Why You Should Build Your Next Custom Enterprise App in Workday Extend


07.13.2022 | Managed Services


Nowadays, your digital tools shape your ability to achieve operational or financial goals. If you’re lucky enough, cost-effective turnkey tools can overcome your current shortcomings, but if not, you’ll need to develop an enterprise application from scratch to close any prevailing gaps. What if you only need a defined feature rather than an entire platform? Workday Extend apps help to bridge this gap.

Business stakeholders can rapidly build and deploy customized features that address key requirements and exhibit the same usability, interoperability, and strategic insight as other Workday modules. But what do the full Workday Extend benefits look like in practice? And how are businesses using the flexibility of the platform to realize their organizational vision? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Workday Extend?

At its core, Workday Extend is a user-friendly development tool that enables organizations to architect custom applications that integrate with their Workday data, allowing end users to update, wield, and analyze that data seamlessly. Typically, these applications are designed to overcome a challenge or provide functionality lacking in the current suite of Workday products. For those who cannot wait for Workday to release their desired functionality, Extend accelerates their capabilities to stay ahead of the curve.

Extend is built with speed, security, and scalability in mind. The building process is intuitive. There are even drag-and-drop capabilities to create a user interface mirroring the typical Workday experience. This approach expedites time-to-launch as well as user uptake for those already familiar with the layout and feel of these enterprise cloud applications. Plus, the ability to centralize data created or loaded by new apps into existing data structures helps organizations prevent data silos and reduce vulnerabilities.

Examples of Workday Extend Apps

With the open-ended nature of this tool, organizations may struggle to envision Workday Extend apps and use cases. The good news is the capabilities of the platform are only limited by the creativity and vision of your developers. Here’s a glimpse at the possibilities of organizations have unlocked:  

Stock Option Enrollment

Let’s say When Netflix wanted to simplify the stock option enrollment process for their 7,000 eligible employees, they decided to build a custom application. Since the streaming service already used Workday products ranging from Financial Management and HCM to Payroll Procurement and Time Tracking, Extend seemed like a perfect fit. Using the platform, they were able to create a usable and secure platform that leveraged existing data within Workday to empower eligible employees to access a variety of stock options, including those “higher-risk/higher-reward” options that offer dividends for employees in the long run.

Custom Time Tracking

What happens when users have issues? Or the in-house team fails to adjust to the new implementation? In other instances, organizations can create cost-effective, pared-down versions of existing applications. One of our clients wanted a basic time tracking application without all the rich features and functionality of the Workday Time Tracking tool. Our team specified requirements with the client’s stakeholders to determine the minimalist needs of their small subset of employees (starting, finishing, basic commenting, etc.). We wireframed the UI, discussed how it would fit with their other Workday products, and determined the best design to capture time. Now, the beta version is live and client users will give feedback on any additional steps. Overall, the early reviews are positive.

Annual Compensation Review

With the hopes of improving their performance review process to make the ratings more nuanced, BCBS of North Carolina chose to build and deploy a custom app that integrated with their Human Capital Management program. Managers who use the program have access to a decision tree within their Workday dashboard that allows them to make consistent and equitable decisions about compensation and bonuses based on specific prompts. Now, leaders can view manager’s decisions and understand the justification for employee awards.

Workday Extend Is Always Evolving

This is only a small sample size of Workday Extend benefits. From complexity to mobile accessibility, this development tool fits a wide range of challenges and desired capabilities. Plus, Workday is always expanding the development power and malleability of Extend. For example, organizations were not initially able to save and manipulate data from outside Workday, but that has since been changed to improve the overall user experience.

Best of all, Workday prioritizes backwards compatibility of Extend applications, ensuring that even if their enterprise cloud applications add a feature that overlaps with your investment, your custom tool will not be involuntary retired. You’ll be able to handle challenges and achieve solutions your way, however that best suits the goals and vision of your business.

Want to learn more about Workday Extend apps and examples like these? Reach out to the Agilysis team to hire top tech talent or even an entire team to complete your custom application process.

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