The roots of cloud computing can be traced back to the 1950s when mainframe computers were too large and expensive for companies to make them available for each of their employees. However, IT professionals envisioned a revolution in the technology where the entire amount of data can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. This motto led to many technological advancements such as the advent of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Virtual Machines until 1996, when cloud computing finally came into existence. Over the years, the technology has evolved into three models – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Cloud is transforming nearly all the major and minor industries in the market – health, retail, education, corporate, etc. The HR industry seems to be one of the industries benefitting the most. The sector’s use of cloud computing increased up to 73 percent in 2017 from 68 percent in 2016, as per PWC’s worldwide HR technology survey report published in August 2017. Many small- and mid-size companies have been early adopters of the technology in their business operations.
Systems programmed with automating data collection techniques enable the cloud process and store the data digitally in real-time. This data can be accessed from any device and any location. Such capabilities make this an omnipotent tool for HR professionals as they can now invest their valuable time in other value-adding tasks. A pool of HR processes such as payroll processing, performance tracking and appraisals, recruiting the talent fit for the company, workforce analytics, and management, etc. are easily managed by the HR cloud systems.
With the continual growth of an organization, managing job designs, planning the workforce, performance tracking, and legal compliances often come to HR managers as inevitable challenges. Switching from on-premises to cloud-based Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), in such a case, is shown to contribute to better strategic and operational workforce management in an organization.
Cloud is changing the talent-acquisition, retention, and compensation methods. The success of the company relies on the people working with them as employees, and it is the responsibility of HR folks to hand-pick the right talent for their organization. HR teams feel stuck when it comes to finding, developing, and retaining skilled professionals. The traditional e-software, in such a case, is not efficient in supporting the teams when compared to the cloud-based software.
The firms which offer HR cloud solutions provide round-the-clock assistance to HR managers to simplify their cumbersome work. Heavy paperwork has been replaced by smart processing and monitoring of real-time data collected through the modern HR system. Such software leads to effective management reporting, improved operational consistency, and huge data integration.
Using the cloud, companies are able to reduce the IT cost by approximately 30 percent. These modern HR systems are a perfect combo of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) to get maximum returns on marketing investments. The integration of social media, mobile technology, data analytics, and cloud computing makes the fusion stronger, scalable, striking, and more successful than their implementation in segregation. Around the globe, marketers are availing this phenomenal fusion, and SMAC’s worldwide revenue is expected to reach as high as $200 billion by the end of 2020.
Moreover, at 30 percent CAG, the value of the SMAC-driven market will be approximately $1 trillion by the end of the current decade.
Multinational companies who have thousands of employees find it extremely challenging to keep a sorted record of each one. Managing each with traditional on-premise software is too much a burden on the HR department. Cloud technology makes it more of a self-service system, where the data is stored in real-time and users can get access to the information from anywhere. Industry experts believe that cloud technology is fully-packed with security and confidentiality, as the cloud applications are designed with quality assurance and data obfuscation strategies that prevent stored data from unauthorized access. It is definitely much better than paperwork, in comparison, which is more prone to damage and loss.
Abhishek Agarwal is the Senior Vice President, Global Delivery at the Judge Group India.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)