It’s not a relatively new concept for the world, but for HR, the benefits of cloud computing are still catching on. The supporters of the technology claim it boosts performance, helps recruit the best talent, increases employee engagement, betters innovation and organizes data.
It’s also said cloud computing has helped close the communication gap that exists between HR teams, employees, and management.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
When it comes to HR technology, the mind boggles. While it sounds like a funny statement, the sentiment is true. There are a plethora of technologies out there meant to help the HR professional in their daily job activities. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality are just a few that are on that very long complicated list. Cloud computing is certainly among some of the top attention-grabbing technologies.
So, that begs the question: what are its benefits?
First and foremost, cloud computing offers unparalleled organization. Imagine a virtual series of filing cabinets each with specific information. Based on need and clearance levels, these filing cabinets are opened to every HR professional within a company. Files and documents can be easily shared, retrieved and updated… all of which can be recorded and time stamped. That’s the promise of cloud computing.
It also directly impacts the ability of HR to recruit that best talent available for the company. Normally a recruiting process is rather long and detail-oriented. Cloud computing streamlines the process. Placing the information related to the process in the cloud gives everyone immediate access to it. Feedback can be given and decisions made solely in the cloud.
Amongst employees, it allows for an unprecedented amount of innovation. Employees are able to share ideas with one another through the cloud community. In a lot of ways, the cloud outdates email or other forms of instant communication. And it’s not only accessible by those on the email, for instance, or even those in the chat client, everyone has access to the cloud.
And to be clear, this isn’t just workers. This applies to every level of the workforce from the entry level employee to the CEO.
The long and short here is the promotion of employee engagement. As more and more employees are migrating and successfully navigating the cloud, workers are not only engaging with one another, but with the company in a more open and honest way. Another word for this is transparency. That is key especially as the workforce continues to go through changes. This specifically refers to the growing number of Generation Z workers entering the job market.
Automating Data Heavy Processes
With cloud computing, many of the HR processes that include a lot of data can be automated. Examples include timesheet submission, performance reviews, and vacation requests. Employees can even update their own employee data forms. Once that is complete, the cloud can take it from there automating the update process for forms linked to that particular employee. This includes income tax information and emergency contact updates. It can even include the signing off of various documents such as the company code of conduct, the employee handbook, and sexual harassment training.
Moving this process to the cloud eliminates huge amounts of paper work. It also puts a stop to large amounts of errors and the possibility of incorrect data.
All of this, by the way, leads to a much higher employee satisfaction rate and promotes business efficiency.
As previously mentioned, forms that require employee sign off can be managed through cloud computing, but that’s not the only form or compliance HR needs to be concerned with. Automatic software updates are a benefit of cloud computing. HR is often required to generate several comprehensive reports at specific intervals. In addition, companies are required to certify that technology being used is being used properly. Cloud computing can help with this.
It goes without saying HR is operating in a data-driven world. One aspect of that is keeping data safe. HR is the curator of huge amounts of employee data… everything from social security numbers to direct deposit information. When thinking about the benefits of cloud computing, there is an instant, knee-jerk reaction to the potential vulnerability that comes with cloud technology.
By its nature, cloud computing technology is developed with security as part of its overall make-up. It is, for lack of a better phrase, built into its DNA. That doesn’t mean that every cloud system is safe. They’re not. Each technology has its vulnerabilities. This is simply a fact of life.
Learning in the Cloud
One of the benefits of cloud computing is the ability to share knowledge. Sometimes that knowledge happens in the form of learning or training.
A great of example of this is Springfield Clinic in Illinois. According to Forbes, the clinic uses a cloud technology to keep its staff “compliant with federal and state regulations as well as current in patient care best practices.”
Essentially, the clinic uses the cloud to build a series of online courses. They are able to upload videos for learners to watch and also to take quizzes focused on the material. Forbes also reports the system offers courses on HIPPA privacy regulations and Hazmat procedures among other things.
In short, cloud computing is here to stay. More and more HR departments are moving at least some of their processes to the cloud. Those companies who don’t migrate to the cloud face a real possibility of being left behind and thus hindering the company’s ability to grow and compete.