Better Agility Through Workday Extend

Author Stefano Di DomenicoStefano Di Domenico
Date December 9th, 2020

Better Agility Through Workday Extend
Workday Extend, formerly announced at Altitude 2017 as Workday Cloud Platform, is the Platform-as-a-service solution that lets you adapt Workday to your specific needs.
The tool brings customers the ability to expand Workday’s functionality, by enhancing existing features or even creating new ones from scratch. 

Let’s see how this solution can help companies on their journey towards being more agile.
What does it mean to be agile?
Organizational agility is the ability of a company to adapt to a rapidly evolving and often uncertain environment. To do this, companies must be able to change quickly and renew themselves. Nowadays, more than ever, remaining agile is key to being a solid and successful organization.
According to Workday, being agile can be summarized in the following characteristics:

  • Responsive: quickly responding to change and innovating fast are key. Planning must be actively done, in a continuous and real-time manner.
  • Adaptable: leading companies are building flexible organizational structures and processes so that they can pivot quickly in the face of change.
  • Skilled: upskilling workers, knowing the target for new hires and increasing employee engagement means creating the workforce of the future.
  • Empowered: providing your employees with information. Agility requires you to give your people the data they need at the moment they need it.
  • In control: changing course on the fly. Staying agile means knowing when something is working, and being able to quickly realize and change directions when it’s not.

A recent research made by Workday reveals some key points that appear as fundamental for being agile.
They’re all actually related an co-dependant. These are:
Being responsive and quick
In order to respond to changes in real-time you need all areas of your company communicating with each other and sharing data, so that short-term planning can be made and decisions quickly taken, putting talent where it’s needed and building the business processes to support them.
Having an Integrated technology infrastructure, free of legacy systems
According to the research, one of the main barriers to comprehensive, real-time planning are inflexible legacy technologies.
As a critical component of agility, technology infrastructure must be fluid, scalable and capable of supporting cross-functional teams. Solutions must intercommunicate without middle steps so that information can flow and be effectively leveraged.
Empowering your workforce
The research found a strong correlation between enterprise-wide data access and the ability of businesses to make the best decisions for their future.
To compete, today’s workers and leaders must be empowered to make informed decisions at speed. That’s why leading businesses are tending towards getting rid of rigid bureaucratic processes and hierarchical structures that could hold their businesses back.

Providing transaction and reporting
data in real time for organization-wide oversight, they make sure that those closest to the point of action can ensure planning occurs at the right level of the organization and in an up-to-date manner.

Ensuring access to robust and accurate metrics
Metrics are key. Having an efficient way of measuring performance can make a huge difference at the time of making all kinds of decisions.
Workday and agility
Workday’s solutions such as HCM and Financial already offer a dynamic all-in-one approach that empowers this kind of agile workflow. Everything is connected, datasources feed the reporting engine, business processes empower users and notifications help organize and remind the work. All of this while one single security model keeps the valuable information secure, and a powerful analytics engine puts valuable insight at the reach of our hand.
But even today, in this digital age, there are companies applying this type of workflow that still rely on external non digitized solutions to address needs that are specific to their businesses, like email-based processes or even paper-based tasks. These kinds of tools are hard to track and leave data out of the loop, adding an extra layer of complexity to the workflow that gets in the way of remaining agile.
How can you find a replacement for such solutions and at the same time remain agile? Enter Workday Extend.
How can Workday Extend Help?
Workday Extend lets you build powerful and connected apps with ease and speed, eliminating infrastructure pain and the cost of building from scratch, allowing you to access and utilise all of Workday’s data in an integral way. This can be a great way to get rid of all these gaps in your workflow and level-up your company towards real agility.
Key points in Workday Extend features:

  • Access to Data/The power of one

One of the best things when using Extend is that it allows you to access and leverage all information available within the Workday environment, and even data outside of it vía RESTful API. This results in everything being relatable, data can be interrogated by the reporting engine, and results can be analyzed through the powerful analytics feature. All of this means having global data visualization at the reach of your hand, allowing you to quickly evaluate and take key decisions.

  • Seamless integration

Another benefit from this feature is that it helps keeping the user experience simple and consistent: apps seamlessly integrate with Workday’s native interface, be it in desktop or mobile, so everything looks and feels like Workday.
Pages incorporate the same business logic and data object layers and you can design custom search bar tasks, related actions items and even notifications.

  • Centralized Security

No risks. All Extend app data in Workday is secured by using the same security framework, with the existing Security Groups and Domains functionality, and using the same authentication login credentials.

  • Cost, projection and scalability
    • Since you don’t build completely from scratch, and have all of Workday’s data at hand, there is a significant reduction in development cost compared to the scenario of using external tools.
    • This is also true for maintenance: since Extend apps are update-safe from one Workday release to another, there’s no re-coding or regression testing needed
    • Being hosted in the cloud along with Workday, Extend apps are scalable and follow your business as it grows.


As a conclusion, if you are already using Workday’s services, Extend is probably the best way to upgrade your business towards agility. By doing so you will ensure having:

  • A more streamlined and centralized workflow.
  • A more linear and engaging user experience with a single user interface and security model.
  • Leveraging of all available data through reporting and analytics.
  • Scalable, update safe and context relevant solutions at a reduced maintenance cost.

BNB is Workday Extend Partner, do no hesitate to contact us to enhance your extensibility.

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