The cloud transition of human capital management (HCM) applications is well underway. Gartner estimates that the top three HCM application providers combined are currently managing more than 100 million employee records with their cloud solutions. With the currently forecasted trend of cloud adoption, total hosted records across cloud HCM systems could well exceed 250 million by 2020.
So far, all this data is used for nothing more than HCM business processes and user organizations’ own reporting and analytics: HCM application providers are just scratching the surface of data monetization potential. This happens at a time of increasing popularity of data-driven decision making within HR — a consequence of the digitalization journey – and more pressure on cloud subscription revenues due to increased competition and customer churn.
In our latest research with Gartner colleagues Helen Poitevin and Alys Woodward “How to Use Cloud HCM Data to Fuel Additional Revenue Streams” (Gartner customer login required), we discuss the maturity of data product demand, the role of privacy, security and other restrictions, and the sales/operational considerations HCM technology providers should take into account to convert data into monetized products.
Among data products to be considered, some are barely new. Market insight reports that summarize industry/geographical/functional trends have been used for decades for policy or business decisions. Compensation and other benchmarks have been a popular product of management consulting firms. A few other products emerge because of the changing nature of analytics and increased penetration of AI in HCM. Process-specific considerations (process standardization/frequency, data granularity/privacy) determine the degree of monetization potential for each data product.
I would like to hear your views on cloud HCM data monetization. Do you see it as an unrealized opportunity or as a privacy threat? Which conditions are necessary to become a win-win partnership between HCM cloud applications providers and their clients?