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Cloud HR: The future belongs to the bold

Cloud HR: The future belongs to the bold

Many organisations pursuing cloud computing to revolutionise the HR function with data-based decision-making, cost advantages and new value for the bottom line are discovering that HR transformation entails much more than simply plugging into the Cloud.


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KPMG’s 2016 Global HR Transformation survey is a timely tale of caution of today’s uneven change landscape. A landscape largely dominated by unmet expectations for HR decision-makers pursuing cloud computing and its immense power to transform the HR function. Organisations connecting their cloud technology to their people, processes, change management strategies and programs are succeeding in their HR transformation journey, while those who do not are largely failing to meet the mark. This annual study by KPMG international captures the perspectives and insights from 854 executives from 53 countries.  

Investment in cloud HR continues to grow at an exponential rate. Our survey reveals that a growing number of HR executives who have selected new HRMS technology are opting for cloud-based solutions. Expectations for cloud computing to deliver revolutionary new business benefits, however, are largely failing to materialise.

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Key findings

  • Cloud HR is becoming a leading delivery model for HR technology.  42% of respondents will replace their existing HR system with a cloud based solution.
  • Cloud HR systems promise a number of significant benefits but the benefits don’t always match the reality.  63% expect improved value from HR to the business.
  • Investing in cloud technology, along with improved data and analytics programs, are the most common HR initiatives among organisations. 69% of organisations said they looked forward to better functionality and 63% expected a greater ‘value add’ to their business from HR.
  • Simply acquiring the latest cloud HR system does not guarantee benefits.  Only 24% report that cloud HR brings the ability to reconfigure the HR function to deliver greater business value.

Implementing cloud technology to drive transformation is not simply a ‘plug-and-play’ strategy. A well-planned change management system must also be in place to help ensure enterprises are meeting expectations for improvements and progress.  The HR transformation journey needs to begin with a clear vision of a desired end-state. Effective transformation is an opportunity for organisations to be bold, to better collaborate and to better leverage their people, processes and data insights to succeed.

Our report comes on the heels of the KPMG 2016 Global CEO Outlook, which also points to the implementation of disruptive technology as a key priority for CEOs along with developing and/or managing talent - validating the common belief that HR transformation goes beyond the HR function as a strategic business imperative.

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