Human capital management in the cloud

A review of SAP & SuccessFactors strategy

With adoption of HCM in the cloud accelerating, integrations such as SAP and SuccessFactors are a testament to how SaaS approaches are becoming a part of the long-term corporate strategic plan.

Has lightning struck the ERP business community?

The strategic HCM market has grown rapidly over the last decade, accelerating in the last three years. In terms of cloud-based SaaS implementations, four out of five recent implementations are specific talent management deployments. With the acceleration of SaaS adoption, the enterprise HCM software market will continue to evolve rapidly, with on-premises ERP vendors looking at deeper development, collaborations, and/or acquisitions of cloud HCM pure-plays.

But what is the root cause of this climate change, especially in HCM, that has caused so much disruption in so little time? It is fair to say that the HCM market has been largely under-invested by major ERP providers and that HCM organizations generally had to make do with what was included as part of a broader ERP initiative or continue to use outdated technology to address back-office functions. There have been a series of market disruptors that have thrust HCM to a curious position of attention.


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Given the high touch innovation we’ve witnessed in the past five years alone, it should also come as no surprise that HCM has found itself at the nexus of the SaaS sweet spot exactly because of these high touch expectations. The desire to feel connected, social, and collaborative is fueling new innovations around HCM processes. With the availability of discrete, low-costs solutions, HR organizations have quietly taken a best-of-breed approach that not only demonstrates immediate value, it opens the notion of reimagining the HR process and pushing the envelope for what can be achieved outside the corporate IT boundaries.

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