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Hitachi Consulting Moves Human Resources to the Cloud

Assessment 2 Detail
In this assignment students are required to read the case study below, conduct research to support discussion,
use examples, address the following case study questions and find solutions to problems.
Hitachi Consulting Moves Human Resources to the Cloud
Hitachi Consulting Corporation is an international management and technology consulting firm
headquartered in Dallas, Texas and a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. based in Tokyo, Japan. Hitachi Consulting
currently employs approximately 6,500 people in 22 countries, including the United States, Japan, Brazil,
China, India, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the UK, Germany, and Vietnam.
Because the company provides consulting services, its employees are its most important resource. To succeed
competitively, Hitachi Consulting must ensure that it has the right number of employees with the right skills
and expertise wherever and whenever the need for its consulting services arise. The human resources function
is especially important in a company of this sort.
Four years ago, Hitachi Consulting decided to grow its business model to include turnkey and custom
solutions combining business best practices and leading-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things
(IoT) as well as traditional consulting services. Hitachi is doing this across many areas— rail and
transportation, energy, water, cities, healthcare, and public safety. A key success factor is to collaborate with
partners, clients and other stakeholders across entire industries. These new offerings require people with
appropriate talents and skills to deliver Hitachi Consulting’s new solution portfolio. The company had to
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recast its Human Resources department to operate more strategically so that it would have the right human
resources in place to do the work.
Hitachi Consulting was saddled with multiple disparate local human resources systems (and in some cases
just spreadsheets) that held its valuable employee data. These systems were not integrated with the
company’s legacy Human Resources system in the United States. There was no way to easily obtain an
enterprise-wide view of the company’s workforce. When a senior executive requested such companywide
data for decision making, HR staff had to manually assemble and aggregate the necessary data. The process
would take days. Dealing with such complex manual processes and siloed data prevented the company from
operating under a “single source of truth.”
For the company to move forward, its Human Resources function had to be transformed and its legacy HR
system needed to be replaced. One top priority was to improve business processes for talent acquisition and
development so that Hitachi Consulting could find the right people better, faster, and cheaper. In the past,
Hitachi Consulting waited until a new position opened before actively recruiting new talent. Its new HR
function sought to cultivate relationships with top candidates, fueled by employee referrals and social
networks. Through ongoing dialogues, the HR staff could identify star talent and quickly hire these people
when the time was right. Hitachi hoped that the new HR system would reduce recruiting costs, improve
candidate experience, engagement, and retention, and expand recognition of Hitachi as an employer of
choice.
Another high priority was having a single system of record as the authoritative source of information for all
of HCC’s regions with a central repository for HR data. With an enterprise-wide cloud application, HR and
IT managers could centrally assign authorizations for data access based on roles and responsibilities, while
also enforcing global security and regulatory policies. HCC’s workforce regularly works at client sites and
requires access to enterprise data and applications from tablets and smartphones, so the new solution needed
to provide mobile access as well, which was not possible with HCC’s legacy systems. Other goals included
expanded analytics and reporting capabilities, and a global platform to streamline compensation, benefits, and
absence management.
A steering committee composed of HR, business, and IT leadership evaluated various technology options,
selecting Oracle HCM Cloud for the solution. Oracle HCM Cloud is a cloud-based system for Human Capital
Management (HCM), providing a single global human resources solution to maintain employee records, align
common HR processes, attract, develop and retain top talent, improve employee productivity, control labor
costs, and address simple and complex employee compensation needs. There are capabilities for recruiting
candidates, managing performance, developing careers, providing learning, performing talent reviews, and
planning successions.
Hitachi Consulting was growing quickly, and the flexibility of cloud computing was helpful when it had to
quickly absorb large numbers of employees from a new acquisition. At one point, Hitachi Consulting had less
than two weeks to bring hundreds of new employees into its legacy HR system. With the old system, it was a
challenge to ensure the company had sufficient hardware and software resources to accommodate the new
employees without overspending for additional infrastructure, or just as risky, keeping a lid on infrastructure
expenditures so that the system couldn’t handle future growth. With a cloud platform, Hitachi Consulting
could simply bring the new employees into the HR application and adjust its contract with Oracle to
accommodate the additional head count. Switching computing to a cloud software service provider also
would relieve Hitachi Consulting’s IT staff from routine data center maintenance tasks, leaving more time for
strategic business initiatives, such as creating reports and analyses for decision-makers.
Oracle HCM Cloud met all these requirements, and it also featured a streamlined modern interface that would
make the system much easier for employees to use than the antiquated interface of HCC’s legacy system. The
Oracle cloud platform’s flexibility also appealed to the steering committee. With many cloud services,
customers must adapt their processes to the services’ requirements. Oracle HCM Cloud offers standard
processes, but it also lets organizations customize processes when necessary.
The HCC team steering committee also found that Oracle HCM Cloud offered tight security and regulatory
controls required to safeguard HR data, some of which is highly sensitive. For years, many companies were
reluctant to adopt cloud computing, concerned that outside service providers would not be able to safeguard
sensitive data as effectively as systems housed and managed on-site.
Over time, cloud computing’s reputation for reliability and security has increased. More firms have decided
that cloud security is on par with what they could do on premises. The HCC steering committee was
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convinced that Oracle is addressing the latest security threats and is doing everything as well as or better than
the company to protect employee data.
Senior management approved the HR modernization plan in early 2014, with the new system projected to go
live in September 2015. The project leaders realized they would need to carefully manage the employee
experience so staffers would become comfortable with the changes created by the new system. Both HR and
IT staff directly involved with the HR modernization project also had to perform their usual duties. Project
leaders devised a timesharing plan that pulled individuals into the modernization project when their expertise
was most needed, but quickly returned them to their regular jobs to keep HCC’s business on track.
Implementation of the Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud to serve Hitachi Consulting’s entire global
workforce has provided many benefits for Hitachi Consulting. It has reduced the time and cost to hire new
employees and improved top talent identification, development, and retention. The employee referral process
used to falter because staff members questioned whether their suggestions were actually implemented. With
the new system, the referring party is more clearly identified and tagged for eventual rewards if the referral
leads to a successful new hire. HCC’s referral rate of new talent from current employees has increased from
17 to 35 percent. The company was able to save $1 million in the first year the system was operational by
reducing payments to search firms. It has become easier to absorb and integrate employees from acquisitions.
HCC senior executives and regional managers can now access workforce information when making decisions
about HCC’s new business direction. For example, HCC’s senior executives recently asked HCC director of
service delivery Matt Revell for the company’s employee head count and turnover trends over the last 12
months to evaluate the investments managers were making for people in HCC’s sales and solutions
organizations. To gather that information in the past, Revell’s staff had to request the data from managers in
each HCC region and then standardize the information. (This was because some definitions, such as those for
full-time employees versus contingent staff, weren’t consistent.) Only then could HCC’s U.S.-based analytics
group aggregate the data and run the final report. Oracle HCM Cloud has centralized all of HCC’s HR
information and uses a common enterprise-wide set of definitions. Reporting and analytics work can be
accomplished much faster and more accurately.
The new centralized system has also made the HR department more efficient by replacing dozens of separate
processes that had been running in various regions with standardized practices, and enhancing the ability to
strategically analyze employee data. For example, HCC routinely reassigns hundreds of individuals a year to
posts outside their home countries for customer engagements that require specialized skills. The new,
streamlined global system greatly improved the global transfer process, and it also serves as the system of
record that feeds employee data for many missioncritical downstream systems. This has improved data
integrity but also greatly improved the global visibility of HCC’s workforce, facilitating strategic analysis of
global employee data.
HCC transformation experts teach clients that fundamental change is an ongoing process, and that’s a lesson
the company’s HR and IT departments are taking to heart. HCC leaders are now expanding their use of the
compensation capabilities available within Oracle HCM Cloud to more closely manage sales force
compensation. According to Sona Manzo, vice president of the Oracle HCM Cloud practice at HCC, the
company needed time to determine how it would be transforming its sales organization, so it kept sales
compensation as a separate initiative.
HCC is continuing to use new capabilities in Oracle HCM Cloud to help its business grow. The new system
has been able to handle complex bonus packages tailored for salespeople in each country. For example, “hot
skill” bonuses are critical for attracting talent in Asia Pacific locations, but are not used in other regions such
as the Americas. HCC will soon be able to track multiple bonus plans in each country and is investigating
capabilities that enable managers to request and approve bonus or salary increases via mobile devices.
Sources: April Mazon, “Hitachi Consulting Realizes Significant Value with HCM Cloud
Transformation,” https://blogs.oracle.com, accessed January 10, 2018; Alan Joch, “Disrupt Yourself,” Profit
Magazine, Summer 2017; and www.hitachiconsulting.com, accessed January 19, 2018.
Exercise
You are a manager of a company in need of IS solutions to your company needs- similar to Hitachi
Consulting Corporation, looking for ways that technology can assist with sales. By reading the above case
study, you want to implement a cloud-based strategy. You are required to read the case study, conduct
research to help you address the following questions with supporting evidence.
1. List and describe the technologies used in this case study.
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2. Discuss Hitachi Consulting’s problems concerning legacy human resources system. Discuss the impact of
using old systems on the organisation, technology and management. Explain the impact of these problems on
Hitachi business operations
3. Identify and discuss the information requirements for Hitachi’s new HR system.
4. Explain would a cloud-based system appropriate for your consulting business? Why or why not?
5. Discuss what steps would you take to make sure your new HR system will be successful?
6. Discuss the benefits of the new HR system. How will it change operational activities and decision making
at your consulting business?
7. What are the strategic objectives that firms trying to achieve by investing in information systems and
technologies? Provide example(s) of how a firm could use information systems to achieve the objective.
Assessment 2 Marking Criteria and Rubric
The assessment will be marked out of 100 and will be weighted 30% of the total unit mark. The marking
criteria and rubric are shown on the following page.
Assessment 2 Marking Criteria and Rubric
Marking Criteria Not Satisfactory (0-49% of the criterion mark) Satisfactory
(50-64% of the criterion mark) Good
(65-74% of the criterion mark) Very Good
(75-84% of the criterion mark) Excellent
(85-100% of the criterion mark)
Content
List and describe the technologies used in this case study
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills including
technologies used in this case study Has given a factual and/or conceptual knowledge and skills including
technologies used in this case study Reasonable knowledge and skills including technologies used in this case
study Has excellent skills and knowledge including technologies used in this case study
Content
Discuss Hitachi Consulting’s problems concerning legacy human resources system. Discuss the impact of
using old systems on the organisation, technology and management. Explain the impact of these problems on
Hitachi business operations.
(30 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills including discuss
Hitachi Consulting’s problems concerning old human resources system. Discuss the impact of using old
systems on the organisation, technology and management. Explain the impact of these problems on Hitachi
business operations Has given a factual and/or conceptual knowledge and skills including discuss Hitachi
Consulting’s problems concerning old human resources system. Discuss the impact of using old systems on
the organisation, technology and management. Explain the impact of these problems on Hitachi business
operations Reasonable knowledge and skills including discuss Hitachi Consulting’s problems concerning old
human resources system. Discuss the impact of using old systems on the organisation, technology and
management. Explain the impact of these problems on Hitachi business operations Has excellent skills and
knowledge including discuss Hitachi Consulting’s problems concerning old human resources system. Discuss
the impact of using old systems on the organisation, technology and management. Explain the impact of these
problems on Hitachi business operations
Content
Identify and discuss the information requirements
for Hitachi’s new HR system
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out. Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills including identify
and discuss the information requirements for Hitachi’s new HR system Has given a factual and/or conceptual
knowledge and skills including identify and discuss the information requirements for Hitachi’s new HR
system Reasonable knowledge and skills including identify and discuss the information requirements for
Hitachi’s new HR system Has excellent skills and knowledge including identify and discuss the information
requirements for Hitachi’s new HR system
Content
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Explain would a cloud-based system appropriate for your consulting business?
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out. Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills including a cloudbased system appropriate for your consulting business Has given a factual and/or conceptual knowledge and
skills including a cloudbased system appropriate for your consulting business Reasonable knowledge and
skills including a cloudbased system appropriate for your consulting business Has excellent skills and
knowledge including a cloud-based system appropriate for your consulting business
Content
Discuss what steps would you take to make sure your new HR system will be successful?
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills, including what
steps would you take to make sure your new HR system will be successful?
Has given a factual and/or conceptual knowledge and skills, including what steps would you take to make
sure your new HR system will be successful?
Reasonable knowledge and skills, including what steps would you take to make sure your new HR system
will be successful?
Has excellent skills and knowledge, including what steps would you take to make sure your new HR system
will be successful?
Content
Discuss the benefits of the new HR system. How will it change operational activities and decision making at
your consulting business?
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out. Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills, including the
benefits of the new HR system, how will it change operational activities and decision making at your
consulting business?
Has given a factual and/or conceptual knowledge and
skills, including the benefits of the new HR system, how will it change operational activities and decision
making at your consulting business? Reasonable knowledge and skills, including the benefits of the new HR
system, how will it change operational activities and decision making at your consulting business?
Has excellent skills and knowledge, including the benefits of the new HR system, how will it change
operational activities and decision making at your consulting business?
Content What are the strategic objectives that firms trying to achieve by investing in information systems and
technologies? Provide example(s) of how a firm could use information systems to achieve the objective.
(10 marks) Lack of evidence of adequate understanding of the selected project case. Majority of information
irrelevant and significant points left out. Evidence of unsatisfactory knowledge and skills including the
strategic objectives that firms trying to achieve by investing in information systems and technologies. Provide
an example of how a firm could use information systems to achieve the objective Has given a factual and/or
conceptual knowledge and skills including strategic objectives that firms trying to achieve by investing in
information systems and technologies. Provide an example of how a firm could use information systems to
achieve the objective Reasonable knowledge and skills including strategic objectives that firms trying to
achieve by investing in information systems and technologies. Provide an example of how a firm could use
information systems to achieve the objective Has excellent skills and knowledge, including strategic
objectives that firms trying to achieve by investing in information systems and technologies. Provide an
example of how a firm could use information systems to achieve the objective
References and citations
(10 marks) Lacks consistency with many errors. Unclear referencing/style Generally good referencing/style
Clear referencing/ style Excellent referencing and citations, apply Harvard referencing style

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