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March 1, 2018

We cannot deny the fact that our traditional HR systems have evolved over the years and assisted in executing the functional needs. However, due to digital technology disruptions, our workplace is dynamically changing and becoming more agile, collaborative, and team based. HR function has not been able to keep pace with these disruptions due to slow rate of adoption of technology. It is high time for HR to align with digital technology and make its processes simpler, transparent, and more efficient.

Testing times for the HR industry

HR function today faces a plethora of challenges. Working with legacy systems, which have not kept pace with the technology advancement, addressing software “end-of-support” and obsolescence every 7-8 years, handling paper work and dealing with errors, keeping with hardware system upgrades, all such non-core activities take a toll on the productivity of the HR function. Most importantly, HR function is not able to provide a uniform experience to its employees due to fragmented data and age-old user interfaces.

Businesses today are spread across geographies, time zones, and cultures requiring uniform work experience across the HR value chain. Employees work remotely in collaborating teams demanding anywhere, anytime access to accurate and timely information. Dated HR practices and legacy systems are incapable of living to the expectations of the employees.

Cloud – a game changer

According to the PwC’s Global HR Technology Survey 2017, two years ago, 68% of organizations had at least one HR process on the cloud. In 2017, that number climbed to 73%. Out of those who still use on-premise applications (hosted within the organization’s four walls), nearly one-third are actively planning their migration to the cloud over the next 12–18 months. HR system users are finding it difficult to manage siloed systems from various vendors, and are now demanding integrated systems. To meet the demand, vendors have started focusing on making their offerings integrated and cloud-based. Evidently, the cloud technology has evolved from talent management suites to complete Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions.

Industries such as retail, hospitality, and staffing employ huge workforce and have a high employee turnaround in terms of hiring and attrition. The nature of business requires them to quickly scale up or down based on location demands and other aspects of customer behavior. A cloud-based talent management solution offers enhanced productivity and lower cost of ownership while addressing such requirements by providing pay-per-use models and quicker time-to-market.

For instance, a retail chain planning to put up a large number of stores will need to ramp up its employee head count with specific talent and certain linguistic preferences. A multi-source recruiting and onboarding solution on the cloud with pre-built interfaces with third party sourcing would enable better fulfilment of talent requirements. Likewise, if a global hospitality chain requires its employees across geographical regions to be trained on local etiquette and culture, a cloud-based learning management module would be a more feasible solution with multi-lingual content and various delivery mechanisms – instructor led, collaborative, or self-learning, and would be equipped to handle initiation and accomplishment records of the trainees.

Judicious selection – key to a cloud-enabled future

Cloud-based systems will fetch the following benefits to the HR function:

  • Quick transformation: Transforming the processes is much quicker and easier through cloud-based HR solution as compared to a traditional solution. It eliminates the involvement of local IT, need to install hardware, worry about maintenance and other traditional implementation issues and can be accessed by any authorised employee with internet connection.
  • Integrated solution: Cloud-based HR solution takes care of most of the processes in the HR value chain. Need be, it can easily interface with the existing payroll software to provide a consolidated data repository of talent pool across the organization.
  • Next generation features: Cloud-based HR solutions are developed around the best UI/UX guidelines providing user-friendliness and pleasant experience. Features such as dashboards, graphic-rich reports, and talent analytics enable leadership to take quick and informed decisions on human capital.
  • Return on Investment: Cloud-based solutions are offered in a subscription model and do not require large Capex Investment. Complete hardware, software, administration, and support including upgrades are managed by the solution provider thus reducing the cost of ownership.
  • Security and safety: Cloud-based HR solutions are hosted on certified Data Centers adhering to security and safety standards. High availability ensures secure, safe, and uninterrupted access to applications and data.
  • Collaboration & Mobility: Modern cloud-based HR solutions incorporate collaboration and mobility enabling remote teams anywhere, anytime access.

However, it is important to be careful while selecting right cloud-based system for your needs. You must thoroughly research and evaluate the solution based on your current and future requirements. Else, you may end up paying for unwanted services or receive deficient, non-scalable solution for paid up subscription.

Are you contemplating moving to a cloud-based HR solution, and have thoughts to share? Do reach out to us.

Madhura Gokhale is a Pre-Sales Consultant in the CHROMA - Platform Solutions Unit at TCS. In her professional experience spanning over a decade in TCS, Madhura has worked for various portfolios in core HR spanning from corporate policies and processes, business units, regional deployment and audits. Madhura holds a masters degree in Human Resource and has done her MS in Counselling and Psychotherapy.


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