Cloud technology is an enabler of change

With sophisticated digital tools at their disposal, how can HR see organisations through strategic transformation?

A recent KPMG report found that while cloud HR technology was a great tool, true transformation requires strategic change management. Companies that implement sophisticated HRIS without due change management found the switch in technology underwhelming.

A growing number of HR departments are already using or looking to implement cloud technology, but can cloud HRIS and HCM systems be a magic bullet quick fix for HR? In short: yes and no.

While technology can absolutely enable automation and streamline the tedium of manual processes, the fact remains – it is only a tool.

As you might suspect, a tool can yield very different outcomes in different hands.


Cloud HR is becoming a leading delivery model for HR technology. However, while some companies have successful integrated cloud HR as a tool for success, others have faltered.

The study reported that only 24% of businesses effectively utilised cloud HR to drive greater business value. This figure can be better though. Many companies implement cloud technology with the expectation that it will provide a quick fix for HR pressures and problems, but people and processes also require adaptation to complement it.


The key word here is: alignment. The adoption of new technology must be spearheaded by people with a strong awareness of business goals in alignment with technology and process.

As most cloud HRIS systems are robust enough to include modules configured to an organisation’s needs, it is up to key personnel to decide on which functionalities are actually necessary for the business.

Additionally, while technology can generate hundreds of accurate HR, payroll and financial reports, it is still up to people to translate data into actionable strategies.

In the same way, processes need to be adapted and documented so that relevant personnel are kept abreast of changes and can do their jobs with ease, while maintaining compliance. The KPMG report found that HR professionals can and should engage top leadership and line managers to advocate new processes and ways of working as well.

Ultimately, true transformation happens at the intersection of technology, people and process.


Whatever the approach, cloud technology is ever-evolving so it is not always be possible for HR professionals to look to a pre-existing protocol for

guidance. Instead, organisations are increasingly looking to HR professionals to lead the charge in defining parameters and developing new ways of working with the new technology for optimal business outcomes.By moving from steward to strategist, this shift in the role of HR could signal a greater stake at the leadership table.

By Dr Denise Tan, Affinity Employer Services. Affinity’s goal is simple: to make your organisation more productive. Founded in 1987, Affinity has developed clever software that streamlines complex payroll and HR processes through technology and automation. Designed for businesses employing 150+ staff, Affinity provides a suite of cloud-enabled tools to manage payroll and HR tasks from any device. Affinity can also take

care of your payroll needs, offering fully-managed payroll services.

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Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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