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Emerging Trends

Vendor Trends in Global Payroll - Cloud Computing

By Frank J. Mendelson and Laurent Botella

WorkdaySrDirectorProductStrategy1. What can you tell us about the future of the cloud in global payroll? 

Global payroll is following the trend of enterprise applications moving to the cloud. Vendors including payroll aggregators and local payroll vendors are investing heavily in technology and migrating their platforms to the cloud. 

Global payroll is a complex issue, and each company has different payroll requirements based on the quality of their current payroll provider in each country, the number of employees in each country, and the maturity of internal payroll expertise in that country. In that sense, the role of unification and automation will become even more important as payroll solutions transition to the cloud. Customers understand that having all their HR and payroll data together in the cloud makes it accessible in real time in a way that is not possible with separate, on-premise systems. 

2. As this trend gains traction, what counsel can you offer to companies considering migrating global payroll to the cloud? 

Companies considering migrating to the cloud should take several steps to evaluate their current systems and make sure they’re ready for the transition across the organization.

First, look at ways to reduce the number of payroll providers across the globe from many to a few cloud payroll vendors. Next, automate the integration between the global HR cloud system and the local cloud payroll systems, which will provide a common interface with one central source of HR data. From there, implement a bi-directional integration between HCM and third-party payroll vendors to import the actual payroll data into a central cloud repository to enable reporting across global HCM and payroll data. It’s important to look for vendors that offer certified, bi-directional, pre-built integrations between a central HCM provider and the payroll vendors across multiple countries. Working through these steps will help ensure your move to the cloud is smooth and effective.  

3. What will global payroll vendors be particularly sensitive to in the coming year?

Cloud-based global payroll solutions are becoming the top choice for customers in the market for new solutions. This is creating increased competition among global payroll vendors with a positive impact on the multi-country payroll sector. 

We’re seeing global payroll vendors get more aggressive across the board. They’re investing in local cloud payroll solutions from a compliance and technology perspective and in their platforms to aggregate global payroll data, automate integrations, and provide insights in global payroll data. We’ve also seen more focus on bi-directional integration capabilities between the global HR cloud providers and their local and global payroll solutions, as well as more global payroll cloud vendors partnering with global HR vendors to deliver pre-built, certified integrations to customers.

For example, we recently expanded our partnership with ADP to provide multinational organizations with a seamless payroll experience that unites Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) and ADP Global Payroll. This approach allows companies to view all of this data in one centralized place, which in turn helps them more effectively manage their workforce, efficiently process payroll, and grow their business.