What We Learned at Workday Rising 2023 and This Year Can Unlock Your Enterprise ROI


12.19.2023 | Technical Articles


As 2023 winds down, there’s an important question business leaders need to ask: how well am I prepared for next year and years to come? We typically treat this time as a chance to reevaluate our long-term operational and financial strategy and incorporate the latest innovations into our overall approach.

Since attending Workday Rising in San Francisco, the Agilysis team has been hard at work taking the inspiring lessons learned from various sessions and conversations with our partners, consultants, and Workday leaders, and turning them into our go-forward plan.

Want some advice on how your business should start 2024? Here are the key takeaways from Workday Rising 2023 and how you can leverage the right partners to succeed.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

It’s undeniable that AI & ML have fused with every function in the business world. From HR and resource planning to financial management, this technology is streamlining workflows, reducing risk, and maximizing performance. Workday has been exceptional about encoding an AI-forward mentality into their DNA while also maintaining a commitment to safe, secure, and ethical implementation.

Just about every module has been elevated by AI. Take Workday Prism analytics as an example. The Workday team has redesigned the tool to integrate with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platforms in the hopes of streamlining the purchase order and invoicing process. When a supplier submits an order, Workday Prism reads and populates the requisition, generates a purchase order, and automatically generates an invoice through a bot.

This is only a fraction of the tremendous AI capabilities discussed across sessions—both in process and in the works.

Workday Prism

Speaking of Prism, this data hub has become the go-to reporting system for many executives who rely on its powerful capabilities for creating dashboards and gaining valuable insights. At Workday Rising 2023, session leaders shared two critical facts:

  • 83% of executives feel the importance of data-driven decision making has grown since the pandemic.
  • 19% of business leaders are confident their teams are prepared to use data to drive insight.

The need is urgent, and Prism empowers business leaders to have a unified view of enterprise data, improving quality while also reducing excessive time and cost. As a result, companies are seeking out more Workday Prism experts who know how to leverage this Workday feature, breaking down silos and simplifying processes to augment decisions and reporting at every level.

Workday Adaptive Planning

Throughout Workday Rising, we heard plenty of leaders and consultants talking about ways to make their organizations more agile and adaptive. It’s through tools like Workday Adaptive Planning that leaders can pivot with change and scale their strategy. From forecasting cycles and streamlining day-to-day activities to creating personalized employee growth plans, Adaptive Planning offers stepping stones and roadmaps for growth.

Like most of the Workday suite, Adaptive Planning has benefited from AI and ML implementations recently. Users are now able to enhance their anomaly detection, outlier reporting, and forecasting through their data and sophisticated algorithms. Soon, Workday wants to do the following with Adaptive Planning:

  • Fostering efficient company-wide planning across various operating systems and third-party platforms.
  • Promoting continuous recalibration to optimize exporting and improve the user experience.
  • Boosting the intelligence of Adaptive Planning, using native language learning models to answer complex questions faster and better with conversational AI.

As a result, we’re also seeing a high demand for experts with Workday Adaptive Planning expertise. The market still hasn’t caught up to the demand, so more organizations are turning to Workday staffing agencies to uncover hard-to-find professionals.

Workday Student

Within the last few years, we’ve had a surge in the adoption of Workday Student among universities and other institutions of higher learning. Leaders in the industry are leveraging the capabilities of Workday Adaptive for forecasting cycles, cash flow prediction for tuition, enrollment management, and managing employee information such as salaries and team sizes.

Several sessions explored real-world success, specifically:

  • Wellesley College empowering instructors to message all students (and even waitlisted students on a course roster with critical updates, consolidate advisory notes, and even improve ad hoc emails.
  • Hinds Community College embracing their digital transformation with Workday to eliminate paper, streamline HR processes, and create greater visibility into revenue spending.

Additionally, grant processes in higher education and healthcare often require customizations and workarounds to meet specific needs and requirements, which Workday Student can address.

Enhanced Cybersecurity

With all this innovation, Workday isn’t leaving security to chance. Across sessions and conversations, there was a clear emphasis on the importance of regulatory compliance and protection of PII. The demo session on Advanced Security Groups delved into configurable security groups that can protect users and make the lives of cybersecurity professionals all the easier. There’s flexibility and range around different user group types, which can prevent risky access or privilege creep.

Moreover, incident response has been a key focus. The volume of security alerts from traditional systems often overwhelms teams, creating a need for bots and automated responses to streamline the process. By automating certain tasks within Workday, security teams can free up time to focus on other security needs.

Hiring Talent

With all these potential innovations, organizations are weighing their options to harness essential Workday experts. Business leaders last year were convinced full-time employees with Workday talent were the best option, but economic uncertainty, tech layoffs, and anemic IT budgets have shifted to short-term strategies.

As these companies attempt to stay ahead of the curve, many are filling the gap with Workday consultants for short- and long-term projects. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. We’ve experienced success by calibrating our approach to different industries and scopes, using our experienced Workday staffing team to find the right people for the situation.

Just the Start

Overall, Workday Rising sessions highlighted the advancements in AI/ML, offerings designed to make organizations more efficient, increased cloud offerings, and the importance of having the right technology to meet specific business needs. Though innovation is critical, session leaders also emphasized the importance of fine-tuning the Workday solutions that are already in place.

When stakeholders see the ideal use cases and available functionality of the Workday suite, they’re eager to implement those capabilities. However, many go live without seeing the desired ROI right from the start. We talked to leaders throughout the conference about the importance of Workday stabilization as well as post go-live support.

Workday brings their own methodology to the table, but this is where working with the right Workday consulting companies makes a world of difference. By working with Agilysis to achieve your goals, you’ll have a much better chance of closing 2023 on the perfect note—and starting strong in 2024.

Interested in other topics from our Workday Rising 2023 recap? Reach out to one of our team members to learn how we can apply these innovative solutions to your organization.

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