Making HR A Driver Of Business Performance

Estelle Lagorce

Powerful forces are forging a new business landscape. We live and work in a dynamic digital world where increased globalization, rapid technology innovation, and shifting demographics are fueling intense global competition and accelerating the transition to knowledge-based economies.

As a recent webinar presented by Deloitte and SAP SuccessFactors demonstrated, these forces are also transforming the workplace. More than ever before, people and their intellectual capital are the prime drivers of growth. Five generations are now working side by side, and employee loyalty is declining – particularly among younger people.

Digital technology is creating new ways to collaborate and communicate – whether we’re in an office, at home, or out in the field – and we’re all having to continually learn new skills. But the biggest change of all is the rise of contingent workers – including freelancers, long-term contractors, and short-term temporary staff – who are expected to comprise 45% of the global workforce by 2017.

To meet the challenges of these more fluid and flexible ways of working, HR also needs to transform itself. Yet according to recent research from Bersin by Deloitte1, it’s currently lagging behind. 85% of global companies understand that they need to transform HR to meet new business priorities over the next three years – but 92% of HR leaders globally aren’t confident that their teams currently have the skills needed. Among the reasons cited are “inefficient HR operating models” (72%), “too comfortable with administration” (>50%), and “hiring and retaining the wrong type of skills” (77%).

The high-impact HR operating model

Clearly, there’s an urgent need for a radical shift in how HR works with the business. Deloitte calls this the “High-Impact HR Operating Model,” where instead of being a reactive service provider, HR becomes a proactive driver of performance by identifying and prioritizing the company’s business imperatives, and putting them at the heart of everything it does. Bart Moen, director, Deloitte Consulting, explained how this new model is characterized by greater flexibility, agility, and coordination, with more fluid working as members of multiple teams, embedded in the business, or part of an enterprise-wide community of expertise.

Enabling through disruptive technologies

Markus Böing, partner, Human Capital Advisory Services, Deloitte Consulting, then described how technology has always been at the heart of HR’s evolution as it moved from the old payroll-centric systems, through ERP, into integrated talent management processes.

Going forward, new and disruptive HR technology platforms – this time mainly cloud-based – will continue to provide the backbone of the new model, offering new and more meaningful ways to engage with customers and deliver services via a wide range of devices. Intuition and gut instinct will no longer be enough, and hard data will drive HR in the future. Although 80% of HR professionals currently score themselves low in their ability to analyze data2, workforce analytics will become essential to sharpening the business focus and shaping workforce decisions.

Reimagining HR with SAP SuccessFactors

Mike Theaker, global executive advisor, HR strategy & transformation, SAP SuccessFactors, went on to reveal how the company can help accelerate HR’s transformation and journey to the cloud with solutions that are simple to use, simple to run, and make it simple to succeed. Modern user interfaces offer a consumer-grade experience that can be accessed any time and anywhere from the device of their choice. Built-in decision support and intelligent services that transcend different software and processes deliver an end-to-end experience that is quicker and easier to use.

Flexible deployment options and seamless integration with SAP and third-party HR applications mean that you can start anywhere and go everywhere. “Some HR solution providers go wide and shallow, others narrow and deep,” Mike explained. “SAP SuccessFactors offers an unmatched depth and breadth of solutions – with a unique combination of global best practices and local compliance – mean that we can support your total workforce.”

To read more about the trend driving HR transformation, download your free copy of the Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report.

If you’d like to learn more about the High-Impact HR Operating Model and how Deloitte and SAP SuccessFactors can help you deliver it, please get in touch today.


  1. Bersin by Deloitte High Impact HR research
  2. Bersin by Deloitte, Six Steps to Strategic Workforce Planning

Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).