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Blueprints Still Matter

The Importance of Common Design in a Cloud-Centric World

by Sunny Joshi and Jan Redmond | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2

April 1, 2015

Human capital management (HCM) solutions have become faster, cheaper, and more reliable thanks to the cloud. Read this article to see how you can leverage the principles of common design to enable your organization's cloud transformation and rapidly deploy SuccessFactors solutions.

 

The growth of cloud solutions such as SuccessFactors has revolutionized the way human capital management (HCM) platforms are implemented. Companies have long looked for faster, cheaper, and more reliable implementations, and these qualities are more in demand than ever for integrated cloud solutions. In the midst of the transition to the cloud, how can you consistently manage the functional and technical enhancements being delivered by SuccessFactors? You need to consider the value of common design for the cloud and follow its key principles when embarking on your cloud journey. Common design allows all direct and indirect stakeholders to come to an agreement regarding data and business processes during the initial stages of an implementation.

Back to the Basics: Why Design Matters

The analogy of building a house from the foundation up is regularly used to guide implementations. Although it is accurate, in practice enterprise implementations more closely resemble building entire neighborhoods of homes in their need for an established set of universally applicable standards. In other words, companies must create designs that can be agreed upon and that capture sufficient detail for the current project while leaving room for adjustments in future work.

Common design allows all direct and indirect stakeholders to come to an agreement regarding data and business processes during the initial stages of an implementation.

Common Design in the Cloud

It’s important to recognize the value of blueprinting and design as well as the challenges that may come with a cloud-based technology solution. Blueprints are critical because enterprise solutions are by definition quite large, encompassing many moving parts and stakeholders. The goal of a common design is to limit the number of unknown factors.

Common design provides a solid framework upon which to deliberately initiate and build technical solutions, especially in areas where multiple business domains intersect. Developing a common data framework, clearly defining relevant domain ownership, and clarifying span of control issues as early on as possible all make for much clearer communication and decision making.

Designing for the Future Based on the Past

Although the future of ever-changing technology landscapes is uncertain, companies must design with that future in mind. Because rigid designs are incredibly fragile, design must be framed with change as an expectation rather than merely a possibility.

It is also necessary to honestly consider past roadblocks to effectively address future issues early on. While organizations can overcome some roadblocks, others require workarounds, and simply recognizing that they are there is more than half the battle. Finally, it is important to balance quality with practicality — because perfection is impossible, companies must be pragmatic and design for the majority of cases rather than for the rarer ones.

Learn More

HCM implementations have become faster, cheaper, and more reliable thanks to the power of the cloud. By incorporating the principles of common design, you can enable your organization’s cloud transformation with Capgemini’s HCM EDGE, which leverages leading best practices from hundreds of domestic and global implementations for on-premise, hybrid, and SuccessFactors cloud implementations. 

To learn more about common design or for more information about Capgemini cloud offerings for SAP customers, visit www.capgemini.com/workforce-management/strategic-sap-hcm-implementation-services.

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Sunny Joshi
Sunny Joshi

Manager, SAP ERP Human Capital Management and SuccessFactors, North America
Capgemini


Jan Redmond
Jan Redmond

SAP HR Capability Lead, North America
Capgemini



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