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Clouds in the forecast – Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2012

Cloud computing is changing the way people and businesses work, upending conventional ideas about time-to-value, service levels, infrastructure needs and more. With cloud, systems and data are typically located outside of an organization’s four walls and accessed through the Internet. This has fundamental impacts on many parts of the business, transforming the nature of work and accelerating the pace of change across the enterprise.

In this emerging cloud services environment, HR has a responsibility to help the organization adjust its people and processes to operate more effectively. HR is uniquely positioned to do this — not just because HR is responsible for the overall talent agenda, but also because many HR organizations learned valuable lessons as early cloud adopters. Leading HR organizations are already using cloud technology to improve how HR services are delivered. And now, they are looking for opportunities to share their hard-earned experience and insights with the rest of the business.

What’s driving this trend?

Cloud offers benefits that in many cases are too compelling to ignore. The technologies and processes associated with cloud are rapidly maturing and are now gaining acceptance as standard business practices. Recent forecasts for 2012 predict that 80 percent of new software applications will target the cloud and that spending on cloud services will exceed $36 billion — which indicates a rate of growth four times faster than the IT industry average.i Key drivers for cloud adoption include the following:

  • Cost reduction. Improve utilization and save money through consolidation of servers and data centers. Capitalize on economies of scale by sharing resources across organizations. Reduce training costs thanks to improved ease of use and browser-based interfaces.
  • Reduced capital investments. Replace capital expenses with operating expenses. Pay only for what you use.
  • Faster implementation. Get up and running quickly by avoiding the need to acquire hardware or to develop and configure applications.
  • Agility. Adjust to changing demand and market requirements. Scale up or down as needed. Take advantage of vendor best practices, which are drawn from multiple organizations and rolled out quickly.
  • Smarter decisions. Take advantage of cutting-edge tools that support fact-based decision-making.

Read more about this trend

If you require a more detailed discussion, contact Kamal Ramsingh at kramsingh@deloitte.co.za

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Social media and mobile devices are raising the bar on HR service delivery

Restore the personal touch with employees by integrating social media and mobile with HR service delivery

Change is happening. Again. As social media and mobile devices quickly become essential parts of our daily lives, they are starting to influence how HR services are delivered and the direction HR transformation efforts take. Beyond just being the next new thing, integrating social media and mobile devices with HR service delivery can provide a real opportunity to restore some of the personal touch that was lost in previous pushes for improved HR efficiency.

Traditionally, HR service delivery has been based on structured and specialized interactions between the services HR provides and its customers (e.g., employees, managers, recruits). Typical scenarios might involve an employee who updates benefit options through an online a self-service system or who contacts an HR call center with specific questions about benefits.

Now, HR has an opportunity to use social media tools to create communities for sharing knowledge — and to support employees through direct, yet informal communication. Additionally, mobile devices can provide convenient, on-demand access to this knowledge and experience from almost anywhere in the world. Instead of contacting a call center, for example, an employee with benefits questions could use a smartphone to view and participate in a discussion thread where specialists and other community members share their own knowledge, opinions and questions.

The introduction of social and mobile technologies is not only expanding HR’s service delivery options, it is also increasing HR’s value to the business. Although social and mobile technologies will not entirely replace traditional HR channels, social and mobile tools are easing the burden while providing customers with a richer experience that is more engaging — and often more convenient.

What’s driving this trend?

Social media and mobile devices are effective tools that can help improve HR’s service and responsiveness.

  • Breakthrough technologies. Mobile devices and social media are revolutionizing the way people interact, making it easy to communicate and share knowledge without regard to time, geographic location, or organizational boundaries.
  • Business acceptance. Mobile devices and social media have become standard business tools. According to a recent study, less than 15 percent of business executives still view social media in business as a fad.i
  • Rising expectations. In their personal lives, many people have already come to expect the rich, engaging experiences that mobile devices and social media can deliver. Now, they are looking for the same thing from their interactions with current and potential employers. A recent article on Forbes.com featured a how to guide on using social media to land a job.ii

Click Here to download the full article

If you require a more detailed discussion around integrating social media and mobile with your workforce, contact Andre Hugo (Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Innovation at Deloitte South Africa) at anhugo@deloitte.co.za and Kamal Ramsingh (Technology Service Area Leader at Deloitte South Africa) at kramsingh@deloitte.co.za

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i “Capgemini Survey Reveals the Rising Importance of Social Media to Customer Care,” www.istockanalyst.com, July 25,
2011, http://www.istockanalyst.com/business/news/5311010/capgemini-survey-reveals-the-rising-importance-of-social-media-to-customer-care.
ii “How to Use Social Media Sites to Land a Job,” www.forbes.com , http://www.forbes.com/pictures/edej45lidk/how-to-use-social-media-sites-to-land-a-job#content.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Is South Africa the gateway to Africa, or simply being bypassed?

 

Sometimes in life, a phrase is bandied around so much that it eventually becomes “truth”.

One such “truth” is the commonly used phrase “South Africa is the gateway to Africa” and, interchangeably, “South Africa is a springboard into the rest of the continent”. These phrases somewhat imply that foreign companies would set up in South Africa while surveying the landscape in the rest of the continent before deciding which markets to enter from South Africa. On closer examination of the facts, this “truth” does not hold water and quickly unravels. So what are the facts then?

Download the thought piece here

If you have any questions relating to this article, or require a more detailed discussion, contact Dr Jacqueline Chimhanzi (Africa Desk, Deloitte Consulting) at jchimhanzi@deloitte.co.za


			

Businesses are embracing mobility but now comes the hard part

Rapid technology developments in wireless connectivity and mobile devices marked the beginning of the mobility revolution. Next came the apps renaissance, when intuitive, engaging pieces of software, tailored for smartphones and tablets, began to change our day-to-day lives. The revolution has now reached business. Many organizations today find mobile initiatives popping up in every business unit, in every region and in every department. The floodgates have opened. Now what?

For some, the path forward might begin by pushing existing solutions and processes to mobile channels, without blue-sky thinking of how business might change if location constraints disappeared. For others, disciplined experimentation can reveal compelling scenarios, which can lead to doing traditional things differently, as well as doing fundamentally different things. When left to its own devices, each faction – individual, department or organization – will struggle through the learning process towards its own vision of mobile enlightenment.

In this chaotic environment, CIOs face three challenges. First, they need to build capabilities to deliver intuitive, user-friendly mobile applications that can meet or exceed expectations set by consumer technologies. Mobile delivery requires new skills, new mindsets, new application architectures, new methodologies and new approaches to problem-solving. Above all, solutions must focus on usability – design-led thinking with mobile mentalities. Scope should be reined in to create well-defined, elegant solutions that address explicit problems, not broad collections of functionality. User experiences should be mobile-centric, based on touch/swipe/talk, not point/click/type. Leonardo da Vinci’s description of simplicity as the ultimate form of sophistication might be a foreign concept to many central IT departments today, but it is also a prime directive. As mobile becomes increasingly important in customer and employee interactions, the complexity of applications, or apps, will naturally grow with heightened integration, security and maintenance needs.

The second challenge for CIOs is to help the business deliver innovative applications with significant potential for positive disruption. Experimentation can be a good way to show progress and help crystalize opportunities, but many use cases remain uncharted. Until users interact with an early prototype, they may not know what they want, much less what they need. CIOs can become beacons of big-picture thinking and tactical adjudication by embracing the proliferation of mobile initiatives, and accelerating the mobile adoption learning curve across the organization.

The third challenge is that mobility introduces yet another level of complexity that CIOs must manage and support at an enterprise scale. What’s an effective way to deal with pressure to get behind each “next big thing”? Should employee-owned devices be allowed on enterprise networks? And if so, what data, applications and services should they be permitted to access? How should IT practices change to support mobile applications? True enterprise-class mobility requires governance, security, privacy and compliance policies – with effective management of mobile devices, enterprise app stores, mobile middleware and more. The trick is to build a solid foundational infrastructure without throttling the business. As you likely know, the business can’t – and won’t – wait for a fully formed mobile enablement roadmap to be defined and put into place.

If you have any questions relating to this article, or require a more detailed discussion, contact Kamal Ramsingh (Head of Technology – Deloitte South Africa) at kramsingh@deloitte.co.za

Would you like to read the full article? Click Here to download Deloitte Tech Trends 2012

Do you have any comment or feedback? We would love to hear from you!

 

Using workforce reporting and analytics to make better more informed decisions about your human capital

Many leading companies are using workforce reporting and analytics to help make better, more informed decisions about their human capital. By capitalizing on the latest analytical tools and techniques, they are improving acquisition, retention and rewards; reducing labor costs; improving productivity and employee effectiveness; and managing risk more effectively.

Workforce reporting and analytics traditionally used historical data to improve decision-making and business performance. And it still does. But now, advanced analytical tools and techniques, such as predictive modeling, are also making it possible for organizations to glimpse into the future and make informed predictions that they can then develop into targeted solutions.

For example, advanced analytics is helping leading organizations retain top talent and mitigate churn by identifying employees who are potential flight risks. This kind of analysis may include everything from past and current employee data and performance ratings to mentoring relationships, compensation levels, personal networking activity and even daily commute time. Advanced analytics tools are also helping organizations beef up their leadership pipelines by looking deep into their workforces to anticipate which employees are most likely to reach the top.

What’s driving this trend?

  • The need to look ahead. In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies need predictive solutions that can help address critical business issues, such as retention, before they become problems.
  • Workforce complexity and cost pressure. As workforces become more global and complex, management challenges increase exponentially. Advanced analytics help HR and business leaders cut through the complexity to control labor costs and generate more value from the workforce.
  • Untapped data. Widespread deployment of ERP and other people-related systems is creating vast amounts of useful workforce data. Yet much of that data remains locked up in organizational silos. Workforce reporting and analytics can increase the return on a company’s technology investments by helping to turn mountains of raw data into nuggets of valuable insight.
  • Cloud reduces barrier to entry. Cloud services can give HR more control over its own tools. HR can decide for itself what reporting and analytics capabilities it needs and can then gain quick access to those capabilities with a smaller capital investment and faster time to implement. Also, cloud applications are frequently updated to reflect the latest business practices, which makes it easier for HR to stay on the cutting edge.

Read more about this trend.

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