He also noted that the pandemic has taught businesses the importance of being able to quickly add new capabilities—including leave-of-absence plans, emergency sick programs, and tax reporting—into their systems.
For businesses that haven’t embraced digital acceleration, their data is stale and sitting in siloed systems, and the processes for using it are often slow, requiring outside resources to forecast plans and update systems.
“We need to move from a world where you are working for your data to one where your data works for you,” said Bhusri.
The Future of Cloud-Based Technologies
When Workday was founded in 2005, the first generation of HR cloud technology was novel and disruptive. But that was nearly 17 years ago, and while the cloud has become the accepted way of delivering technology, businesses are moving faster, and their expectations for cloud-based technologies are higher.
“I believe we’re turning a page on the concept of ‘the cloud’ and ushering in a new generation,” said Bhusri.
The next generation of an enterprise management cloud includes data-infused applications that enable businesses to better align applications across finance, HR, workforce planning, and other business functions, Bhusri said. With optimized user experiences and customer and partner innovation, this next-generation cloud runs on a constantly evolving platform and unifies data across users via machine learning.
Knowing Your Employees
Every business needs to be centered on its people and their experiences, know the skills they have, and understand what the organization needs in the future—especially with the potential for post-pandemic attrition.
Having a full grasp on employee sentiment can be more difficult with a remote or hybrid workforce, Bhusri acknowledged. “Businesses need a grasp of real-time sentiment from the workforce to take action at an individual employee and manager level.”
Workday is leaning into complex surveying and skill evaluation as the keys to the future of work, he said. Complex surveying with an intelligent listening platform serves up the right questions to the right employees at the right time, allowing employees and managers to engage with the topics that matter most to them at that moment.
In addition, knowing the skills employees have and where the business needs to grow better supports workforce planning and employee training efforts. At Workday, “We’ve made massive investments in the reskilling movement,” said Bhusri. “For instance, we created a common language of skills through our skills cloud. We grew our skills coverage from 25 million skills to 2.2 billion with over one thousand skills cloud customers.”
By creating a common language around people and capabilities, business leaders can use people analytics to measure retention and performance and improve business planning, he added.
Connecting Business With Environmental, Social, and Governance Responsibility
Stakeholders are holding businesses accountable and demanding they commit to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs. At the same time, a company worth doing business with will have that focus. “I personally believe ESG is a version of companies having a soul,” said Bhusri.
Our vision is that Workday is a data hub for the ESG programs businesses are putting in place. “One of Workday’s goals is to help customers collect relevant data, build strategy frameworks, ensure they’re audit ready, and report with confidence to drive their ESG goals,” he said. Some of the ways Workday can help include:
Environmental: Reporting on greenhouse gas emissions by connecting data from suppliers, expenses, and employee travel.
Social: Enabling businesses to measure belonging outcomes across the employee life cycle.
Governance: Helping businesses report tax, board diversity, compensation, and compliance training with confidence.
“We’ve been through one of the most uncertain times in business, and we’re all finding new, creative paths to growth,” shared Bhusri. At Workday and across industries, “We’re emerging stronger and ready to harness the opportunity,” he added.
While uncertainty will continue, Bhusri finished the talk with this message for our customers: “We’re your partner in growth—growth for your company, your people, and your reputation. Let’s grow together this year.”