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Australian bank implements cloud-based people management software

Digital bank chose software as a service when it wanted more from its HR systems

Australia’s ME Bank is moving to cloud-based human resources (HR) software from Workday to obtain the flexibility, speed and capabilities that its current unintegrated tools were unable to provide.

The digital bank, which has about 1,000 staff, is replacing multiple unintegrated tools and manual systems, such as Excel for HR processes, with cloud-based Workday HCM. It is in the middle of a six-month project to configure the software and expects to launch it in the next few months.

ME is rolling out the software in two phases. It will first get the fundamental components it needs to run people processes, including compensation, absence and leave, and the second phase will see it add more advanced components, such as recruitment, advance compensation and talent.

Helene Gordon, group executive for people experience at the bank, said ME had not been looking specifically for a cloud-based system, but it had turned out to be an extra benefit. “That Workday was a cloud service was not a core criterion for us when selecting the software, but it is rather a useful additional feature,” she said.

This also fits into the bank’s wider IT strategy. “Being a digital bank means ME is always looking for operational models that provide greater agility in the delivery of services to customers,” said Gordon. “Cloud services can provide this agility, as well as providing cost and time benefits, when appropriate, and it’s no surprise that ME has a number of cloud services already in operation.” 

A lot of work has gone into readying the company for cloud services and the organisation is stringent when reviewing cloud-based options, she said. “To be able to use cloud services, a company must first have the right foundational capabilities in place and an operational model that supports hybrid environments, cloud and traditional.

“Any cloud-based options being considered must also be reviewed carefully to ensure they are appropriate and meet all the requisite business and regulatory requirements, such as privacy, security, business continuity and integration complexity considerations.”

Read more about cloud-based HR software

The outsourcing nature of cloud services also fits ME’s model. Many large banks have amassed huge IT teams over the years but, as a smaller bank, ME has a strategy that takes advantage of IT outsourcing.

“It’s not cost-effective or desirable for us to run all our technology functions in-house and, as such, ME has always operated on a partnership model, where we manage the strategic direction, management and some vital technical functions in-house, but partner with experts in the field to develop and run other parts of our technology,” said Gordon.

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