The growing availability of technology and software solutions has had a significant impact on human resources and the entire business environment. These developments have allowed HR professionals to more efficiently address the administrative aspects of their role while also creating an opportunity for them to work hand in hand with top management in achieving organizational goals. But, as experience has taught, not all HR technology solutions are equally effective in realizing these objectives.
While many HR departments are currently utilizing software technology for payroll or benefits administration to help improve efficiency, often these software solutions are stand-alone and cannot be integrated into a workflow model. The result is a group of siloed applications that have the potential to create even more work. As an example, documentation completed electronically (i.e. name, social security number, deductions, etc.) by a new employee for payroll purposes must be re-entered to initiate health and welfare benefits – and with each entry the chance of a manual error becomes greater.
To overcome these issues, organizations are implementing cloud-based Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). The single platform solution integrates and automates the workflow of the many steps involved in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, education and skills tracking, performance appraisals, real-time reporting, asset/property tracking, electronic file cabinet, alerts/notifications, HR compliance/legislation, workflows, FMLA and more. The utilization of cloud services also greatly reduces issues and the time spent resolving them, allowing HR to focus more on human capital management.
For many organizations both small and large, it is an attractive and economical move that enables a shift from a capital investment model to an operational expense model. With the former, each software solution is owned by the organization but there are additional costs such as the support and services of an IT professional, data storage/backup or compliance requirements. These ancillary costs add to the total cost of ownership (TCO) and ultimately to the total cost of operations. The operational expense model on the other hand, using a solution like an HRIS where services are in the cloud, is more easily budgeted for and further substantial savings can be achieved through its automated capabilities.
Along with the financial benefits, a cloud-based single platform solution offers a host of other benefits that deliver convenience and flexibility. Users can select from a pre-packaged grouping of application modules, add to a pre-packaged system for a hybrid solution or custom design a package of application modules to meet their unique needs. Any or all of the application modules chosen by the user can be integrated, making them more cohesive and providing easier access to whatever information is required at any given time, be it procedures, policies, or other related services. It can also deliver new data in real-time to keep HR and management informed of any performance issues that might affect the organization’s productivity. Communication via a centralized system allows everyone in the organization to be on the same page, helping to prevent misinformation or miscommunication.
Single platform solutions can also significantly improve people management and processes across an organization with automated workflows. Cloud based human capital management (HCM) allows for employee performance management and other management processes to be automated or handled by providing easy and convenient access to employee information including demographics, work profiles, disciplinary actions, education, skills and work history. These capabilities and applications can help the organizations engage in more strategic planning while increasing the efficiency of employees and the overall productivity of an organization.
Technology is redefining and reshaping the HR environment and single platform HRIS is an invaluable and indispensable tool in accomplishing this change.