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The Always-On Enterprise:

Mobilizing the
HR-Workplace Connection
Organizations are leveraging smartphones and tablets to
extend HR data and processes, spawning new thresholds
of efficiency, decision-making and competitive advantage.

An exclusive survey and research report from Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 1 October 2011


Table of Contents
Executive Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Methodology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Drivers of Employee Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

The Mobilization of HR Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Management Tools: HR Mobility Beyond Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

The Caveats of Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Global Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Future is Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Sponsor’s Statement: Mobilizing HR Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

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October 2011 2 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services


Executive Summary
This Research Report provides new insights, examples and data on how mobility is impacting enterprise
applications, data and processes, with a particular focus on human resources applications. Key findings include:
▪▪ A majority of companies (more than 60 percent) plan to provide employees with access to human resources
(HR) and human capital management (HCM) data via mobile devices by next year, according to a recent
survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services (BBRS).
▪▪ The spectrum of mobile HR applications that companies are implementing includes traditional self-service
applications all the way to workflow-based performance reviews.
▪▪ Drivers for mobile access to HR data, applications and processes include employee demand (especially from
younger workers who assume digital access to information at all times), increasingly global businesses and
an overall desire for faster decision-making.
▪▪ Benefits of mobile HR applications include improved productivity by
Methodology
reducing the amount of time employees interact with HR systems,
better decision-making among management, improved HCM and Respondents by Title
higher levels of employee satisfaction. Director/
C-Level: 24% Vice President: 42%
▪▪ Supervisors are seeking mobile access to aggregated information
relating to HR analytics and other workforce management data.
According to the BBRS survey, 80 percent of companies provide at
least half of their senior executives with a mobile device.
▪▪ Protecting HR data on mobile devices involves taking action in the
Senior Vice
areas of authentication, encryption, access, partitioning and backup. President/Executive Vice President/
General Manager: 34%

Methodology Respondents by Region


Europe: 30% Rest of the World: 10%

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services launched a research program


in mid-2011 to discover and analyze the views of C-level and line-of-
business executives around the world on how mobility is impacting
enterprise applications, data and processes, with a particular focus on
human resources applications. Findings in this report also are based on a Asia: 30% U.S.: 30%
survey conducted for SAP by BBRS in 2010.

The goals of this program included: Respondents by Industry


Telecom: 5%
▪▪ Determining how mobility is changing the use of enterprise Construction/ Other: 14% Financial
applications, data and processes, with a particular focus on human engineering/ services: 21%
resources. architecture: 5%
▪▪ Identifying the challenges of implementing mobile device access to Advertising/PR/
enterprise applications. media: 5%
▪▪ Defining the business value expected and realized from mobile device Nonprofits: 6%
access to enterprise applications.
Healthcare/
pharmaceuticals: 6%
This research program included both quantitative and qualitative components:
Computer/ Manufacturing: 16%
▪▪ A global survey of director-level or above executives at midsize and Internet/software Business services/
large companies who are members of the Bloomberg Businessweek development: 10% consulting: 12%
Market Advisory Board, an online panel of 25,000 business Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, 2010
executives. A total of 1,004 director-, vice president- and C-level

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 3 October 2011


executives responded to the September 2010 survey. In all, 59 percent of respondents were from large
companies ($1 billion-plus), while 41 percent were from midsize companies ($500 million to $999.9 million).
For more information about the survey demographics, refer to the “Methodology” charts, on page 3.
▪▪ In-depth telephone interviews with C-level and other senior executives at midsize and large companies. The
companies involved include:
▪▪ Altera ▪ Merck & Co.
▪▪ Case Western Reserve University ▪ SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company
▪▪ Colliers International ▪ Shoppers Stop
▪▪ Franklin Templeton Investments

▪▪ I nterviews with leading independent consultants, industry analysts and academics, in addition to survey
data from research firms, to provide context and additional insights. The experts include individuals from
the following firms:
b Deloitte Consulting b Netcentric Strategies b VDC Research Group

Triangle Publishing Services Co. Inc. supported BBRS in the development of the survey questionnaire, in addition
to providing the in-depth telephone interviews and the writing, editing and production of this report. BBRS and the
author of this report, Howard Baldwin, are grateful to all of the executives who provided their time and insights for
this project.

This research project was funded by a grant from SAP but was written independently of this sponsor. The editorial
department of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine was not involved in this project.

Introduction
For years, enterprises have been striving to ensure that employees can productively collect, update and access
information where and when their work takes place. The fact that an increasing amount of work takes place
away from a traditional desk—whether at a customer site, airport, home, coffee shop or conference room—means
that the increasing usability and reliability of mobile devices has led to widespread deployment.

No segment of the enterprise has been untouched by the mobility trend. Even the area of human resources
(HR), which entails internal communication rather than customer-facing interaction, has seen its applications
Figure 1 impacted by mobile technology, with more
deployments to come. Based on the findings of a global
Jumping on the HR Mobile Applications Bandwagon survey of more than 1,000 executives, a majority of
Within two years, the majority of respondents said a variety of HR information companies plan to provide employees with access to
would be available to employees via handheld device. (% of respondents indicating HR and human capital management (HCM) data via
which type of information will be accessible by a mobile device) mobile devices by next year (see Figure 1, “Jumping on
n 2010 n 2012 the HR Mobile Applications Bandwagon,” at left).
Payroll and benefits
33% 33% 66% A variety of factors are influencing this trend, including
information
employee demand (especially younger workers who
assume digital access to information at all times),
Workforce status 27% 36% 63%
increasingly global businesses and an overall desire
for faster decision-making. Mobile HR can clearly
Talent management and
workforce analytics 24% 36% 60% be seen in action at Merck & Co., a $27.4 billion
pharmaceutical company. “Going back 15 years, we
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, 2010 didn’t have distributed organizations,” says Martin
Khun, executive director for strategic marketing

October 2011 4 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services


operations and commercial support for the Asia/Pacific region of Merck Sharpe & Dohme, a Merck & Co.
subsidiary. Back then, countries were consolidated into regions, and Khun—whose office is in Syndey, Australia—
managed a territory that encompassed everything in the Asia/Pacific except Japan.

Over the years, regional headquarters moved from Hong Kong to Singapore to Sydney, which meant that Merck now
had employees dispersed throughout the region, as they were given the choice of whether to relocate. Khun has
direct reports scattered from India to Hong Kong, and a local administrator handled all human resources issues. “It
was painful and tedious. It took 150 e-mails to get anything done,” he remembers. “All the employees had to have
a local manager, even though they reported to me. Whenever I wanted to make a Figure 2
change for an employee, I had to write to the local HR person, who by proxy handled
every kind of approval—from vacation requests to expense reports.” One country, he Rise of Mobile Workers
says, had limited electronic access, so every request had to be scanned and sent to The percentage of mobile workers is on the rise.
(mobile workers as a percent of total employees)
Khun via e-mail, with originals sent by snail-mail for final approval.
n 2009 n 2011
New human resources software enables many more self-service opportunities Midsize organizations 28%
outside of the office. Basic requests can be handled anytime, anywhere in the (50-999 employees)
37%
world, via any computing device, including smartphones and tablets. “All my
employees can sign on and apply for leave or any other request,” Khun says. Large organizations 11%
“When someone gets back from a trip, they submit their expenses, and the request (1,000-plus employees) 17%
pops up on my screen and I approve it. They get paid in their local currency, but
the approval comes from me.” Source: VDC Research Group

At many global companies, employees are using mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—to access back- 36%
end enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications from wherever they may be working. These companies
represent the vanguard of two inexorable trends—improved mobile devices and applications, and the increasing
desire to give employees access to HR-related data no matter where they may be or when they might want it.

To an increasing number of organizations, the benefits of mobile HR applications are clear. Not only do they
improve productivity, but they also enable faster and better decision-making among management, improved
HCM and, perhaps most important, higher levels of employee satisfaction.

Drivers of Employee Mobility


The answer to why employees are more mobile is deceptively simple. Two things got smaller: the world and mobile
devices themselves. Once upon a time, only the executive or the salesperson who traveled was issued a laptop.
“Now, whether you’re office-bound or not, you have a mobile device,” says Khun, noting that it is simply a factor of
global business today. “A product manager here in Australia might want to talk to a global brand team in the United
States, and there’s a 12-hour time difference. That means either going into the office at odd hours or using a mobile
device at home. And with that device, if I’m at my kids’ hockey game on Saturday morning in Sydney, I can still be
in touch with the U.S. where it’s Friday afternoon.”

Khun’s experience is shared by at least one billion other global workers, according to Natick, Mass.-based VDC
Research Group, which estimates there were that many mobile workers in 2010. That population will grow more
than 10 percent over the next three to five years, VDC says.

“The way people work is changing,” says David Krebs, practice director at VDC Research. “They are mobile. They
are global, and they have flexible work schedules. Organizations need to manage mobility not only because the
workforce is more mobile but because of the changing demographics of the workforce. HR departments are already
facing the expectations of Gen Y and Millennials1 (see Figure 2, “Rise of Mobile Workers,” above).

1 http://tinyurl.com/3b2nblg

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 5 October 2011


Credit the evolution of mobile technology, too. Cell phones and personal
Figure 3
digital assistants have morphed into smartphones—lightweight devices
that accommodate both voice and data communications, with the ability
Surge in Smartphone Deployments
to access corporate data and applications. Tablets, led by Apple’s iPad,
Organizations are increasingly deploying or supporting
smartphones. (% of organizations deploying/supporting have become the device of choice for employees at all levels—from
smartphones) administrators up to board members. As Craig LeClair, CIO of $1.9
n 2009 n 2011 billion Altera, a San Jose-based programmable logic solutions provider,
puts it: “People want to bring the tools they have at home to their work
Midsize organizations 63% life, because it makes them more productive.”
(50-999 employees)
73%
“Every organization, in any industry and of any size, is being impacted
Large organizations 78% by these developments,” Krebs says. “This highly distributed, highly
(1,000-plus employees) 93% mobile and highly fluid workforce will force companies to change their
habits in terms of how they communicate, how they connect and how
Source: VDC Research Group
they ensure that these employees are as productive as they can be” (see
Figure 3, “Surge in Smartphone Deployments,” at left).

That is where mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, come in. These highly portable, ergonomic
devices let employees work where it is most efficient to have real-time decision-making—whether at home while
telecommuting, on the road while traveling, at customer sites or even in hoteling options within the traditional
office. Mobility represents the continuation of the traditional HR solution set, according to Krebs. “It’s moved
from desktop-centric applications to self-service portals to the ability to access HR data from any device. It’s the
next phase in the evolution of human resources,” he says.

What is more, the evolution is still continuing apace. “The emergence of tablets is changing the definition
of mobility,” says Jason Geller, the global and U.S. HR transformation practice leader at Deloitte Consulting,
headquartered in New York City. “Doing an HR transaction on the small screen of a smartphone wasn’t practical.
But as mobility options have upgraded, now the opportunity is different. When we go into meetings, executives
have information at their fingertips that didn’t make sense with a smartphone but does make sense with a
tablet” (see Figure 4, “Business Use of Tablets,” on page 7).

The Mobilization of HR Applications


The spectrum of mobile HR applications spans everything from traditional self-service applications to workflow-
based performance reviews. According to BBRS, some 33 percent of employees already access payroll and
benefits information via handheld devices, with that percentage doubling in the next two years.

This boom is not surprising, because most traditional self-service HR applications are not difficult to deploy.
“These are fairly lightweight, non-intrusive applications,” notes Kevin Benedict, an analyst at Netcentric
Strategies, a Boise, Idaho-based enterprise mobility consulting firm. “Vacation requests and expense reports are
not complex applications. The employees can open the app, log in, pull them out and fill out a basic form. They
may be lightweight, but they extend what you can do on a Web portal and add value.”

These basic mobile self-service applications include:


▪▪ Filling out travel and expense forms. ▪ Requesting vacation time.
▪▪ Filling out time and attendance sheets. ▪ Updating benefit information.
▪▪ Accessing payroll data. ▪ Updating direct-deposit information.
▪▪ Accessing benefit and retirement data. ▪ Accessing organizational charts.
▪▪ Accessing sick days and vacation days.

October 2011 6 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services


Case Western Reserve University is currently working on a prototype application that will enable employees
to check their payroll data. “We wanted to pick something that people would want to check without being at
their PC,” says Nathan Murphy, manager of large initiatives at the Cleveland, Ohio, university, which has almost
10,000 students and 6,000 faculty and staff. “It’s Saturday afternoon, and they want to confirm that they got
paid the day before.”

Others are pushing the envelope a bit further. At $1.5 billion SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, based
in New York City, employees can access a cloud-based mobile module of an ADP payroll application. This
application not only includes basic benefits information but also lets employees fill out time sheets and adjust
the amount of money allocated to their rapid transit fund, which is subsidized by their employer.

SBLI USA also has put its annual review process online, so Figure 4
employees can fill out their performance reviews—including
achievements and planned goals—and submit them to their Business Use of Tablets
Despite varied approaches to supporting tablet computers, the majority
supervisors electronically. “The benefit of ADP’s system is that
of organizations are making plans for the devices. (% of organizations)
it already knows who are the managers and who are the direct
reports,” says Paul Capizzi, vice president of IT at SBLI USA. 17% 30%
“The module automatically routes a review to me and knows that n Currently issues
when I’m done with it, it should automatically go to my boss. The tablets and/or
support employee-
system already knows the reporting structure.” owned tablets
n Going to issue 17%
The ability to quickly review and approve material is a key tablets and/or
facet of both mobility and productivity. Workflow capabilities support employee-
owned tablets
extended to mobile devices “removes delays and friction in
the system,” Benedict says. “Managers may be traveling to n Evaluating tablets 8%
conferences or seeing customers. But in the airport, they can 28%
approve or deny 18 requests, and nobody’s waiting for managers 24%
to come back to the office.”

Murphy is investigating such a workflow capability for hiring


decisions at Case Western. “When we decide we’re going to hire
a new programmer, we’d like to have all the paperwork online, so
Midsize organizations Large organizations
it can be routed through management and approved quickly.” (50-999 employees) (1,000-plus employees)

In fact, the ability to quickly hire top talent drives a lot of mobile Source: VDC Research Group

HR workflow applications. Kevin Lyman, senior vice president of


human resources at Altera, is keenly aware of the need for speed
when hiring people with specialized talent. “We’re investing in R&D, which means we’re investing in talent, and
that equals hiring. If you’re too slow in making a hiring decision, you could lose key talent.”

Other cutting-edge capabilities from an HR standpoint include anywhere-anytime access to benefits data.
“Wouldn’t it be great to be able to access your employee benefits through a mobile device when you’re at the
pharmacy getting your discounted prescription?” suggests VDC Research Group’s Krebs. “That goes to the heart of
the benefits of mobile HR.”

That responsiveness and productivity boost, done well, reflects in employee satisfaction, suggests Arun
Gupta, chief technology officer at Shoppers Stop, a Mumbai-based multi-channel retailer operating 43
department stores and 10 big-box markets in 18 cities across India. “Quicker turnaround to workflows and
process efficiency improvements are the primary benefits for the HR department as well as for end users,” he
says. “We see the improved efficiency in the results when we conduct our employee satisfaction surveys.”

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 7 October 2011


Management Tools: HR Mobility Beyond Employees
Supervisors are also seeking mobile access to aggregated information relating to HR analytics and other
workforce management data, and they are using it wherever they happen to be (see Figure 5, “Majority of
Managers Have Access to Corporate Info via Handhelds,” below).

“It may not even be a transaction,” says Deloitte’s Geller. “If managers are heading into a meeting with their
team, and they want to understand who has what skills for making a crucial assignment, they want to see
employee profiles. They want that kind of information at their fingertips.”

But more than that, they want the same “anywhere” access as anyone else. “There’s a big push to get analytic
information into the hands of managers. Giving them the ability to sit on their couch with a tablet and go into
information in a more casual way, rather than sitting at a desktop and going through printed reports,” Geller says.

These HR analytics applications basically build upon the information in traditional HR applications. Netcentric
Strategies’ Benedict envisions a scenario whereby a manager can log into the aggregated results of field service
technicians’ workday. “The system has recorded the time they
Figure 5 started and finished a particular job. From that, you can start
making other decisions, such as offering bonuses to those who
Majority of Managers Have Access to Corporate were in the top 30 percent of performance and identifying
Info via Handhelds those who were in the bottom 30 percent for retraining,” he
Higher level managers are more likely to be provided with a mobile device. says. “You can also give the individual technicians access to
(% of companies providing handheld device access to half or more of position their own KPI scores, so they can see their own performance
category)
compared to the team on an ongoing basis.” That way,
Senior executives 80%
a technician is not blindsided with a negative quarterly
performance review.
Middle managers 70%
The need for mobile access goes up the chain of command
All professionals 62% far beyond mid-level managers. Both Colliers International,
Lower level managers a global real estate services organization based in Seattle,
58%
and SBLI USA report deploying tablets to executives as a
Clerical and support staff 40% way to replace thick, paper-filled binders. The executives can
download material to be discussed from a secure, encrypted
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, 2010
source prior to a meeting. Having the material on tablets
saves money on printing and mailing. And in some ways it is
more secure, because it cannot be lost in the mail.

The Caveats of Mobility


Up until now, we have only identified the positive aspects of mobile HR applications. But there are caveats when it
comes to protecting data. “As with any other mobile solution,” says VDC Research’s Krebs, “there are challenges,
concerns and risks. When you’re talking about mobility and the mobile enterprise, people are concerned about how
security is designed within the application, especially as information becomes more sensitive.”

That is why IT experts recommend these basic steps when it comes to protecting data and devices.

• Authentication. Employees must sign onto the mobile device, just as they would with a PC, and then log
onto the back-end application. Accessing certain other back-end data also may require a second level of
authorization, though many companies prefer a single sign-on capability for user simplicity.

October 2011 8 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services


• Encryption. All transmissions from back-end systems to mobile devices should be done through a virtual
private network (VPN), which incorporates encryption and protects the data in transit. Many companies,
however, do not allow employees to store data on their mobile devices. This approach abrogates the need
for the data to be encrypted on the device itself.

• Access. Frequently, IT will only allow browser-based access from mobile devices. That way, documents can
be accessed but not downloaded. On the one hand, this enables IT to be completely device-agnostic. But
the policy gets more complicated when it comes to documents attached to e-mail messages. Frequently,
companies will not allow downloads to devices they do not own.

• Partitioning. When a company allows employees to use their personal devices, IT may require certain
capabilities to be loaded onto the device. These include partitioning, which separates corporate data from
personal data. In some scenarios, if the unit is lost or the employee leaves the company, IT can erase any
corporate data and leave the employee’s personal data, such as photos, on the device.

• Backup. Companies also may require employees to back up whatever is stored on the phone to a corporate
server on a regular basis. That way, if the phone is lost, all of the data—whether personal or corporate—can
be restored to a new phone.

Even following these basic rules, there are additional Figure 6


concerns IT must be aware of. For instance, in situations
where employees need offline access to data, the device Europe, Asia Lead United States in Handheld Access
must be able to encrypt the data. U.S. law presumes that to Corporate Apps
corporations own corporate data, even that residing on a In all cases, payroll/benefits information leads other HR information in terms
personal device. In the European Union, regulations presume of mobile access.
that employees own their personal data. To eliminate these Q: Types of corporate information accessible today by employees via handheld.
concerns, some companies simply issue employees a mobile
device that their IT department configures and controls. United
Overall Europe Asia
States

Either way, it is important to establish and disseminate Payroll and benefits 33% 27% 31% 42%
mobile device security policies, so employees are not only
aware of them but also aware of their purpose. Dictates Talent management and
workforce analytics
24% 12% 31% 31%
without discussion frequently lead to dissension, which can
lead to inconsistent protection and public embarrassment. Workforce status 27% 15% 37% 29%
Still, it is important to establish those guidelines, and to do
so irrespective of mobile technology. Source: Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, 2010

At Altera, where they deal with cutting-edge technology on a


daily basis, HR executive Lyman insists it should be part of
the culture. “There should be respect for the confidentiality of data, whether it’s business or personal,” he says.
“Your general policies should incorporate the concepts of need-to-know, of operating with integrity and with the
expectation of doing the right thing—whether the data is in a hard-copy file that’s stamped confidential or on a
mobile device.”

Global Challenges
Deploying mobile HR applications becomes even more complicated in a global enterprise, which involves
navigating a matrix of challenges. The intersection of mobility and HR involves highly variable levels of maturity
around the world, not only in terms of connectivity and applications but also in terms of culture, devices and
security (see Figure 6, “Europe, Asia Lead United States in Handheld Access to Corporate Apps,” above).

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 9 October 2011


“Corporate IT has to deal with a lot of questions,” Netcentric Strategies’ Benedict says. “How do they secure
everything? How do they standardize mobile applications on one middleware platform that’s easy to manage?
How do they get single sign-on? What kind of governance do they need? Everybody is still trying to figure it out.”

Security issues fall into two categories: securing data and data access. The first challenge comes from countries
having different rules about not only privacy but also breach notification. The European Union’s Data Protection
Directive (DPD), for instance, prohibits European firms from transferring personal data overseas to countries
with weaker privacy laws, unless the recipients agree to adhere to the DPD’s standards.

Data access is no picnic either, notes Merck’s Khun. “Some countries censor
Internet access, blocking certain servers or information tools. In Vietnam, you
can’t access Facebook. In China, our VPN won’t work the way it’s supposed to
“The speed at which mobility because the government is screening the content.”
changes business is increasing,
Connectivity also can be a big issue. “In the Philippines, once you step outside of
and I think we’re in for more Manila,” Khun says, “you’re in a no-man’s land in terms of connectivity, so there
we have to have offline and online solutions. Employees sync up data when they
challenges as time goes by.” get back into range, but we have to have security policies that accommodate that.”

–Martin Khun, an executive Franklin Templeton Investments, the San Mateo-based global financial services
director at Merck Sharpe & Dohme firm, has offices in more than 30 countries and does business in more than
150. Karim Rehemtulla, vice president of corporate systems, is focusing on
creating a highly secure, highly reliable identity management system to serve
the firm’s data access infrastructure. “When we look at our employee base, HR is the system of record that helps
determine controls and access to other applications. We have built a repository within our core HRMS systems
to capture this information, so we can identify employees and contractors and give them access based on those
roles.” Rehemtulla adds that his company, because it is dealing with client finances, has specific regulatory
requirements it must follow and so leans toward cultural conservatism regarding data access.

The Future is Mobile


In looking at the issues of mobile HR technology, one aspect is clear: it cannot be ignored. “Mobility is a part of
business today,” VDC Research Group’s Krebs says.

That requires not just looking at the devices themselves; it requires both HR and IT executives to step back
and look at their business processes and think about how mobility can make them better and certainly more
amenable to highly mobile employees. “One of the biggest opportunities and challenges that companies
face,” Netcentric Strategies’ Benedict notes, “is that too many of today’s business and HR processes are still
based on a decades-old paper process.” Executives have yet to stop and rethink what can be done differently
now that mobile devices are as powerful and prolific as they are now. “Mobile technology has the potential to
revolutionize how executives manage,” he adds. “It can enable them to move freely about their area of operation
to where they can have the most positive impact. They can be in the field without fearing that they will lose
contact with staff, key information sources or systems.”

Furthermore, companies that delay implementing mobile solutions risk falling further behind. “The speed
at which mobility changes business is increasing, and I think we’re in for more challenges as time goes by,”
says Merck’s Khun. “Within the next three to five years, companies are going to find themselves surpassed by
companies that deploy tools that make them more mobile, more agile and more flexible.” n

October 2011 10 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services


Sponsor’s Statement

Mobilizing HR Applications
Mobility is more than just another trend—it is literally changing the way business is done.
Companies that enable mobile device access to enterprise applications for their workforce can
improve employee productivity, increase managerial insight and support better decision-making
by their executives. With mobile solutions from SAP, organizations can capitalize on the mobility
revolution using a platform that helps ensure security for applications that extend business
processes beyond enterprise boundaries.

SAP offers a wide selection of mobile HR applications, each of which is geared to meet role-
specific needs within the organization through individualized content and services. These apps are
intuitive, scalable and secure, connecting everyone in the organization to relevant HR processes on
a wide range of mobile devices.

Apps for Employees


Employees can now perform diverse HR-related activities from their mobile device of choice. For
example, they can access the organizational structure of their company and look up employee
contact data as needed. They can also enter time-sheet data while on the go. This will soon make
it possible for managers to track time and expenses for project-related resources, practically in
real time. Additionally, employees can view available vacation days and submit leave requests.
Beginning next year, employees will be able to capture travel receipts using device-specific
capabilities, such as the camera function, and create travel expense reports directly from their
devices. All data submitted integrates with back-office systems to provide a single version of the
truth that helps your company make confident decisions across the board.

Apps for Managers


Managers are always short on time. If they can get things done and move processes along during
wait times, then your entire organization can improve efficiency. SAP helps you enable managers
with a wide range of solutions. For example, managers can receive approval requests and then either
approve or reject the request to keep the workflow moving. In addition, they can gain insight with
ready access to reports and relevant KPIs. And managers will be able to check the availability of their
direct reports on a team calendar, no matter where they are.

Mobile solutions from SAP also help with specific HR-related duties. An interview assistant app,
for instance, helps hiring managers track candidates, access documents during interviews and
collaborate quickly to land the talent you need to thrive as a company. And with insight into important
human resources data such as workforce skills, managers can stay on top of HR duties with greater
efficiency and effectiveness.

Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services 11 October 2011


Sponsor’s Statement

Apps for Executives


More than ever, CEOs and other upper-level managers need timely, on-the-go access to key
corporate data to do their jobs effectively. With mobile solutions from SAP, your executives can get
the insights they need, when they need it. For example, they can access organizational data and
key metrics to make better, timelier decisions. They can also receive alerts, so they can manage
by exception and address critical issues right away to avoid business disruptions. This helps your
company stay on track no matter where the members of your executive team may be.

Apps for HR Business Partners


Mobile solutions from SAP enable companies to keep For More Information
their important HR business partners, such as recruiters, To learn more about how
informed of critical data within the organization. HR
mobile solutions from SAP
managers will be able to deliver the information partners
can help your HR organization
need in the moment to facilitate collaboration and operate
at peak efficiency. boost productivity, increase
efficiency and engage the
workforce, visit this Web page:
Proven Platform www.sap.com/mobile/hr.

The SAP mobile HR applications are built on the proven


Sybase® Unwired Platform and the Afaria® mobile device
management solution. With this technology in place, your organization can centrally manage a variety
of mobile apps, devices and data despite any underlying complexity in your IT solution landscape.
Mobile apps are readily deployed and provisioned wirelessly, and software updates and content are
distributed on a continuous basis after deployment—all without involving the end user. What’s more,
this technology makes it easier for organizations to write mobile versions of HR apps from proprietary
and third-party applications. n

October 2011 12 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services