When you implement a human capital management platform or learning management system, you will need to connect them to other business applications.
In the early days of cloud applications, all we needed was a daily, bi-weekly, or occasional data feed from the HRIS system of record. It was a simple process of extracting a file using a stored procedure, encrypting the file and sending it to an SFTP server.
Everything is Connected
Things are much more complicated today. The number of cloud systems has multiplied. ERP vendors like Oracle and SAP have acquired cloud talent management platforms, but they don’t yet have simple turnkey data interchange. Workday has Finance and HCM on the same platform, but it still requires connection to other vendors and platforms.
Not only that – you will need external connections to vendors for ancillary services. Here are a few examples:
- Recruiting: Job boards, social media, assessment services. If your recruiting app doesn’t have it, you will need customer relationship management.
- Onboarding: Background screening, DocuSign, eVerify, address verification service.
- Goal Management: KPIs, analytics.
- Performance: KPIs, Compensation management, analytics.
- Succession Management: Assessment services.
- Learning and Development: Content providers, videoconferencing, assessment vendors.
With the arrival of Big Data, business leaders want information to flow continuously from all systems, including HCM. Data has become a strategic asset. Managing all the various data sources and connections requires a strategic approach to data governance, which includes integration management.
Strategic Approach to Data and Integrations
With so many data connections and a constant flow of information between platforms, a structured approach to managing the connections is essential. If you don’t already have a unified approach to organizational data, now is the time to start.
Successful data management requires unified data governance and an integration strategy – and that requires a new management skill set. We recommend that if you do not have a data management system in place that you work with a partner who can provide the expertise.
We recommend the following guidelines for successful HCM integration.
- Treat your data as a strategic asset. Manage your data and your integrations with the same discipline you use for any essential business function.
- Mandate every new software acquisition and every new data stream, no matter how small, into your data strategy.
- Plan your integrations carefully. The tendency for your IT team may be to write one-off integrations. We recommend a disciplined approach using integration tools and reusable components.
- Learn how to use the integration tools provided by your HCM vendors. The tools are not standardized, so a basic understanding of the underlying technology is necessary. Most vendors provide an integration tool for non-technical users, but the definition of “non-technical user” can vary.
- Partner with your IT team to manage integrations. The IT team will be happy to see that most vendors provide a more advanced set of tools for them.
- If you do not have the skills in your organization to manage your integrations, we recommend you work with a partner who has experience in multi-platform data interchange.
- Test every integration thoroughly before you turn it on, and retest every time you change it.
Managing your data and integrations will pay off in many ways. It will improve the user experience, and will be easier to manage. Most important – it will give you deep insights into your workforce.
We hope the information we have provided helps you on the way to a well-integrated human capital management platform to meet your business needs.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.