Analyst Insight: Global Payroll Rising: Workday Product Announcement & Event Recap

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Workday recently held the 15th annual session of its Workday Rising client conference. This year, the popular fall HCM technology event returned to San Francisco, the host city for the first-ever Workday Rising event in 2007. This year’s Workday Rising event was bigger than ever, drawing over 15,000 in-person and virtual attendees from across the Workday ecosystem.
Workday confirmed its flagship event would make its way back to Las Vegas in 2024 – one of a handful of cities capable of hosting a rapidly growing Workday ecosystem that now boasts more than 10K midsized and enterprise organizations, over 65 million users, nearly 18K Workday employees, and hundreds of partner organizations.

Business Update

Workday closed another year with positive momentum as FY’23 revenues reached $6.2b, up 21% y/y, driven by the steady adoption of its suite of enterprise technology solutions. Workday now supports an
impressive 50% of the Fortune 500 as its ERP-focused suite has matured.
Most notable is Workday Finance, where the technology firm has doubled down on its investments and capabilities at a time when financial modernization is a key priority amongst enterprise buyers, many of whom have already made progress on HR modernization efforts. Finance now leads about one-third of all new client sales, and half of Workday adopters leverage its HCM and finance suites in tandem, with over 70% live and maintaining a steady 96% CSAT for FY’23.

Workday Innovation Path

Machine Teaming

Generative AI (GenAI) dominated the conversations and product innovation announcements at Workday Rising and will shape Workday’s “near and next” innovations. But it isn’t simply about “doing AI” to check a box. Instead, it is a design principle at Workday that centers on the concept of an augmented user experience incorporating “machine teaming” to increase efficiencies, activate data and insights, and enable greater human productivity.

It’s essential to understand Workday’s history and approach to AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning), which is rooted in “ethical, secure, responsible, human-focused development.” Workday has been exploring AI and ML since 2014/15 when it introduced its first ML models and later (2018) built its own AI/ML platform and began using LLMs (Large Language Models) in 2020. Further, Workday has enabled and positioned its infrastructure as an “intelligent digital backbone for the modern enterprise,” which processes over 625 billion transactions annually, and to that end, has enabled its technology to leverage AI and ML natively vs. as a bolt-on solution, meaning it is natively integrated across models, data, and source code for a seamless, “always on, always ready” augmentative experience.

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