Global Payroll Association's Q&A with Brian Radin

May 10, 2017  | Topic: Strategy

To read Brian's full interview with Cath Everett of the GPA, click here.

Brian Radin’s entry into the world of global payroll was certainly not in a straight line but rather, as he puts it, “a very jagged” one. The president of cloud-based payroll and payments software provider CloudPay has worked in industries ranging from cable TV to financial services and as everything from a consultant to an investor, even starting four companies along the way.

In bringing this entrepreneurial spirit to CloudPay, his objective is to re-energise the company and put it on a high growth trajectory. Here he talks to editor Cath Everett about how he is attempting not only to “reconnect” the company to the market, but also to exploit the trends that he believes will shape the industry over the next few years.

Q. What key trends are you seeing in the global payroll space?

The global payroll transformation process started when enterprises moved to Software-as-a-Service-based (SaaS) HR a few years ago, but I believe we’re reaching the peak of that purchase cycle now. While we’re still seeing many companies buying SaaS-based global HR applications, I think adoption will now slowly start to slope downwards.

Global payroll transformation typically takes place about 12 to 24 months after a global HR transformation initiative, once the system of record is in place. Organisations want to leverage their HR software purchase by getting data in and out of their payroll system easily so they maximise their return on investment. Having the ability to centralise, analyse and distribute data to other departments is critical.

So it’s about 12 to 24 months behind HR, which means the market is another three to four years of hitting the peak of global payroll transformation. In addition, more companies are interested in cloud-based systems as they attempt to cut costs and simplify their operations.

But enterprises are also starting to tackle issues around data and analytics in order to find out more about their payroll operations and the performance of their teams – something that was partially sparked off by the introduction of stricter European Union (EU) privacy directives, including the EU-US Privacy Shield, which caused anxiety for many US-headquartered organisations.

Q. Why are customers evaluating cloud-based global payroll systems in particular?

A lot of organisations are frustrated with the systems that are currently out there on the market. 

Technology in this area is generally lagging behind that of other sectors such as fintech, HR or healthcare. It has been slower to evolve, which has had a negative impact on the software’s functionality and cost.

But the market leaders are comfortable with the status quo and don’t have the impetus to change - and customers also aren’t pushing them hard enough with their wallets. If you provide better software and services, however, you can be more effective at reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

Another challenge for organisations is attracting the best software development professionals. Consumer rather than enterprise markets and non-payroll industries such as fintech and healthcare tend to attract the best tech talent. Candidates in the payroll space often find that the core technology is behind the times and consider the content and audience to be less interesting. That doesn’t mean there’s not some quality talent out there – we’ve been able to attract some great people. But it is challenging to attract and retain good developers in the payroll space.

Q. What are you doing to reposition the company in order to exploit “peak” global payroll transformation when it comes? Click here to read the rest.