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Prominent industry figures gathered at this years’ Mastering SAP event in Melbourne to tackle the issues surrounding HR’s rapid move beyond just its operational role into a core and strategic business function.

But with over 620 customers, partners, thought-leaders and SAP experts from over 150 organisations in attendance, it can be quite hard to distil the main takeaways. Hence, here are 3 key lessons and action points from Mastering SAP 2017.

The Importance Of Managing Change In A Digital World

The digital revolution has had a very tangible impact on organisations, with the business environment constantly evolving through rapid technological advancements and increasing levels of mobile adaptability. Businesses now have the ever-increasing task of responding to and managing change in a way that keeps people engaged, breaking down the silos that often exist in organisations. Companies like Kodak act as a cautionary tale, signaling how the inability to be responsive to market forces can lead to failure.

Many of the talks discussed the possible approaches to mitigating the risk that comes with the rapid change we are seeing. This included further investment in proper change management practices, implementing processes to encourage knowledge transfer, and modifying training to suit individual needs, all of which can help your company stay responsive and adaptable.

HR Systems Are Moving To The Cloud

The decision to move to the cloud is not an easy one, but with large providers cutting support for desktop software (for example, SAP will stop supporting on-premise payroll by 2025), it is a decision most companies will have to face. Before making the big leap to the cloud, it is vital for organisations to fully understand what exactly the ‘cloud’ is, and the underlying implications and benefits for the business as a whole. This includes investigating security issues, ensuring a pristine user experience and understanding any potential data integration issues.

Kiewit provided a case study on how moving their talent management online provided the needed agility to enable a mobile, collaborative workforce. It also enabled them to get to know each other and transition into new teams in a more effective way.

Business Success Through IT & HR Collaboration

IT, HR and Payroll often have competing priorities. Despite this, it is possible to work together to create the best outcomes for the business. There is an increasing need for HR to sell the business case for any new system to the IT department, ensuring a people-centred system implementation and changing the perception of HR as a ‘cost-centre.’ Through open communication and understanding each department’s needs, it is possible to create a collaborative work environment in which the business can thrive.

The 2017 Mastering SAP conference provided comprehensive insight into the hot issues that HR departments face as they transform into a more strategic business function. All signs point to further changes in the industry being driven by technological advancements, highlighting the need for HR teams to be responsive and adaptable to their changing environment.




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