Why moving your HR to the Cloud might be one of the smartest moves you ever make

September 11, 2013
By guest blogger - Gareth Cartman

Having your head in the clouds isn’t often an attractive trait in business. Daydreamers without much of an idea or awareness of what’s going on around them don’t generally make it to the top. Astute business people succeed because they’re switched on, alert and driven to their goals – usually following an orderly manner.

Time to turn that on its side though and start imagining how it might be up there in the Clouds. Of course, that’s Clouds with a capital C – not the milky random shapes you see drifting across the sky.

Anyone aware of technological trends will be well informed of the Cloud by now since it’s taken the business world by storm (ironically with some pretty positive forecasts).

The Cloud: at a glance
There’s no denying the revolutionary trend of the Cloud and the way it has transformed the way business is done today. This has been a quick process – tech-savvy HR is a relatively new idea, and usage of the cloud in the HR industry took a while to get off the ground.

Whether you’re talking about software, platforms or infrastructures, the Cloud as a service enables users to share resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale over a network.

A few key benefits of Cloud computing for all industries include:

  • Agility – improved with users’ ability to re-provision technological infrastructure resources
  • Cost – claimed to be reduced, especially in a public cloud delivery model capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure
  • Independence – users are able to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location and device (computer/tablet/Smartphone)
  • Multi-tenancy – enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users
  • Reliability – improved if multiple sites are used
  • Security – could improve due to centralisation of data, increased security-focused resources etc.
  • Maintenance – of cloud computing applications is simpler since they don’t need to be installed on each other’s computers and can’t be accessed from numerous locations
  • The Cloud’s function in the HR arena
    The multi-faceted benefits of the Cloud across all industries is evident, yet it’s significance in the HR arena is perhaps one of the more revolutionary examples of just how much power the Cloud could be potentially packing.

    According to Deloitte, cloud computing can enable organisations to do entirely new things, such as helping HR organisations of any size compete and operate on a global scale.

    And HR firms seem ready for the change with recent research suggesting 84% of surveyed HR firms are either transforming or planning to transform how they handle human resources functions.

    Key factors driving the trend are a mix of new choices (with companies having new options for deployment and service models) meaning more benefits in terms of efficiency, availability, scalability and speed. Plus the demand for ROI is a significant factor – companies have an increasingly limited tolerance for spending money on technology without tangible results.

    And let’s not forget that while software and hardware sales in general have declined in the current climate, cloud-computing solutions are growing at two to three times the pace of on-premises solutions.

    Why HR organisations won’t wander lonely on a Cloud
    HR organisations that are switched on – there’s that term again – remember, we’re not talking about the daydreamers here – should recognize emerging cloud capabilities and take advantage of new service offerings, such as more flexible, affordable systems. One thing’s for sure – they won’t be alone making the leap upwards.

    Remember, cloud computing in HR doesn’t require: maintenance, infrastructure, storage space or expensive software. You don’t need extensive training, you don’t need ultra-fast connections and you don’t need to employ any specialist teams or spend a shed load of money. That’s got to appeal to all SMEs.

    And for SMEs especially, the benefits are huge. An efficient Cloud computing HR system will revolutionize the entire recruitment process. Just a few advantages include:

  • Enable anyone in the company to access it
  • Set different levels of access for different employees
  • Allow online applications and automatic cost comparisons
  • Keep a track of the entire recruitment process
  • Set reminders
  • Store information online
  • Produce detailed reports and searches
  • Manage everything from inductions to appraisals
  • Create letters for holidays, hiring and compensation
  • In some cases, it will tie in with attendance and payroll
  • A department is only as strong as its contribution to the company. And for SMEs, if HR doesn’t speak up, it’s in danger of being drowned out by Finance, Marketing or other departments that demand more. Unless HR managers address the lack of HR systems in current SMEs, their importance will continue to decline.

    Yet thanks to the myriad of benefits Cloud computing offers, HR departments need to look beyond the buzzword and realise the business reality – before they’re outshone.

    Since 2008, the status of Cloud Computing has elevated as more and more companies realise its potential advantages. The number of products expected to be available on the Cloud is set to increase again.

    Tags: , , ,

    Leave a Reply