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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 9, Iss. 2)

by Hendrik Vordenbäumen | SAPinsider

April 1, 2008

The quality of your workforce — current and future — affects every aspect of your business. But when executives take on the crucial tasks of succession planning and performance management, they often face a lack of visibility into key employee data, among other obstacles.

Do you appropriately measure the performance and potential of your employees? Do you proactively identify your future leaders? And do you effectively groom your most promising candidates?

There aren't many high-level executives who can answer these questions affirmatively, or even tell you what skills their respective workforce has today. Yet numerous discussions with C-suite executives — at companies of all sizes and located in all corners of the world — have identified succession planning and performance management as their most pressing concerns.

There are many times when an organization needs to know what skills it currently has available and what skills it will need in the future — when introducing a new product line, for example. But these answers often remain elusive because back-office systems and applications supporting HR teams are not integrated, making it nearly impossible to get insight into workforce capabilities and skillset gaps. Disparate human capital management (HCM) landscapes, where "best-in-breed" solutions have been cobbled together with third-party integrations, obscure visibility into the most strategic corporate weapon: the workforce.

Only when HCM data is standardized and consolidated can it be effectively used for talent management, for HR shared services, or for workforce analytics. (You'll read more about these capabilities within the pages of this SAP Insider issue.) A solid data pool combined with integrated business applications is the heart of a well-run HCM environment. And this will become more critical in the future. Why? Because HCM data is not just for HR anymore.

Soon HCM data will drive a wide range of business processes. What frustrates most companies and CEOs today is that the necessary HCM data is there — ready and available to create a consistent global view of a company, or to drive the business processes of the future — but they can't access it. For example, it doesn't help if your succession management data is in one system, but your recruiting data is in another. In today's world, your successor may not be in the same location, in the same subsidiary, or even in the same company.

To be effective in the future, companies must be able to easily access that data and strategically combine it with other information to drive intelligent business decisions like: Where is my workforce coming from in the next 5 to 10 years? Where do I have problems with my personnel globally? Who are my company's future leaders?

With its integrated SAP ERP HCM suite and over 20 years of HR experience, SAP is uniquely positioned to help our customers answer these questions.

Hendrik Vordenbäumen
Vice President, Suite Solution Management, HCM

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