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Originally published in Expat Academy’s Membership Magazine

I had the pleasure of speaking with global mobility experts from across a wide range of industries at Expat Academy’s Bite Size briefing event to discuss one of the hottest trends to hit the HR market—cloud technology.

In the past five years, the HR ecosystem has dramatically shifted to cloud-based systems, and according to Deloitte research, nearly 60% of organisations are planning to implement new HR management systems. From recruitment, talent management, compensation, learning and development, and many others, the HR industry is moving to the cloud.

Leveraging the flexibility and real-time access that the cloud enables, companies across the globe can observe and react to the individual needs of their workforce more strategically than ever before. For example, major enterprises such as Workday, SAP and Oracle have transformed HR with cloud technology, enabling companies to dramatically improve operational efficiency.

The evolution of cloud-based technology has coincided with the convergence of other critical factors, such as compliance requirements, cost control demands, globalisation, changing employee demographic and technology revolution. Now more than ever, the time is right for HR teams to revise their approach to technology and embrace innovation. 

When you look at the full HR ecosystem and observe how it is being revolutionised by cloud technology, there is one major gap — global mobility. This is especially problematic because it is the most complex, expensive and cross-divisional function of HR and has experienced little to no innovation in decades.

Nowadays workforce, talent and skills are no longer defined by location. Whether moving to a new city for a first job or moving to a new country to complete an expatriate assignment, today’s market is mobile and companies must adapt to this rapidly growing global business trend if they expect to attract and retain talent.

In the next two years 89% of companies plan to increase their mobile talent (PwC) but only 2% believe their global mobility function is world-class (Deloitte). Talent Mobility today is risky, bloated and fragmented. Multiple points of contacts, endless emails and spread-sheets, dissatisfied employees, high costs and compliance risks make it extremely difficult for companies to align their global mobility program with their overall business objectives.

I have seen with our customers that by introducing intuitive and modern technology to manage talent mobility programs, everyone involved in an employee’s relocation can organise and control all details in one central hub. This also means that you can now integrate your global mobility functions with other HR systems, including your applicant tracking system, HRIS and payroll software, for seamless efficiency.

Cloud technology enables 24/7 real-time access to information from any device and any location. This means a global mobility manager coordinating 100 employee moves from London to Hong Kong can access all finance reporting from her mobile phone, or an employee moving from San Francisco to Dublin can track shipments on his tablet on the way to the airport to start his new job.

The cloud is the ultimate solution for businesses that want to compete in a modern global market and deal with the ever-increasing complexity of talent mobility management. All stakeholders involved in a move—HR, finance, global vendors, employees and line of business—can rely on consistent and accurate data from the beginning till the end. This results in a great employee experience, reduced total cost of ownership, easy global compliance and dramatically improved operational efficiencies. 

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