Cloud computing completely changes HR managementBY ASHOK MUNIRATHINAM
Before the advent of cloud computing, firms were running on-premise software, where operations were slow due to the complexity in managing data and the process of manually transferring data between various systems or people.
In the HR industry, this meant that managing Human Capital got complex and difficult and it took long to respond to business changes.
To compound this, many HR departments have branches in disparate locations across different regions of the country, some even in different time zones, making it hard for communication and obtaining crucial data for processing.
In addition, HR departments have to interact with other departments to share data during the entire lifecycle of Human Capital Management.
A lot of these exchanges of information about new employees, right from sourcing, on-boarding, training, measuring KPI’s, tracking their progress, compensation, rewards, etc requires data entry into different systems, exchanging of critical data between systems or people and also in many occasions sending electronic files and documents to other departments.
Leveraging cloud computing
Now, however, cloud computing drives productivity from sluggish to swift. Cloud computing is a hosted service delivered to consumers via internet, speeding up business operations. This means that businesses can now store and share data and other information on this infrastructure and can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
Relying on cloud computing may be cheaper than on-premise software. Subscription is on a pay-as-you-go system, where such monthly subscription allows you to unsubscribe should you feel discontented with the software.
This also means that expensive long-term contracts are avoided. Gone are the days where budget has to be set aside for the maintenance and updating of on-premise systems; cloud computing software upgrading is totally completed by the service provider with robust data management suite.
Hence, cost and effort spent on such logistics can be reduced and an in-house IT department is no longer necessary.
Employees may now be able to access data and documents anywhere, anytime, and receive and send information in real time even using mobile devices. With instantaneous receiving and transmission of data and documents, processing can again be made quicker by days cutting down unnecessary delays.
Provisioning of right data at the right time to the users, whether they are management staff or employees is critical to business agility, and with the proliferation of mobile devices, access to these information via mobile devices has made it even more compelling.
Cloud computing also promotes employee self-servicing without depending on HR or administrative staff, thus speeding up the processing by days.
Cloud computing also brings other benefits such as a central, consolidated and comprehensive system, and all at a low cost, but to manage this complex infrastructure with volumes of data and documents, we need a real-time, scalable and secured Data Management platform.
Data management in cloud computing
At the heart of cloud computing is the data management platform which manages all the data and documents in a central repository and integrates various systems seamlessly.
Security in cloud computing is still a sticky point of discussion with some customers.
While cloud computing companies have taken measures to ensure the security of the cloud computing environment, security in data management again is key here, encryption of data both on-disk as well as in-flight provides fool-proof approach to data security.
General measures like Security checkpoints are maintained at various levels; some have several security screening that requires staff thumbprints for authorization, while others employ a team of world-class hackers to hack into the system every day, thus tightening the security into the system.
Hence, one can be assured that cloud servers and its data management suite are very secure, and it is safe to store data and documents such as employee records and company data on it.
In Singapore, organizations big and small are slowly but surely adopting cloud solutions.
In 2010, a recent study was conducted by research company Vanson Bourne entitled “Rising to the challenge: 2010 global IT leadership report”, and it was found that 76 per cent of Singaporefirms are already using cloud computing.
Some of them include government agencies such as the Ministry of Education and the National Library Board. The number has since steadily increased.
Cloud computing definitely brings tremendous benefits to Enterprises, allowing them to experience rapid growth though reducing cost, improving speed in serving data and documents and also backing up data.
Furthermore, Cloud computing can run both public and private and this also can be customized to fit the needs of each firm, and is tailored to its own scale of operation.
BIG DATA management and integration with various systems which provides Data Virtualization are integral parts of Cloud computing and remain as its bedrock.
Ashok Munirathinam, Database and Technology, SAP South East Asia