit, division, entity. The net result will be that the company is left with no single, agreed process at a regional or global level. The RPA architect will have extensive design challenges in this context. This will unnecessarily complicate the RPA transformation project and increase cost for the business.
Mercer states a “cloud-based HR management (HRM) system is fully supported by an external provider, accessed online by employees and managers, and standardized right across the company”.
Organizations shifting to cloud HR systems often fail to engage in true HR transformation which proves to be a barrier to RPA. Why does this frequently occur in large global HR system deployments?
- Lack of understanding from key project stakeholders on the merit of cloud applications
- Lack of a strong decision maker from the customer side which enforces the standard philosophy
- A belief system that “our processes” are more complex than other organizations. Most of the time they are not. If they are, your organization are in dire need of HR transformation. HR processes should be simple and logical, the great thing about cloud systems is that it challenges organizations to accept best practices. To this point, a skilled implementation partner should be able to drive this transformation and deliver “standard, successful cloud HR practices”.
The main point I am determined to convey is that RPA starts the second you analyse your general approach to any new cloud model for HR. The culture of standardization must be ingrained across the project team and business. If it is, the opportunity to leverage the sophisticated RPA technology out there will be at the tip of your fingers. If your organization is interested in simplifying fragmented, complex HR processes by shifting to the cloud, reach out to Aasonn and we can help!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Rose is a Product Center of Excellence Manager for Employee Central at Aasonn (www.aasonn.com). He is the global subject-matter expert for Aasonn and is responsible for ensuring best practice Employee Central implementations on a global scale. Paul has a degree in Business (BComm) as well as an MBS in HR. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrosehcm
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