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4 Reasons Why HR Should Start Data Migration to Cloud

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No matter the type of business you operate, human resources (HR) is an integral part of your organization. The responsibilities carried out by your HR department can vary greatly but usually entails recruitment, salaries and bonuses, redundancies and firing, as well as keeping the business up to date with any relevant laws and legislations that affect your company.

That means your HR team is dealing with data on a daily basis, a lot of data. How they store that data, and access it, can be a crucial part of your overall model. Not only do you have to consider how to store it, you also have to ensure that your data, much of which is confidential or sensitive, is stored and protected securely.

It used to be the case that this data was stored on-site or on specialist physical servers hosted by you or by a 3rd party company. In this modern age of cloud-based computing however, more and more businesses are looking at data migration to cloud servers. What are the advantages of this move? Does it offer better security and storage options? We look at four reasons why your HR department should start data migration to cloud sooner rather than later.

What is cloud storage?

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Cloud storage is a model where your data is stored by a cloud computing provider on the internet (in the cloud) rather than on physical servers. Cloud computing is now used for a wide range of services such as hosting VoIP for call center. A storage provider will usually specialize in managing and operating the storage of data as a service. It means you do not need to buy or maintain your own storage infrastructure.

It is estimated that the global cloud storage market will be worth a staggering $376.37 billion by 2029, a CAGR of around 24.0% over the forecast period (2022 - 2029). These estimates are due to both increasing data sets within the business community and also increased data migration to cloud storage services.

It is an on-demand service that provides you with the agility and scalability needed when handling large amounts of data and can be applied on a global scale. It is particularly useful to companies operating internationally. It is estimated that by 2025, some 100 zettabytes of data will be stored in the cloud, 50% of all global data. It is most often offered as a pay-as-you-go service though you can also choose monthly plans.

By utilizing cloud storage, you can ensure your staff can access data (where they have permissions) no matter where they are in the world. For example, your sales manager may be attending a trade fair in another country and can access any needed statistics or info with ease via their mobile device. Most providers also offer other services including analytics of all your data.

Four reasons why your HR team should start data migration to cloud

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1.    Ease of use and cost effectiveness

If you choose to store data on-premise, you face a number of difficulties and costs that do not occur when you switch to cloud storage. Storing your own data means installing and maintaining expensive hardware, software costs (and potential issues), licenses, as well as other potential issues such as disaster recovery or similar.

Cloud storage is a SaaS solution (software as a service) similar to the idea of enterprise call center software that eliminates nearly all of the hurdles you face if storing your own data. Deployment is far faster when you switch to a cloud storage service and you can be up and running shortly after signing up. You also only pay for what you need (though can quickly and easily scale up when needed) thus vastly reducing your costs when compared to on-premise storage.

There is no need to maintain your system as any required maintenance is carried out by your chosen provider. That extends to updates too; with an on-premise set-up, you would usually have to pay for any updates to the system whereas with cloud storage, your solution provider will do this at no extra cost to you.

Not having to maintain a system means less reliance on an IT department or team. This again reduces costs and can save on having to hire extra staff just to maintain your storage system. Depending on your organization type, it also means that your IT team can focus on other tasks and systems that may be important to your business.

With the ability to integrate multiple apps and tools such as mail merge to your storage system, it can also reduce the workload on your HR team. They can send notices of salary payments, expenses, or bonuses digitally, and this process can even be automated in many cases. That works in the other direction too; employees can book time off or notify changes of circumstances via a dedicated app on their mobile device.

2.    Security and compliance

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When you think about it, much of the data your company handles will have some degree of sensitivity. When it comes to customer data, especially when working in the area of relationship marketing, that can include bank details, personal info, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Your employee data is no different and your HR department has to ensure that all the data they hold is well protected.

In fact, the employee data held by your HR team may be even more sensitive as it can also contain health-related data where the employee has been off sick or if they have some form of disability. When that data is stored in traditional ways, such as spreadsheets and even on-premise storage, then it has a degree of vulnerability to both accidental and malicious abuse.

Cloud storage offers the highest levels of security and protection, and most providers will evidence what precautions they have in place when you make an inquiry with them. For example, good providers will have ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation (there are other types too) which shows that their SMS (security management system) is of the highest standards.

That sort of security means that any data you store, from HR info to IP (intellectual property) assets is protected from any malicious or accidental abuse. Knowing that your HR data is 100% secure means that your team can work with the confidence of knowing that all data they access or upload is protected.

By migrating to cloud storage, you can also help your HR team to ensure compliance with any regional or national laws. This can cover everything from holiday periods (and holiday pay) through to tax compliance. Rather than switching between systems and/or tools, they have everything they need at their fingertips.

3.    Global scalability

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The world is becoming smaller, mainly because of the multitude of digital communications systems such as using a business phone number as well as platforms utilized by organizations to connect with customers, staff working remotely, and offices in different countries. The globalization of data presents specific challenges to any business who operates in more than one location.

For example, if your organization has offices in five different countries, it may also have staff working remotely who need to be engaged with. Each office has its own dedicated HR team, but there is an obvious need for the head office, and the HR team there, to be able to access the different datasets for analytics and accounting purposes. You also need to consider that each office will have different pay scales, compliance requirements, and so on.

With old-fashioned on-premise systems, you would need dedicated servers at each location (with all the costs and hassles they entail) and then a secure way of transferring data between locations. By choosing data migration to cloud storage, you centralize all your data while still being able to compartmentalize by office location.

You are not only centralizing that data, you are making it more secure, more accessible, and less prone to human error. You also make it easier when it comes to business growth. With the old methods, business growth may require further investment in hardware and possibly software. With cloud storage solutions, scalability is a mouse click or phone call away.

Businesses want to grow, they want to have a global presence even when using domains nz,

and when scalability is combined with efficiency, there really is no argument against switching to cloud storage. Placing all your HR data and systems in the cloud brings you the scalability, security, reliability, and instant access to data and info that your HR team, wherever they are located, needs to do their job more efficiently and to streamline the workflows they use.

4.    Integration

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As mentioned earlier, the ability to integrate apps and tools into your cloud storage system is an important factor for many businesses. Your HR department needs to communicate and work with other teams within your organization, especially when you have a separate finance and accounting department.

A big part of that communication and co-working depends on the ability to efficiently and securely share any relevant data. Your finance/payroll team may want to know what a new employee's pay grade is, or what expenses and bonuses they are entitled to. Much of the time, they may use specific tools to share that info and data between them.

With the old, on-premise model, the sharing of data and the different uses it was to be used for often meant that teams were using outdated archaic tools such as Excel. Using tools such as Excel was not only difficult but the need to manipulate data sets via Excel was prone to human error and those mistakes could be passed down the line.

By implementing a cloud-based HR system, you eliminate the possibility of human error and by integrating the tools you already use, or obtaining new efficient tools, you streamline your processes and make it easier for your HR staff to do their jobs. You also need to consider that mistakes made via the old way can sometimes lead to bad business decisions.

HR data is extremely fluid; there will be multiple changes to what is being inputted on a weekly or even daily basis. Expenses and bonuses are two good examples of factors that will change regularly. One error using the old system can have multiple repercussions across your system and could even result in wrong or delayed payments.

The takeaway

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There is a strong argument that in many ways, your HR department is the most important part of your organization. Yes, they may not be involved in the actual production process or in any area that generates revenue. They may not even be involved in marketing and using RFM analysis to identify potential sales. But without them and the work they do, your business would quickly grind to a halt.

They ensure all your staff are recompensed for their work (whatever that may be), they oversee the hiring and firing processes, and they oversee implementation of any local or national laws and regulations that affect your business. To achieve all this, they have to handle a staggering amount of data, much of it highly sensitive and confidential.

However, though they do an amazing job, they are not infallible. At least, they are not infallible if you still adhere to the old-fashioned method of data storage that can be extremely prone to human error. Like other parts of your organization, they will use a diverse range of useful tools such as an audio to transcript converter. If you are switching to cloud storage, you want them to be able to continue using those tools.

You know that your business faces new challenges on a daily basis. One day, you may be thinking about how to find affiliate programs. On another, you may be looking at issues with your HR data. While cloud storage will not solve all of your problems, it will make your HR team's job easier and it will offer easier processes and better security for your data.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Day - Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad 

Jessica Day 

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level-turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Jessica Day also published articles for domains such as Kanbanize and AirDroid. Here is her LinkedIn.

Published Tuesday, June 14, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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