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Author's profile photo Sven Ringling

Poetry in motion: discussing the HR cloud tipping point and HRIS architecture going from agile to fragile


When getting home from abroad on a Friday night after an interesting, but exhausting week covering 3 countries in the world of SAP HCM, a nice drink and a sofa are usually high on my agenda. So, what gets me onto Skype to record a podcast on SAP HCM until after 10pm? Well, it’s the prospect of an enjoyable as well as insightful discussion with the awesome colleagues of our SAP HCM Insights Podcast team from Europe and America.

Last week I had the pleasure to join Steve Bogner, Luke Marson, and Brandon Toombs on a conversation, where a loose agenda touched on the upcoming HR Technology conferences in the US, but mostly got us talking about 2 points:

1) What, if any, is the best time to move to HR cloud?

We found that there are various good business cases, but there’s no reason to panic. “Nobody will go out of business, because they don’t have their HR system in the cloud” any time soon – except for HRIS vendors, of course.

2) The impact of system architecture on cost, business benefits, and agility of SAP HR and Successfactors systems.

(Speaking of agility: this podcast may soon be remembered as the milestone bringing poetry into system architecture – watch out for it 🙂 )

Discussing what we see in our projects and workshops, we found that many, if not most, SAP HCM systems are built on random architectures, which may have fitted past requirements, but have become a hindrance since and often make every upgrade or rollout a high-risk and high-cost adventure. It’s a particularly big problem in core HR, where systems are expected to have a longer useful life than, say, in talent management, and where often complex interfaces with other systems make any changes even more painful. Yet, many customers don’t dare to move to a new architecture – sometines possibly encouraged by service providers, who benefit much more from a huge and easily staffed volume of ongoing support, than from a one off redesign initiative, which would require high quality people.

The talk also took us through some topics around hybrid architecture and ended on a jolly (inofficial) note on the experience of podcast team members moving countries. With the British team members now in the US and the Germans in Britain, we only need an American to emigrate to Germany to close the circle and re-balance the geographical mix 😉

But for now: here’s the podcast:

Listen to it on the SAP HCM Insights website

or download it from iTunes

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed the recording!


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