IBM and Workday have partnered to enable a digital-first work environment, Golden explained. Together, they have helped client organizations rethink their siloed work processes and functions, standardize intelligent workflows and other processes, and align their workforces around the modern reality of a digitally driven hybrid workplace.
“Workday’s cloud-native platform fundamentally is about enabling rapid change,” Golden said.
Workday’s Bains underlined the growing importance of agility, not only for the current times, but for the future. “We’ve certainly seen how our customers have added new service lines and recalibrated their business throughout the past 18 months,” he said. “This isn’t something they were just doing for the last few quarters. It’s part of their operating model going forward.”
Golden agreed that the new digital norm won’t recede once the pandemic (finally) does. IBM’s workplace digitization business has grown by over 33% this year, he said. “Digital first is our new reality. This isn’t going to change.”
Micro and Macro
When Alight Solutions split from Aon Hewitt in 2017, it used a bespoke human resource management system that served its needs at the time, “but it wasn’t nimble and flexible,” Brennan, chief product strategy & services officer at Alight Solutions, said. To achieve that flexibility, Alight’s leaders adopted Workday’s cloud solutions. Brennan has overseen Alight’s transformation initiative as it implements a digital operating model, partnering with Workday to shift its human capital management (HCM) and finance functions to the cloud. That has been especially critical during the pandemic, when Alight completed six mergers and acquisitions, Brennan added.
By deploying Workday Professional Services Automation (PSA), Alight has gained a consolidated look at its people’s time and work. The company now has both a unified macro view and a highly detailed micro view. They can drill all the way down to a single invoice item to understand the what and why behind it. “Seeing all that in one place has been remarkable in terms of understanding what’s going on in our cost structure but also the speed at which we operate and make decisions,” Brennan said.
With Workday’s Adaptive Planning tools, Alight can use real-time data to make more precise forecasting decisions. It can create what-if scenarios based on projected client deals that might or might not happen, determining if the company has the capacity to take on new clients or if adjustments need to be made. Gone are the days of slow and cumbersome spreadsheets. Instead of a periodic and theoretical exercise done at a distance at headquarters, forecasting has become an ongoing process involving the informed input of managers who work directly with customers.
The ability to see what’s happening in real time has been particularly indispensable during the Covid-19 era, Brennan said. “As fast as things are moving and changing—from the slowdowns in the early stages of the pandemic to the pickup in business now—it’s been a game-changer for us in how we think about and run the business.”