Should you move your HR operations to SAP SuccessFactors?

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The current rapidly and continuously changing business environment demands greater agility than ever and the ability to quickly develop new strategies as circumstances evolve. But, it’s also critical to be able to execute those strategies rapidly and effectively. It’s the people inside the company that execute these strategies, so organisations that desire to succeed know they need a business solution optimising their workforce for today and being prepared for tomorrow. SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite is that solution.

However, the decision to move over to SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite, a cloud based HCM solution can be tough for any business. With a number of factors such as technical advancements and costly implementation to consider, your decision can be far from an easy choice.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the key considerations to make before choosing whether to move your HR solutions/system to SAP or not.

Re-defining your business processes and changing mindsets

Within most successful organisations, almost every employee understands internal business processes and systems. SuccessFactors provides the perfect opportunity to review, rethink and redesign these business processes to be simple, consolidated and efficient for the orgnisation’s needs.

SAP’s SuccessFactors HCM Suite is comprehensive, engaging and offers flexible deployment options to start anywhere in the suite and to go everywhere, to other products as best fits the business. SAP SuccessFactors ties people strategy to business strategy with workflows, content, insights and expertise that directly impacts business results and drives company success.

Another crucial factor for a successful implementation is engaging your workforce for the digital transformation that SuccessFactors will deliver. Bear in mind that due to the technology and business process optimisations that is brought about by implementing SuccessFactors, organisations must be ready to quickly and efficiently address any subsequent, data, process, people and technology issues. The best way to prepare for this is through end-user analytics

In addition, establishing a change management strategy, is essential to enable important buy-in from all involved. Employees and end users should be part of a clear development pathway, taking them through awareness and understanding to acceptance, adoption and ownership. But of course, this should be balanced with the potential disruption to day to day operations, both financially and practically.

A modern, user-friendly HR system

Current, up to date and ready for millennials - that’s SuccessFactors. Unlike other older and somewhat dated HR systems, SAP’s platform offers engaging interfaces and actions akin to millennial’s familiarities and digital surroundings. This is crucial, as by 2020 it’s thought around 50% of the workforce will be millennials, bringing different requirements and expectations to organisations and HR teams across the globe.

SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite is delivered on a secure, reliable, and highly scalable architecture that offers customers rapid deployment, rapid results, and continuous innovation at a lower total cost of ownership than other solutions. It leverages technology to remove complexity with the organisation’s functions and yet remaining compliant with each country’s legislations.

Success Factors also offers a consumer type experience with their modern user interfaces through Fiori Applications available in most mobile devices.


With four upgrades a year, SuccessFactors is quick to deliver exciting product advancements and functions every few months. While for some businesses this may prove overwhelming, for others it presents the chance to be transformed and to remain at the forefront of technologies and capabilities. If your business finds itself under the former bracket, you may choose to perform mini re-implementations every year or so instead. Alternatively, you may decide implementation and such regular updates are unrealistic or unnecessary for your organisation’s current status.


The cloud platform offers a seamless integration with all mobile devices and on premise systems, allowing an easy and simple access to business applications. SAP will be able to provide assistance in delivering and integrating other systems, using the SAP Cloud Platform, to align all business functions and process in the same strategic direction.

However, while SAP provides free standard integration content, further assistance and support comes at a cost with expensive and often hard to understand integration variations. Combine this with the challenge of building and maintaining integrations from scratch when using a non-SAP middleware, and you can see why some businesses may decide against integration.

Collaboration and support

Along with UKISUG, SAP offer a large and strong network of support. This provides crucial collaboration for businesses going through similar experiences, processes and implementations.

Our SuccessFactors Special Interest Group, provides an opportunity for likeminded users to connect, and share experiences and knowledge. The group runs events twice a year, offering an open, collaborative forum for networking, learning and discussions around human capital management.

UKISUG JAM also offers the same collaboration possibilities, but through an online portal throughout the year and in a neutral environment.

HR in the Cloud

As with most personal and corporation data, the future of business technology is largely in the cloud. With SAP SuccessFactors, you will receive access to powerful memory, analytics, and mobile capabilities, allowing you to do more in the cloud and accelerate business results in the process.

The cloud can also reduce the cost of managing and maintaining an on-premise IT system. Colleagues will benefit from an increase in collaboration efficiency and flexibility, meaning tasks and projects can be viewed and worked on from different locations, and by more than one team member at a time.

However, for some businesses the cloud is certainly not the be all and end all, something which SAP have actually partly acknowledged, with their brand new on-premise solution set to be introduced in 2023. This clearly isn’t a short term measure, with serious thought, research, investment and planning going into the solution that’s set to be with us in the next five years. This would mean that the CoreHR remains on-premise while the Talent Suite is in the Cloud

SAP, including SAP SuccessFactors, takes a holistic approach to information security in the cloud.They have implemented a multilayered defense at all the touch points in the information flow— both the physical and logical, applied across the database, middleware, application, and network and communication layers — to offer complete data privacy, transparency, and audit controls

Licensing and ownership

As is frustratingly the case with a host of SAP products, transparency and clarification on licensing is not easy to come by. We’re doing our best to improve things, as are SAP. You can read more about that in our recent licensing update.

SuccessFactors subscriptions come under a number of models and brackets, but with all running on a monthly basis. While for some organisations monthly subscriptions are an efficient and practical way to manage finances, for others it may be wasteful and inconvenient.


After reading this article you may still be undecided on whether SuccessFactors is for you or not, but hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought and important considerations to make. It’s evident SuccesFactors is not for every business, but there’s undoubtedly significant benefits for those businesses that can effectively implement and integrate.

As always, it can be beneficial to seek professional advice and expertise to help you decide on SuccessFactors cloud, its potential advantages, long-term costs and ROI.

Register as a UKISUG member to find out about the latest news, information and developments relating to SuccessFactors. For those who have already implemented SuccessFactors, we have a SuccessFactors Innovation Event coming up on 22nd May, offering the chance to hear from subject matter experts and industry leading companies such as SAP, Accenture and NGA.

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