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Cloud computing is becoming the global norm, so it’s time to talk about more than TCO — and start focusing on what really matters: the required business outcomes that change the conversation. These outcomes are exponentially valuable in attracting and retaining top talent across entire companies, and it’s something that the savviest cloud-enabled HR organizations already know.

Talent management remains one of the top three priorities for CEOs. Yet only 35 percent of surveyed executives worldwide believe the talent in leadership positions today is sufficient to drive global growth for their companies, according to the latest research from Oxford Economics. If inadequate leadership severely impedes workforce goals — and I believe this is the case — then talent management is one of major challenges every company needs to address.

The impact on companies can’t be overstated. One in four CEOs indicated they were unable to pursue a market opportunity or had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative because of talent challenges, according to research from PwC. The study also found that one in three is concerned that skills shortages will impact their company’s ability to innovate effectively.

The talent crisis is only getting worse as geographies and borders come down, and technology enables mobility of talent.

This is not just a conversation about talent management software. It’s also about what happens after taking talent management to the cloud with the right software: What happens to how employees work; how managers manage; and how companies predict, plan and measure. I talk with SuccessFactors customers every day, and here are the types of things I hear:

Training and Development: “Whether it is video trainings creatable and viewable on mobile devices which quickly allow the transfer of knowledge, or workspaces connecting virtual teams globally, or forums to connect with customers and partners, our employees today demand access to collaboration platforms. They have to be as easy-to-use and accessible as the tools we have at home. People won’t tolerate going backward in technology at work.”

Real-Time Insights: “Connecting SuccessFactors data about employees in Employee Central to our SAP installations has drastically cut our administrative overhead, while providing real-time data on job costing. We immediately know who’s doing what work, what their skill sets are, and are able to trace back how we’re doing from a quality standpoint.”

Business Innovation: “We don’t need a whole bunch of IT people sitting around writing programs to interface things – it automatically happens. The information is already there, allowing us to focus our time on the important pieces, such as figuring out how we can create more business value for our internal and external customers.”

Strategic & Predictive HR: Tapping into the power of the cloud, HR is providing real-time answers that impact the business:

  • How can we ensure the right people with the right skills are in the right place—today and for the future?
  • How do we better engage our workforce knowing that engaged employees are more productive, profitable, customer-focused?
  • What if we change the compensation scheme? How will it impact engagement and retention?
  • How do we ensure that global compliance is in place to quickly and easily enter new markets?

Winning the talent war requires a fundamental rethinking of HR strategies – innovative new ways to find people, develop capabilities, and share expertise. HR has a new data-driven role in the creation of a culture that manages performance, retains and engages workers, and develops leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Talent management in the cloud has astonishing powers to help companies not only address today’s toughest workforce challenges, but also everyone’s desire to simplify. CEOs have been talking about solving talent management for over ten years. Today we can do it. That’s why the future of HR is in the clouds.

by Mike Ettling, SuccessFactors, an SAP Company - originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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AltaFlux Corporation

By AltaFlux Corporation

AltaFlux understands what you and your organization need to excel, and can deliver rapid innovation to unleash your full workforce potential. Together, we can empower your business by streamlining, transforming, and optimizing your key HCM and talent processes with industry-leading SAP SuccessFactors technology—enabling you to adapt at the speed of change.