Revolutionizing HR Business Strategy: Unleashing the Power of Transformative Technology

We are happy that Workday is named a Leader in “The Forrester WaveTM: Human Capital Management, Q2 2023.” Read on to learn more about how our technology enables transformative HR to chart and navigate a new path.

As the future of work comes into focus, human resources (HR) is adapting to new ways of working every day—and creating impact while they reinvent their jobs. That means every activity from administrative tasks to strategic functions calls for an agile approach that sets up HR as a strategic partner focused on value and ready for the future.

Technology breakthroughs are making that transition easier, but here’s the thing: Transformative HR isn’t about technology for technology’s sake. It’s about helping HR leaders create conditions for their organizations to thrive, putting HR business strategy front and center. If it’s done right, the transformative technology itself takes a back seat. 

Put another way: To power transformation, HR professionals need technology designed for its intended purpose today and also built to adapt as the future unfolds. 

This is why we are happy that Workday is named a Leader in “The Forrester WaveTM: Human Capital Management, Q2 2023.” We’re proud of what we believe caught analysts’ attention—including our sophisticated approach to people insights and our strategic use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to reduce user friction—the very things that put HR at the wheel of transformation.

Here’s how our technology enables transformative HR and helps our customers navigate a new path: 

Using AI and ML to Move Toward Skills-Based Workforce Management

Forrester notes in its report, “Vendors that offer transparency about their AI/ML and the ethical application of their capabilities will stand out.”

At Workday, AI and ML are embedded into the core of our technology platform—and have been for more than a decade. A comprehensive unified data model means we’re able to maintain clean and coherent data that’s simply not possible with disparate products using fragmented or siloed data. With the data and technology, Workday empowers HR to shift from role-based talent management and toward a skills-based approach

As the future of work becomes far more dynamic—driven by the accelerating pace of technology and business change as well as workers’ desire for professional development and flexibility—traditional org charts can’t keep up. Only 19% of business executives and 23% of workers say work is best structured through jobs, according to “Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends” report

Workday Skills Cloud, which is an open skills intelligence foundation with embedded AI and ML, enables HR to shift gears entirely. Workday Skills Cloud analyzes the way skills are used in human language and understands their relationship to each other (a skills ontology). That means skills data from a wide range of sources—such as skills data managed and maintained by Workday, customers’ proprietary skills data, and external data sources including learning assessments, skills applications, and labor market data—can be integrated and mapped out to a skills-centric workforce at scale. 

As a result, HR teams can gain insight into the skills currently within the workforce, outline what skills are needed for the future, then create an open skills ecosystem to drive a thriving and adaptable workforce. What’s more, since Skills Cloud is leveraged across Workday applications, organizations across the company can make data-driven decisions about talent.

At Workday, AI and ML are embedded into the very core of our technology platform—and have been for more than a decade.

Workday Skills Cloud is just one example of Workday’s broad AI strategy. Thanks to Workday Prism Analytics, our analytics platform that ingests third-party data, and Workday Extend, our tool that enables users to build add-on applications, we are helping customers quickly and simply build their own AI- and ML-enabled functionality to tackle a variety of business-critical needs. Companies can leverage Workday data, combine it with other data, and leverage our ML service APIs to create new ML-enabled business capabilities through Workday Extend.

Here’s what the Forrester report says about our technologies: “Workday’s Skills Foundation defines much of the talent journey for users. Intuitive practitioner tools and the underlying AI/ML help reduce user friction. Workday Extend reinforces organizational agility and is highlighted in use cases such as package solutions developed by Workday and the partner community, leveraging the PaaS tools in the system.”

Together, these tools allow organizations to confidently build, deploy, and manage both the teams and the business capabilities that will drive future success.

Driving Talent Solutions Across More Dimensions

If a human capital management (HCM) platform only extends as far as employees, HR doesn’t have visibility across the organization’s extended workforce ecosystem. And that could mean serious blind spots: In the U.S., for instance, 36% of the workforce is made up of contract workers, consultants, and gig workers. 

At Workday, we believe that for HR to participate fully in C-suite strategy sessions and adapt quickly, it needs a comprehensive view of the workforce. Workday VNDLY is the only vendor management system that can directly connect into Workday’s core data foundation, making Workday the first enterprise management cloud platform to fully include extended workers in the workforce ecosystem. The capability helps HR unlock richer, faster insights about the extended workforce—full-time employees, frontline workers, and contingent labor—creating a future of work with one workforce, working together. 

Our customers benefit from the value of using Workday VNDLY for the end-to-end life cycle management of contingent labor. By bringing this in alongside Workday’s other products, customers have the last puzzle piece to intelligently manage their total workforce.

Similarly, our Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity (VIBE™) Index also lets HR leaders put strategy front and center. VIBE Index™ makes it easy for HR to measure everything from hiring and promotions to employees’ sense of belonging, to see where the organization is today and make progress toward improvements. And with our single data model and powerful people analytics engine, HR can cut through the noise and understand exactly where to focus for maximum impact. 

As the Forrester report notes, “Workday delivers on its superior vision of creating the future of work by adapting rapidly and staying ahead of customer needs.”

We are happy that Workday is named a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM.

Delivering a Hyper-Personalized Employee Experience 

Employee expectations made a seismic shift during the pandemic, and in the middle of a historically tight talent market, organizations that were able to deliver a compelling employee experience found themselves easily outpacing competitors. No surprise, then, that half of HR leaders are focusing on positive employee experiences to speed up transformation across their business, according to a recent Workday global survey.

To create positive employee experiences, HR has to move on from traditional employee surveys that treat employee sentiment as a largely static, singular metric. Workday Peakon Employee Voice offers something different. As an intelligent listening platform, it combines natural language processing and sophisticated people analytics to surface insights that people leaders can use proactively.

The Forrester report notes that in Workday: “Collaboration with its customer community and a large investment in R&D have translated into an offering that drives client agility. Elevating acquired best-in-class solutions into its suite with a cohesive redesign is essential to Workday’s vision. Examples of this strategy include the acquisitions of VNDLY and Peakon, which deepened capabilities for contract labor and employee experience (EX) management.”

As the Forrester report notes, “Workday delivers on its superior vision of creating the future of work by adapting rapidly and staying ahead of customer needs.

Riding the Wave

Lasting business success requires the right approach to talent—and the right platform to manage it.

After reviewing the HR technology landscape, Forrester is clear in its guidance; organizations need to seek out platforms that:

  • Offer a transparent and ethical approach to investing in AI and ML

  • Help leaders take a human-centered approach by reducing friction throughout the employee journey

  • Offer hyper-personalization for both employees’ and companies’ needs to reduce time to value

Workday is proud to be recognized by Forrester as one of the top HCM providers—as well as by our customers. And together, we’ll continue to transform the future of work by connecting talent to business value.

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