Interview with Federico Francini, Managing Director of Workday Italy.

We have carried out a series of interviews with the main ICT and digital companies in 2021, in the light of the theme of Recovery plan, the plan for the recovery, economic and social, of the European nations.

The Italian government called it the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), Europe launched the Next Generation EU formula. We, in the headquarters that we are responsible for, the technological one, like to decline it as Next Generation IT: IT understood, both as Information technology, and as Italy.

Eight questions, whose answers allow us to highlight the position of society and to build an overall framework of participation of ICT realities in the growth of the country in the digital sense.

The starting context, therefore, is that of Recovery Plan. Of the 196 billion euros that will be able to invest our country, almost 49 billion will be destined to the digital transformation of the Italian society. But digital will also enter other sectors: health, education, infrastructure and the transition to energy and environmental sustainability. In all these areas, the role of the ICT will be central in 2021.

We address them on the basis of seven topics plus one: technologies for recovery plan, smart working, data driver, cloud, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, 5G. The eighth element is that ‘celato’ in the DNA of the society and clearly and distinguishably connotations the technological figure, the contribution that it will give to the national digital development.

Interview with Federico Francini, Managing Director of Workday Italy.

In the context of the Recovery plan • Next generation IT, what are the technological levers that will be moved first, to achieve what goals?

It is now clear that technologies and applications that can offer organizational agility, flexibility in process management, even those that are difficult to predict, and ability to adapt, involve and develop people, even at a distance, are essential elements. It is also clear that these benefits can be faster available using the cloud.

By cloud I mean applications dedicated to organizations, human resources and financial management designed for cloud from birth, without historical architectural or application regiments of the past. Only in this way can one get out of the schemes and trigger a real transformation that, as the word says, implies a strong change to obtain long-term benefits. To deal with this evolution, vision is needed, a propensity for change that also results in the adoption of technologies and applications that can provide sustainable organisational agility in the future and above all to obtain a data driven organization.

Basically: cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile applications, network (5G), regulated smart working, data drive approach and agility all around.

With Workday as the global leader in native and transformative cloud applications for human resources and financial resources management and as it is aimed at the medium and large companies market, we have been helping companies to undertake this transformation process for some time now.

For businesses, but also for the public sector, it is not enough to invest in technology to trigger digital transformation. Instead, it is necessary to make the whole organization and its employees ready with the skills necessary to use such technologies, to adopt and ride innovation, to face new business models and to plan and simulate the results of new organisational models with the right allocations of financial resources.

Digital transformation does not start with technology but starts with people transformation, so I think the first levers to move are the innovative cloud applications of Human Capital Management such as Workday that can provide long-term benefits in organisational agility, flexibility in processes and that they are

Smart working will become structural: with what technological and organizational impacts, in terms of workflow?

Smart working is not an emergency measure. Moreover, it is not only the forced remote working that we are all experiencing at this time on our skin between the 4 walls of our home with its pros and cons. Smart working is synonymous with flexibility, agility, accountability and sharing on the achievement of personal and business goals, mutual trust, adaptation of the workforce to new market opportunities and new organisational dynamics. But all this must be regulated and enabled with appropriate rules, technologies and applications. The network represents the basic infrastructure and therefore will have to be capillary and adequate to manage peak loading. The mobile computing equipment will have to be pervasive and the applications with which employers interact with their employees will have to enable major innovative changes, to ensure an adequate involvement and development of the workforce, skills and ability to adapt to the dynamics that we

Thanks to Workday, for example, organizations are in grade to facilitate and simplify smart working. Our solutions allow a consumer user experience and easy mobile app, provide continuous feedback, allow you to measure your company sentiment through frequent surveys, provide analyses of your business climate, employee welfare, and balance diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Workday system allows continuous performance management by supporting training aimed at filling skills gaps, and more, giving visibility on potential career paths and internal mobility, thus providing clear awareness and sharing of one’s work in achieving business goals.

With the appropriate precautions that cannot be dictated by a pandemic emergency, I am convinced that smart-working, where it is possible to apply it in an appropriate and regulated way, can significantly increase the productivity of people, increase the quality ratio

We are building a society that must learn to cultivate data from the time they are born. What will it be useful to do, especially on the PMS front?

Data should not only be created, cultivated and used with a precise goal from the beginning, but also be made to ensure that the correct data works for us, that they are able to help us make decisions, suggest actions and anticipate trends in a predictive way. A Data Driven company is the one where strategic planning, strategy execution, resource management, continuous decisions and analysis, represent activities based on information and data usable and navigable at will in real time, external and external, with the possibility

This allows you to plan and implement new strategies adaptively in a fluid way and with the full awareness of being able to analyze the results. Not surprisingly, Workday’s planning solution is called Adaptive Insights. This is a necessity today to compete on the market involving companies of every size and certainly also the SMEs. In the market of SMEs in Italy there are companies of limited size but representing leadership at an international level, which to compete on the market cannot ignore this dynamic and organizational agility enabled by a Data Driven approach.

The real problem with SMEs is that their slim organizations may be totally unprepared to adopt a data-driven approach, as this requires technologies, for example, predictive analysis and continuous planning, digital and advanced technical skills, typical of data scientists, which are not only the most important of all

So, the SMEs should come out of the traditional schemes where old management applications were considered a necessary evil or even a cost item; instead they should start thinking about cloud applications like enabling engines to ride new business dynamics, evaluating a TCO on With Workday we offer solutions to large but also media companies, the only difference lies in the adoption of best practices already present in Workday, in the configuration of the solution and in the sophistication of the integration environment.

The SMEs should invest in human resources and business management applications based on market-leading platforms, exit local logic, adopt Cloud solutions that can offer them all the benefits of frontier technologies (big data, analytics, AI,

In 2021 the cloud will be for everyone and everyone: does the multicloud become the new take-off runway?

We have seen that the first step is the selection of the right market leader cloud applications that can ensure an innovative transformation in the management of a company’s main resources (in the case of Workday human capital and financial resources) in unified mode and with embedded technologies of last However, it is important to be careful: if you fall back on the error of still choosing applications (even if in cloud) based on traditional logic without a real transformational vision and without a focus on simplification, you risk only moving the traditional complexity of legacy systems into the cloud

Workday had the courage and foresight in 2005 to start from scratch developing its HCM and Finance applications in a totally native way for the cloud, developed with technologies for the future and on the principles of how to interact typical of the internet and consumer world So Workday itself has tried out what benefits can be drawn from a totally innovative, transformative and forward-looking approach.

Like health, safety is increasingly a national direction. For the digital one, Italy is called to take a step forward. What will it do to accomplish it?

Security is an important priority not to be underestimated for both organisations and users. We have recently seen how much attention is rightly paid by users when it comes to providing data, even for right causes.

Companies and public administration are now centred on data for which security is the priority. All these realities need to be put in place to protect their users and themselves.

In Workday our top priority is to keep our customers’ data safe. We take strict security and privacy measures at an organisational, architectural and operational level to ensure that your data, applications and infrastructure remain safe. Data privacy regulations are complex, vary from country to country and impose strict requirements.

When choosing an HCM application, whether financial or otherwise, companies must choose one that allows customers to comply with their data protection obligations and protect the privacy of their data. With Workday solutions, customers get cutting-edge privacy features and practices that enable them to meet their privacy obligations. We consult with an international network of legal consultants, who have local expertise in over 80 jurisdictions. In addition, the over-over-over-the-counter global resources of Workday include a global monitoring service, a legal notification service provided by a law firm alliance that monitors regulatory changes for 58 jurisdictions. Through this global monitoring service, Workday receives notifications of changes to human resources and employment laws and regulations in a defined area of relevant areas covered, always keeping up with the pace.

Unbound by consumer applications, artificial intelligence no longer seems to be a How will we see it put to good use for the growth of the country?

Only the name artificial intelligence created a psychological barrier in the past years when man felt threatened. But today artificial intelligence is no longer an enemy because it is understood as an important help that allows us to focus on more valuable activities. Artificial intelligence includes a plethora of technologies, applications and purposes. A subset of artificial intelligence that, for example, Workday makes available today in its HCM and Finance applications is machine learning, i.e. algorithms able to learn and suggest in a personalized and individual way actions and automations to the users themselves or even In this regard, I think it is worth saying that Workday is able to base its analysis on a number of over 55 million users.

5G is on the way. How can you start by contextualizing it in the areas of recovery plan?

5G plays a key role in digitisation and business. This technology will bring a great change in all sectors also in terms of business and cybersecurity. 5G will have to have an important part in the digitalization of our country where we have long spoken about Industry 4.0. In the IoT field, it will also be a major step forward in terms of sustainability, where energy will be used better. While the change in the way you work will also benefit from smart working, I can only support what will come from it. Greater security, speed, virtual reality, new professionalism and training, reskilling, are just some of the elements that must be taken into account and on which you will need to invest.

At the beginning of February, during an event, Workday spoke about the impact of 5G on industry, on the implementation of edge and fog computing, on the rise of automation and artificial intelligence.

The eighth element: what will the Workday action characterize in 2021?

Workday’s action for 2021 finds a context that could not be more congenial to its portfolio of offer because its nature is characterized by the high transformational value of its solutions and the new year will be the improcrastinable moment for transformation

Today in the post Covid that unfortunately we cannot yet consider it such, the main concerns of the companies are concentrated on three fundamental necessities: organizational agility to face the dynamics future, Reskilling and Upskilling of the labor force, adopt best practices

We will continue to bring to the market tangible value and measurable and durable benefits over time that a unique and exclusive solution such as Workday is able to offer to deal with digital transformation both in the management of human and financial capital. All this, providing the best innovative technological tools and with a fast and engaging adoption, confirmed also by the fact that Workday today boasts 97% of customer satisfaction of its customers and that more than 70% of our customers acquired is already \live \ with

We have seen in a research on agility that many managers think that large companies can be stable while smaller ones are more flexible and fast. In fact, that’s not the case, and the pandemic has shown it, many traditional realities have had to act agile very quickly.

Agile companies, regardless of size, are both dynamic and stable. They are able to develop structures, governance agreements and processes with a relatively unchangeable set of fundamental elements, such as decision-makers, how resources are made and how resources are allocated and supervision is ensured. This fixed carrier structure, which could also include the main operating units of a company, can remain fairly stable for five or ten years. But these companies also have more loose and dynamic elements that quickly adapt to new challenges and opportunities. This flexible link, surrounded by the rest of the organisation, can even encourage employees to think and act as self-employed entrepreneurs.

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