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Cloud computing/ Software-as-a-Service is the new source of revenue for the IT industry. SalesForce.com is one of the phenomenal success stories in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) area. Salesforce.com’s tag line is ‘No hardware. No software. No Boundaries’.
In HR systems area, it is a very inviting and exciting proposition to the customer. Every software company is touting that it has a ‘cloud’ based HR solution. Customers have the tough task of determining which solution will fit in their strategy. Even when the existing on-premise solution works fine, customer will evaluate ‘cloud’ option and transition benefits. The cloud computing buzz is getting stronger, and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. How does it impact the SAP HCM and SAP HCM consultants? Existing implementation, new implementation and transition projects will need SAP HCM consultants for the following 5 years.

Supporting existing implementation:
SAP HCM consultants (functional as well as technical) will have steady work in support organization. If SAP Payroll is on the same instance, changing from SAP HCM to other solution would require a higher budget and longer duration. For the next 5 years (till around 2017), there will be a steady demand for SAP HCM consultants for support roles.
Within the Support organization, upgrade projects will still need SAP HCM consultants. The pace of upgrade projects might accelerate to ensure that customers are ready to transition to a newer version that might support ‘cloud’ solutions.

New Project implementation:
Cloud computing will adversely impact the decision to select SAP HCM. Companies who have already started the implementation will find it difficult to stop the implementation and reevaluate cloud options. They will need the SAP HCM consultants to take them live while ‘cloud’ strategies mature. There are some questions that customers are grappling with:
– What do they ‘own’?
– What is the exit strategy?
– What are the options if the vendor cannot support their requirements in the future?
– What happens if their vendor files for bankruptcy?
If cloud solutions gain more acceptances, SAP HCM consultants demand will decrease.

Transition projects:
The customer decides that they want to transition from existing SAP HCM solution to new cloud based solution. These projects will be the most interesting ones and will need SAP HCM consultants to enable the smooth transition.

All this change is outside SAP HCM consultant’s control. What should SAP HCM consultant do that is within their power and the skills they need to acquire for the future?

To be continued…

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