Cloud storage concept A decadeago, HR leaders were pondering the idea of moving to the cloud andtoday, the word “cloud” has become a normal part of industryvocabulary. (Photo: iStock)

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The success of a company largely depends on havingactive, engaged and thriving employees. As the intersection betweenpersonal life and work continues to blur, people have highexpectations of the kinds of employers they want to work for, andwhat they want their employee experience to look and feel like.

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People want to work for companies that focus on engagement,foster flexibility and provide technology experiences that mirror their experience in their personallives. To attract and retain the right workers, companies need toprovide the best tools and technology to help employees be moreefficient, flexible and confident with the technology they rely onat work.

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Related: HR departments come up woefully short on digitaltransformation

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Cloud solutions enable organizations to meet those needs bycreating an open and collaborative user experience for allemployees. A decade ago, HR leaders were pondering the idea ofmoving to the cloud and today, the word “cloud” has become a normalpart of industry vocabulary. In fact, it is estimated by ISG thatby 2020 over 50 percent of all companies will rely on cloud-basedsolutions for their HR delivery.

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If your organization is considering migrating to the cloud, it'simperative to have a thoughtful transition plan in place. Mostimportantly, focus on the end user—employees. With this at thefoundation, these four key steps can help drive a thoughtfulmigration:

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Define your organization's strategic and financialobjectives before conducting any system evaluation ormaking any decisions. The biggest mistake leaders can make is toskip to the execution without considering what the organizationultimately needs and wants to accomplish. Outlining your company'sobjectives and identifying the long-term vision of the entire HRfunction ensures that every future decision will align with theorganization's strategic vision.

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Develop an effective, scalable HR service deliverymodel. Still with that end user in mind, design and buildyour organization's data and processes to allow for meaningfulworkforce insights. When the groundwork is laid, your company is ina position to build a model that will be scalable as theorganization grows with the cloud. It is important to keep in mindhow enhanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) andautomation as well as delivery partners will also play a role inscaling the cloud model. The final plan will enable yourorganization to remain nimble and adaptive as the solution isdeployed.

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Leverage proven industry best practices. Simplyput, your organization doesn't need to reinvent the wheel.Establish your company's global processes as a baseline to drivethe cloud initiative forward and then lean on proven best practicesto maintain and standardize the technology that will be used todeliver and support HR services. Leaders should stand firm on thesepractices, only allowing deviations if there are regulatorychallenges your industry may uniquely face or criticaldifferentiators within your line of business.

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Align your company's objectives, practices and takeaction. Your company must have the right resources toensure a successful implementation. Put in place a full-time teamdedicated to cloud management and engage your end user throughoutthe process as the system is designed and new processes are putinto place.

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While the work does not stop when your migration to the cloud iscomplete, a successful migration serves as the foundation. Takingthe time to prepare for a thoughtful migration will help ensure thecloud solution is best positioned to deliver for your company forthe long haul, ensuring that your people have access to the besttools and technology for them to be successful.

Colin Brennan isexecutive vice president of human capital management and financialsolutions at AlightSolutionsJake Soliman isthe global cloud architect at Alight Solutions.


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