Claire Findell’s fascinating blog ‘Sipping Our Own Champagne’: The Cliché Becomes Reality inspired me to try and create a new business buzz phrase. (You never know, it might go viral!) So, here goes. It’s ‘Crossing the River’ and it’s based on an Ashanti proverb: “Only when you have crossed the river can you say the crocodile has a lump on its snout.”
In other words, you can only give advice or directions if you’ve made the journey yourself
Your insights are valid because you’ve experienced and overcome the obstacles on the path to your destination. You know where the pitfalls and dangers are; i.e. the crocodiles with big snouts. Its an advice that was useful thousands of years ago, and it’s just as relevant today.
Digital Transformation is a journey. I think everyone agrees on that. Claire stressed just how daunting it can be, especially when the objective is to replace a major platform with a new, cloud-based one that’s designed to provide a single, simple solution across an entire function as important as HR. That’s what we knew we had to do within Fujitsu, and it’s what we set out to do just under a year ago. We’re about to see it go live, and we’ve learned a lot from the process.
We have crossed the river. We know where the crocodiles are (we’ve seen their snouts appear menacingly) and we’ve managed to get around them. It’s been an enriching experience, and it’s provided us with valuable insights right across our business and provided an opportunity to bolster our skill-sets.
We’re seeing a lot of businesses across a range of sectors who know that they should update and transform their HR functions, amongst others, and they’re wondering how they can achieve success within a short space of time. As Claire said in her blog, two to three-year project timescales are just not feasible anymore. The rate of digital change is punishing. The potential for disruption of all business models is huge. If you’re not being disrupted right now, you will be. It’s that simple. So, change is needed (and it’s probably overdue). Digital Transformation isn’t about technology; it’s about business transformation. So, whether you choose to use Oracle’s cloud platform or not, the focus of the journey should be identifying how your business functions need to operate in the Digital Age, and how users can manage people so that your business can attract the right talent and keep existing employees happy too.
Everyone agrees that there’s real (and growing) competition for talent. The old rules don’t apply in the job market anymore. We look for jobs over social media, we don’t react well to bureaucratic employment practices, and most of us are eager to work in ways that suit us rather than conform to what we consider to be out-of-date working practices.
A modern HR system needs to be cloud based and highly responsive to fast moving evolution of both market and human expectations
At Fujitsu, we understood that need, and we were honest enough to know that our own HR function had to be completely transformed. So, we worked closely with Oracle to achieve that goal. We’re not in the business of selling Oracle’s wares, but we are in the business of guiding our clients in the right direction, safely and successfully. We help them cross the river to where they need to be without getting chased by crocodiles!
We have business conversations not technological ones. Our focus is on needs and outcomes, rather than servers and software. The latter are important, of course, but they serve the objectives. Or, more importantly, they serve the users and the employees. By leveraging the power of cloud applications, we’re ensuring that we can be as agile as we need to be. In our case, we’re creating a single system that can be used seamlessly across 38 countries. That’s going to provide much faster access to important data across all and any devices, and it’s going to help us deliver timely information that help us make Fujitsu a better place to work.
We’ll be able to reduce the cost of performing HR functions for ourselves and our customers. That’s vital, but what’s even more critical is freeing up time for people to manage and work. That, ultimately, enables us to provide a better service to our clients. Which is the point for any organization: Business Transformation must have a direct effect on customer experience and outcomes. It’s why you take the journey. Of course, it also makes you more profitable too.
The experience of transforming our HR function has boosted the collective wisdom of our people and our organization. We’ve crossed the river together. We’re confident that we can guide each and every client in their specific (and unique) journey. Working with Oracle has made us stronger, and it’s also given us the ability to help clients get to where they want to be quicker and with confidence.
Register for our Webinar: Oracle Cloud Application Strategies in the EMEA Region, co-presented by PAC & Fujitsu (Tuedsay, Apr 4, 2017 )
Read the Insight guide: Transforming HR solutions with Oracle Cloud Applications