Stuart Sackman, Corporate Vice President, Global Product and Technology, ADP
Augmenting Existing ERP with Cloud
Cloud-based ERP provides many benefits, including application scalability and reduced hardware costs.The challenge is finding a way to keep parts of a company’s existing ERP infrastructure while supplementing it with modern cloud-based capabilities. At ADP, much of our work is already in the cloud, but we recognize that this is not the case for all of our clients. When companies are making the shift into the cloud, they often look to add specific features including social, analytics and mobile to their systems, without doing away with the entire system. To cater to this need, we provide our clients with a complete HCM solution including payroll, talent management and benefits in the cloud in a way that augments their existing ERP systems. One strategy is to surround the ERP suite with cloud-based and mobile solutions that often deliver more functionality and a simplified user experience. Companies save money by avoiding further customizations in the ERP suite, which are expensive to build and maintain.
"Companies save money by avoiding further customizations in the ERP suite, which are expensive to build and maintain"
Be Competitive with Big Data
We find that a lot of companies are fascinated with big data and are looking for ways to capitalize on its benefits. Organizations often find deploying big data challenging because they do not have access to the exact data they need.
Our approach is to be the connective tissue that gives organizations access to data beyond their four walls—including benchmarking data from other industries and competitors on things like salary, workforce data and employee satisfaction metrics. Organizations can get a ton of value from this—the data arms executives with key metrics to inform decisions that impact growth, hiring needs and ability to remain competitive.
Machine Learning Improves Productivity
Machine learning is a trend that will continue to accelerate as clients are looking for solutions that not only help simplify what they do today, but learn and evolve overtime or become ever more effective. We are incorporating machine learning into product development to recognize patterns in behavior of our clients so that the technology is working harder and smarter for them. This is important for ERP because machine learning relies on integrated platforms and processes. For example, we are moving from a “pull” model to a “push” model, where relevant information is pushed to the user based on previous actions, acting in some ways as a personal assistant, which increases worker productivity and the employee experience.Our approach is to start by looking at where an organization wants to go in their technology journey, and examining where they are today. Our clients will typically look to the other systems around the ERP for innovation. For example, there are complex, very specific needs in areas like compliance, payroll, benefits and taxes, and those areas are better suited to be addressed by a solution complementary to the ERP.
CIO’s Key Role in Technology Advancements
The role of the CIO is rapidly evolving to cover not only traditional CIO responsibilities overseeing internal IT strategy, but also encompassing traditional CTO responsibilities to oversee client-facing products. This evolved CIO role is the way of the future, and a key factor in ADP’s position as a leader in HCM technology. To meet the demands of technology advancement, we see efficiencies in having projects managed from start to finish under the same strategy and leadership. Since we’ve been structured this way we’ve seen an increase in the pace of our innovation.