How’s life in the cloud? If you’re an HR manager you’re more likely than your IT counterparts to be leading the cloud computing revolution in your organisation. Recent research highlights 26% of 5,700 North American HR professionals surveyed saying their companies use 100% cloud-based applications, and 20% more use a combination of cloud and on-premises HR systems.

So far, so interesting. But there’s more. 64% handle their companies’ cloud-based HR management systems in-department with just 9% in the hands of IT departments.

A mini-HR revolution

These findings came as a surprise to the researchers, SilkRoad. So why are cloud-based HR solutions so popular with human resource pros? And why has the landscape changed so profoundly, so quickly?

It’s partly down to changes in the HR profession itself. Once the poor cousin, today’s HR departments are on a par with marketing, financial and admin departments. As their role has become more rounded, far-reaching and complex, so have the tools of their trade.  

Location, location, location

Once upon a time HR data was only available at certain locations and certain times of day. Cloud applications, in contrast, are available anytime, anywhere. This has apparently been the main driver in the HR cloud revolution, particularly with large national and multinationals whose HR people need to co-ordinate multiple locations across different time zones.    

Taking HR data into HR departments

Before the cloud, IT departments usually owned HR systems and data, inserting an extra layer of complexity into processes and procedures and sometimes even limiting access. Now HR experts have their data directly at their fingertips, with no delays and no middle man. It’s obvious the self-service trend gives HR departments much more freedom to make the most of their systems and the invaluable data they gather.    

Simple, secure cloud-based systems

Not so long ago, driving an HR system was a specialist job. Today’s simpler, easier, self-service cloud-based systems make HR management accessible to a broader range of HR staff, giving the right people the right responsibilities instead of limiting access to the few. Leaps and bounds in cloud security have meant more people are more willing to entrust precious employee data to an off-site location. And because cloud providers upgrade software constantly with feedback from previous releases in mind, it’s as ground-breaking and current as it is secure. 

Performance management

Cloud based systems allow fast, effective e-recruitment, giving you an edge over non-cloud competitors, ensuring that employees and their managers are focused on achieving their business goals.

Lower costs

There are cost benefits too, with on-site hosting often much more expensive than deploying applications in the cloud plus lower maintenance, infrastructure, storage space and hardware costs. Because people only pay for what they use, there are even more potential savings to be made.

Cloud computing systems are also perfect for the price sensitive SME sector, providing a low cost alternative with all the bells and whistles needed to drive success and deliver growth.

Beautiful green clouds!

Cloud computing is often greener, using much less energy than the average for on-site deployment. How come? Because multiple organisations share the same physical resources, they’re used more efficiently.

Should my organisation make more use of the cloud?

You might have security concerns and be worried about data confidentiality and safety. But cloud security is a hot topic and security concerns are taking second place compared to the many benefits. In the cloud, HR departments don’t need any expensive infrastructure, maintenance, storage space, training or even an especially fast connection. You can do everything you need to do via a basic browser  and combine it with specialist online HR software.

The alternative? You could steer clear of the cloud and carry on as normal. But the tipping point is on the horizon and more HR departments are heading skywards every day.  

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