The ACT government is in the build phase for a new HR information management system based on SAP’s SuccessFactors.
Executive general manager of shared services Graham Tanton told SAP’s HR Connect conference that SuccessFactors will replace a legacy system he characterised as “a pure payroll system” with a bespoke frontend written in VB6.
“An exciting prospect that we're running at the moment is our partnership with SAP and SuccessFactors, and our integration partners EY, who are currently working with ourselves to deliver a whole new HR platform,” Tanton said.
“This will provide a technology base for the whole lifecycle of an employee, from the recruitment stage to the day that they leave.
“[It will help us to] understand and manage our workforce better, and put learning management systems and performance management systems in place to really assist them through their careers and give them that mobility within the ACT [public] service.”
Tanton said the project is currently in the build phase.
“We've gone through the scoping of the requirements, we're starting to do the integration with all the rostering systems and the like, and we're starting to play that back now in [terms of] how the system looks and feels,” he said.
He also said training in the use of the new system is underway.
Tanton noted the importance of a cloud-based system in the post-COVID era, given that more employees were likely to continue to work remotely into the future.
“The ability for people to be able to look at their details on mobile devices ... is really exciting and it's something that we're really going to leverage,” he said.
More broadly, he said, the ACT government had been able to cope with the additional IT pressures of COVID-related lockdowns owing to a three year old focus on its technology systems.
“The whole COVID-19 and bushfire [situation before it] has really quickened the pace of digital,” he said.
“Our journey [with digital and work-from-home technologies] started about three years ago when we started moving to Office 365, upgrading from the old [Office] 2007 platform.
“We moved people onto laptops and looked at that whole digital approach around improving processes and making people more mobile.”
Tanton said this had been considered important years ago as many ACT government workers were not deskbound, but still required access to corporate systems.
“The real strategy and focus has been 1) bringing our legacy systems up to speed; starting to decommission the legacy systems that are less robust, less agile and less mobile; and replacing them with technology platforms that provide us with that flexibility going forward,” he said.
“We moved very heavily onto Office 365 and [Microsoft] DirectAccess, and that really provided us the ability to transition basically 12,000 staff overnight to working at home arrangements.
“For a quick fact, in February, before the COVID-19 emergency we'd probably have about 4000 minutes per day of WebEx use, we're now up to over a million minutes of WebEx use a month so you can just see the astronomical uptake from users for [remote work] technology.”
Tanton predicted those platforms would continue to get a workout, even as lockdown restrictions eased.
“Having these tools going forward to be able to assist staff in working from home, assist managers and make sure that the outcomes are still being delivered, especially … where we provide services on the ground and to the community [is important],” he said.
“Being able to do that remotely with as little disruption as possible, I think is going to be really valuable.
“I do think the ‘new normal’ will be less people in the office and more people working remotely.”