Move HR to the Cloud and See the Difference: 5 Reasons to Switch

Businesses are switching to the cloud faster than you can say, “I hate my filing cabinet,” and for good reason. Cloud technology can significantly improve a broad range of business processes. From the back office to the front desk, cloud technology is transforming the way we work–for the better.

Take human resources. HR is seeing significantly positive results from switching to the cloud—so much so that 57 percent of companies plan to make the move within the next 18 months.

Organizations that have adopted the cloud already—which may include data and security, payroll and benefits, or performance monitoring—describe how much easier it is for HR staff to access and manage a vast amount of information. And it’s not just because the cloud frees up extra desk space.

  1. Better Agility

HR applications have a short shelf life. The average HR management software is around five years old, and five years makes an enormous difference when it comes to technology—which is changing at a light speed.

The pace with which technology changes means that, as companies grow and HR management systems age, HR managers continually need to upgrade existing systems or buy new ones, which is expensive, time-consuming, and downright annoying.

Cloud-based applications, on the other hand, are easily scalable, and the vendor manages the updates, so you never have to worry about upgrades again.

  1. Self-Service Functions

The cloud’s benefits don’t end with its flexibility. Cloud-based applications are increasingly self-service. They use what’s called a multi-tenancy framework, which means employees can gain access to information in the cloud from anywhere.

Giving employees access to their information eliminates time-consuming HR tasks, like processing requests for time off, updating employee information, opting in or out of benefits, and other responsibilities that used to require hands-on assistance.

Now, your employees can log into the system and do it on their own. What’s more, they can review their information anytime, at their convenience, not just during business hours. Being able to manage this information not only makes their lives easier, which helps boost morale, it frees up valuable time so they to focus on other things.

  1. No More Paperwork

HR responsibilities have always required lots of paperwork. Whether it’s employee records, compliance information, or job applications, there are always forms that need to be filed or updated.

Cloud software eliminates this. Digital records can be maintained in compliance with data security regulations. Data can be categorized and indexed, so the forms are quick to access or scan. Updating records is easy, too; electronic data capture means you don’t have to re-enter information or fill out new paperwork.

  1. More Efficient Use of Time

Saving trees is always a good thing, but saving time is what really attracts HR departments to the cloud. By automating processes and making information easily accessible, HR managers can make better decisions in a shorter amount of time.

Need more benefits? How about this? Cloud-based systems have streamlined the hiring process, and can be used to analyze candidates’ skills and qualifications. Performance reviews are much simpler to conduct and update in the system.

Using cloud-based systems even reduces the time spent promoting an employee. Computer giant HP, for instance, recently found that process to manage an employee’s promotion—which had previously taken about 45 minutes—takes about one minute in the cloud. HP’s help desk tickets also decreased from 1,200 to 20 tickets per day as a result.

With so much time saved, it’s no wonder companies that migrate to the cloud are reporting an increase in saved time and productivity.

  1. Cost Savings (And Even a Boost in Profits!)

All these benefits translate into cost savings. After all, time is money, right? Though cloud software requires an initial investment, it more than makes up for it with the heaps of time and headaches it saves. A December 2014 survey published by the audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG, cited driving cost efficiencies as the primary use of cloud services (49 percent).

The KPMG survey results also revealed that in increasing numbers, organizations are using cloud technology to enact large-scale change, whether within individual business units or across the enterprise. These transformative uses of the cloud include better enabling a flexible and mobile workforce (42 percent) and improving alignment and interaction with customers, suppliers and business partners (37 percent).

Here’s the thing, as I have said before, to handle the cloud requires smarter aggregating and maintenance of talent data. We’re moving past that first wave and now have multiple systems for managing data, from individual performance to larger institutional and organizational trends. But we still have a lot of work to do.

Nonetheless, between the benefits to employees and your HR staff, as well as the potential financial savings, moving to the cloud should be an easy decision–and one that you must move on quickly.

photo credit: Light Bulb Cloud via photopin (license)

Introducing the TalentCulture #WorkTrends Chat and Podcast

We’ve all seen many a site proclaim significant changes for 2016, but in this case, the proclamation is earned, and real. It’s been quite a ride and I will continue to make new things happen here. My friend in forecasting and futurecasting about the world of work (Kevin W. Grossman) is heading for some exciting new ventures and partnerships, and so am I—right here— with the TalentCulture Community. Kevin is still going to be a featured voice here on the blog as we move forward.

I’m amping up my own podcast, shifting from #TChat to a focus on something new, and we’re incredibly thrilled to announce the launch of #WorkTrends—the new incarnation of our current podcast and Twitter Chat on The Future of Work, but with a sharper lens.

Our new #WorkTrends podcast and Twitter chat kick off on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, from 1-2 PM EST.  It’s the same time and channel for those who participate along with us weekly. 

As you know, my passion is about the workforce and most importantly, its valuable people; both in the workplace as well as how we navigate this amazing new global, multicultural workscape. Things like big data, cloud technology, mobility, and social media continue to influence all things about work as we know it today, and as it will be in the future. How those things impact your brand, recruitment and hiring practices, loyalty, corporate culture, marketing, social media, employee retention and beyond are all things I’ll examine in great detail moving forward.

And yes, I see this as a workscape for The Future of Work. The clarity with which innovation bumps us into a new awareness is the same vision we need to maintain, and that’s what #WorkTrends is all about.

The world of work has so radically evolved in the past decade. It has changed, and when looking back, sometimes it’s hard to fathom the incredible leap we’ve taken. In honor of that evolution, I was reflecting on all the work and adventures Kevin and I have been fortunate to be able to do, and I realized that he and I have taken one incredible social and learning journey together. It’s always a leap of faith to trend cast, particularly when it comes to brand and talent issues these days: like weathercasters, getting it wrong can have profound consequences. We are still searching for answers and asking questions along the way.

But we’ve also managed to get it right. We both share respect for the power of analytics and the importance of cross-generational teamwork, along with an appreciation for the value of employers who understand brand awareness and the candidate experience. We live on mobile devices and in social channels, so the leap to seeing work take on these facets has been a natural one for us, and always exciting to share with the community we’ve created.

As a fellow work-caster, Kevin has been a font of wisdom and a great friend along the way. Kevin also understands, firsthand, the value of seemingly trivial things–like middle initials. I applaud Kevin and all he has accomplished and continues to do at The Talent Board and am looking forward to watching him do what he does best—make great things happen.

As for me, I’m interested in how we dovetail talent, technology and business, enabling the right kind of intelligence without disabling the right quality of interaction for the future of work. What we’re learning about this is incredibly exciting, and in the same vein as we work to forecast new trends. I’m also profoundly impressed by the team of talent and the community I have with me, and you’re going to see the results of all this work I hope.

It’s going to be exciting to set off into 2016 with this super foundation as a jumping off point. So hang onto your hats. Here we go! I have more exploring and collaboration to do. We all do.