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Chief Information Officers (CIOs) use cloud computing as a strategic tool. With the ability to rent computing and storage capacity and utilize HR software as business needs arise, CIOs can help their organizations seize new market opportunities without making huge up-front investments. Organizations can quickly take advantage of HR applications in the cloud that can be used to align the workforce, optimize their deployment, and accelerate their contribution to the organization’s strategic goals (or just about any other function).

The cloud offers a proven competitive edge, with equal or better security, and a growing stack of reliable open source software. A survey conducted by Wakefield Research found that more than 70% of CIOs simplified their IT processes by migrating to the hybrid cloud environment, thus consuming cloud in a step-by-step strategy. Start anywhere, go anywhere is SuccessFactors mantra. With solutions from SuccessFactors, CIOs don’t need to bet their company on moving to the cloud. You can take a hybrid approach in which you move less-critical apps to the cloud, for example, while keeping sensitive business functions in your existing infrastructure. This strategy allows you to keep pace with rapid innovations in the cloud and still leverage your existing on-premise investments until you are ready to move them to the cloud. New mobile or collaborative apps designed for remote access can be rolled out in the cloud from day one. In this way, CIOs can use SuccessFactors to complement and extend their existing ecosystem rather than replace it overnight.

A worldwide survey from Gartner showed that the average IT department spends 67 percent of its budget on maintenance and only 33 percent building new systems to grow and transform the enterprise. Unfortunately, these percentages are the exact opposite of what C-level executives want. “Business leaders reveal an insatiable desire to make their processes leaner, faster, and more agile and they expect to use cloud business services to do it,” concluded a recent global survey of 1,050 executives conducted by the London School of Economics. These executives want IT to be more nimble, to cut lag times between conception and delivery, and to do more with less. To be effective, a CIO cannot simply “keep the lights on.” Instead, a CIO needs to make thoughtful use of new technologies, such as the cloud, to focus on more strategic services that truly benefit the enterprise. Using SuccessFactors can elevate IT to a more strategic level and foster a new partnership between CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs giving IT a stronger voice.

Why is SuccessFactors different? Unlike other talent management and human capital management vendors, SuccessFactors offers more than process efficiency and transactional cost savings. Both enterprise-class and small to midsize businesses can use our full suite of talent solutions, core HR, collaboration, and workforce analytics to improve productivity and engage, retain, and motivate employees. And as an SAP company with world-class technology under the hood, SuccessFactors is positioned to provide end-to-end integrated business solutions that address the business challenges companies face.

Thinking of moving HR applications to the cloud? You need visibility into the solutions and the technology that powers it all before you let it interact with your people, processes, and data. The answers are in the palm of your hand with the SuccessFactors Cloud Technology app. Use our interactive app to drill down and find the exact information you need, when you need it. If you are interested in additional information you can also read the Looking under the hood: Answers to top questions CIOs ask cloud-based HR vendors white paper, or see a quick overview on How is an HR cloud solution like a car video to see how SuccessFactors People Cloud Solutions help you maximize your experience in the cloud.

Follow SuccessFactors on Twitter: @successfactors