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Managing employees in the cloud

Cloud computing is increasingly becoming a driver of innovation. Indeed, software providers are seizing the opportunity to offer radically different value propositions, redesigning products and developing new market segments.

There are also a growing number of new software solutions in the human resource management sector. Some are capable of revolutionizing the way human resource managers manage staff, communicate and interact with employees.

In this way, the software is transformed from a specific working tool for HR managers into a resource that can be accessed online by all employees. Everyone has different access according to their own role, in order to independently manage the data and procedures that concern them.

Employee self service

The advantages of this approach, also known as “employee self-service”, can be seen in the automation of repetitive tasks and the acceleration of processes. This favors a greater exchange of information and a lightening of the data management for HR.

In addition, with these systems, personnel management can be simplified, enabling employees, for example, to submit vacation and leave requests, travel, and expense reports online. In some systems, they can also report the hours worked on orders or update their skills profile.

Some products also allow you to automate time, work and attendance control by taking into account different employee contracts and work profiles and by acquiring timestamps data from attendance terminals or specific applications on smartphones.

Managers can in turn authorize requests, monitor employee productivity and attendance, assign activities, search for resources with certain skill sets. Finally, HR can efficiently control data and processes, manage training and development, produce charts to be easily inserted in presentations, extract variable data for Payroll.

This integrated approach is typical of a company’s ERP, but specialized in the area of Human Resources and with the liking of modern web interfaces.

It simplifies the work of the HR

In companies that are not yet computerised, HR managers are forced to do a lot of manual work to check attendance, forms and paper files and, at best, have non-interoperable tools at their disposal. A typical case is that of software packages and Excel sheets with non-integrated databases. This involves heavy manual data entry and processing in order to switch between the tools.

The new generation software brilliantly overcomes these problems. In fact the user, using a unique platform and database, has immediate access to all personnel information and processes in a fully integrated manner. In addition to the considerable time savings, the possibility of errors is greatly reduced and the updating of data is made much easier.

In addition, the ability to produce reports and graphs easily and extremely efficiently, choosing from the many types of reports available, makes it much easier to monitor important data and immediately highlight any problems

Another aspect that should not be overlooked is integrability with payroll software. Also a requirement to be considered is the use of “sensitive” web interfaces, which is essential to allow easy and efficient navigation even on small screens.

The SaaS model

In conclusion, some general economic considerations: cloud products are not usually sold but rather rented. In other words, a right of use is acquired by paying a monthly fee, which has important advantages for the buyer who does not have to bear the cost of buying the software licence and future updates. This formula has a name: SaaS, or Software As A Service.

To understand the cost effectiveness of adopting a SaaS solution in the cloud, we can give a practical example. Suppose a customer has 100 employees. The cost of a SaaS solution for managing staff with this number of users can be a few hundred euros per month, depending on the product chosen and the amount of functionality purchased. Let’s assume, without any pretense of generality, a cost of 500 euros per month, that is, 6000 euros per year all inclusive.

Saving time and money

Let us now evaluate the savings that the client can achieve by adopting such a solution. There is a first form of saving that involves the adoption of a new solution.

There is a first form of savings involved in adopting a cloud solution compared to systems installed on the customer’s hardware and software platforms, which must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There are also others related to the time saved in the company by having the system perform operations that were previously done manually, thus freeing up resources that can be used in more productive and higher value-added tasks.

To quantify this second factor, it is necessary to refer to specific cases of use. For example, a company of about 100 employees that we have had the opportunity to follow has used a “self-service employee” system of the type described so far for a period of more than 3 years. Thanks to this system they have obtained a saving of hours dedicated to the management of data and processes of the personnel quantifiable in about 55.

This is just one example, but it gives an idea of the potential in terms of increased efficiency and cost reduction that systems of this type can allow.

We can therefore conclude that the annual cost of using these new-generation systems for personnel management can be largely offset by the savings they can bring to the company. In fact this occurs both in terms of working hours saved for personnel management and in terms of lower costs of hardware/software and system activities.

Finally, the benefits in terms of greater control and overall quality improvement in personnel management that can be achieved should not be overlooked.

Written by Roberto Billi

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