The cloud. It’s everywhere now, right?
“Okay, fine,” as an HR administrator, you might say to yourself. And…
“Why should I care about using cloud-based services for our HR department?”
Another good question.
We hear it all the time. So we’ve compiled a list. Of reasons why you should consider the cloud for your HR functions.
What’s the issue facing HR?
HR generates mounds of data. From recruiting, new employee onboarding, payroll, and performance management to name just a few. Which is all difficult to manage, especially while providing access for both current and past employees.
Typically, much of this data was handled offline with internal systems.
Companies traditionally invested in ‘installed’ systems, that oftentimes were heavily customized and then needed software updates.
Oftentimes, a patch-worked, intricate, and complicated set of software tools and processes. Difficult to maintain, and certainly expensive, requiring a dedicated IT staff.
And when companies do upgrade their software, they’re operating on legacy processes, dating back years.
HR needs to fight to overcome their burden as a cost center.
The cloud is changing all that.
What IS the cloud?
Everyone talks about “moving to the cloud.”
It suggests and promises the convenience of accessing files from anywhere.
In reality, the “cloud” is hardly floating like a mist above our heads. Rather, it’s a physical infrastructure, with a Google-amount of computers housed in massive warehouses all over the world.
And yet, as long as it’s easy to read email on our phones and watch movies on our laptops, we generally don’t take the time to wonder where our data actually goes, how it gets there, and what happens to it on the way.
Same for your HR activities.
Which is a good thing.
Because you care about the ways your HR department can run better, faster, more efficient.
Cloud-based HR systems live elsewhere—not on your premise. Hardware and software managed centrally, by experts, outside your company.
Why require everyone in the office to be a chef, making their own meals? Go to a restaurant for that.
Same with the cloud.
Focus more on the ‘whats’, less on the ‘hows’ for your HR tasks and projects.
Now, for the benefits…
1) Eliminate paper
Paper is yesterday’s way of doing things. Inefficient. Time consuming. Not secure. And easy to lose or make mistakes.
Trade all that in for apps that run and data that is stored in a single secure location. Electronically. In the cloud.
So you can…
- Find needed employee records quickly. No more accessing multiple systems or needing to share a request with someone else to get the information you seek.
- See an audit trail for the documents requiring compliance, which cloud-based systems do automatically.
- Avoid getting fined if an audit finds your record storage to be lacking.
2) For your eyes only
And any others you deem necessary.
Using your cloud-based software, authorize the right users for the right information. It’s easy to set permissions for all your sensitive employee and company data. Most software systems also have Two Factor Authentication and other security measures in place to keep employee data secure.
3) Always on, always available
We live in the immediate-access world.
Employees demand it.
Especially the new generation of workers. They want to work untethered, anytime, anywhere, from any device. From inside the office to outside at the coffee shop. While bussing to work or working from home. Using their desktops, smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Cloud-based HR software gives you all this.
HR teams and employees, empowered and able to tap into their systems, wherever they may be.
4) From the manual to the automatic
Let software platforms do the tedious tasks for you
Everything’s a blur when it comes to accessing and securing information. Think… resumes, employee forms, approvals and payroll. No longer can a business compete by doing things manually.
For instance, walk to the file cabinet, thumb through documents, find something that’s missing, recreate it, photocopy it, send it over for approval, get it back, re-route it, rescan it, figure out what changed… You get the idea.
Automation frees up your people, lessens mistakes, and speeds up…everything.
Create custom rules and workflows easily for your HR business. Have your people ensure a steady flow of relevant and current information, allowing your organization to:
- Design rules for routing documents to the right people—at the right times.
- Copy and move documents as needed throughout the network.
- Automatically notify staff and supervisors for certain conditions and events.
- Generate reports to see how people and projects are doing.
Let your systems work for you, instead of the other way around.
5) Make everything play nice
…with integrations between systems.
You know (or maybe not) how tough it is to integrate on-premise HR software.
The open nature of cloud-based software, combined with an Application Programming Interface (API), makes it easy to integrate systems and share data, real-time.
Why trudge through life with separate systems for payroll, timekeeping, benefits, and performance management?
Easy to integrate, easy to maintain, easy to use.
6) Save $$$
Because on-premise software systems are costly.
Costly to buy. Costly to maintain. Costly to upgrade. Costly to troubleshoot. Most of which requires a dedicated IT staff- that’s costly to hire and pay.
But with the cloud…
- Rent vs buy your cloud software solution, usually for a subscription fee
- Get automatic upgrades, without even noticing, new functionality gets introduced via the cloud
- Stop buying hardware because that’s the cloud provider’s job
- Lessen the need for IT allowing resources to support your company’s other priorities
- Get and stay compliant. Compliance functionality and workflows are easily built into cloud applications
Moving to the cloud sure makes budgeting and allocating resources easier, right? Not to mention better support for your HR function.
We no longer question the benefits of using email instead of traditional, snail mail. Same should be said for your company’s cloud-based HR software.
Going from a manual, paper-based system to a paperless, automated, cloud-based solution is hardly a choice.
It’s pretty much required to stay competitive in today’s business environment.
Which camp do you want to be in?