March 2011

The benefits of HR and payroll over the cloud outweigh perceived threat

Despite the fact we use cloud computing on a daily basis in our personal lives, companies remain reticent to entrust their core functions, such as HR and payroll to companies offering Software as a Service (SaaS) functionality.

Before we examine the doubts business owners may have, let’s have a look at the benefits of using hosted services delivered over the cloud.

1. Cloud computing is cost effective.  Your IT provider will host services for multiple companies, allowing you to benefit from economies of scale. Sharing complex infrastructure allows you to pay only for what you actually use – effectively a pay-as-you-go model.

2. Cloud computing is quick and easy to implement and upscale. Cloud computing allows you to skip the hardware procurement and capital expenditure phase and is ready to go – perfect for companies of any size.

3. Cloud computing allows you to be completely up-to-date. Updating software and adding new features on the fly is important in the HR and payroll space. SARS and the Department of Labour changes can be incorporated immediately, ensuring compliance and reducing operational risk.

4. Cloud computing is infinitely scalable. If your business is growing fast or has seasonal spikes, you can go large quickly because cloud systems are built to cope with sharp increases in workload. Obviously this is also true in the reverse, and together with the pay-as-you-go model, make Software as a Service in the HR and payroll particularly compelling for companies who deal with season staffing spikes and casual labour.

5. Cloud computing enables a truly mobile workforce. If you have a mobile workforce, your staff will have access to most of your systems on the go. For companies looking to expand into other regions, this is also compelling because it means they can ensure ubiquitous services across all their offices, delivered by a single service provider.

However, security is listed as the number one concern when it comes to SaaS. It is important to remember that providers of virtual services have some of the most stringent and complex Service Level Agreements. From the moment your data leaves your desktop, it is securely encrypted, delivered over managed networks and stored in remote server farms with some of the most advanced security protocols in the world. From a logical point of view, it would seem the benefits of cloud services far outweigh the perceived drawbacks and companies would be foolish not to have HR and Payroll software delivered over the cloud firmly on their radar.

For more information please contact CRS Technologies COO, Dave Philp on davep@crs.co.za or 021 555 2660.