How good planning can help HR organizations successfully make the move to the cloud

Cloud or on-premise? That is the question many companies ask themselves when they are considering investing in a new HR system. According to experts, however, this isn’t an either/or situation. They recommend combining the benefits of the two supply models in hybrid HR landscapes.
November 19, 2020
4 min

Working from home, shortened working hours, redundancies – the coronavirus pandemic has heaped plenty of work on HR managers. Those who have already digitalized key HR processes are better off than others. This is the best way to make HR workflows much more efficient and above all non-dependent on location. According to a quick survey by the Heidelberg Institute for Competitive Recruiting (ICR), those who haven’t gotten that far yet are planning major investments in the next few months, especially in their HR environment. This is another reason why seven out of ten HR software manufacturers rate their current business situation as good or very good, and three out of ten rate it as satisfactory.

Set priorities in the HR IT strategy

Many companies are fully aware that there is no way around transforming their HR processes. This begs the question – how do you get where you want to be? After all, there is a wide range of areas where HR software can be used. It can optimize all kinds of HR processes, from organizational structure to time management. There is just as much variety in what is on offer – from complete HR suites that can be used to automate the majority of tasks to small individual solutions for recording working time or documenting certifications.

At the same time, the question is asked whether the software should come from the cloud or be operated on-premise. Both models have advantages and disadvantages. Companies running the software on an in-house (on-premise) server have complete control over the software and the data, but also have to take care of operating and maintaining it, along with updates, support, security and data protection. In cloud solutions, on the other hand, these kinds of tasks are covered by the monthly fee. The software can be accessed quickly and easily via the internet and used immediately. On the flip side, there are fewer customization options with cloud applications.

There are several different reasons why many companies are currently still hesitating to make the move to the cloud, however. Taking this step involves lots of changes. Processes frequently have to be completely redesigned. Moreover, not every company is ready for this new supply model. Achieving “cloud readiness” is therefore a precondition for implementing HR cloud systems.

Hybrid IT architectures on the rise

Experts predict that hybrid architectures will have the brightest future of all. Combining on-premise and cloud solutions makes it possible to meet the specialist demands of HR as part of a robust IT strategy and thus benefit from both the security and compliance of the in-house data center and the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. The ultimate goal will depend on the orientation of the company’s digital strategy and the applications selected.

Furthermore, this kind of digital architecture enables HR organizations to move to the cloud gradually. For example, they can operate sensitive core processes such as payroll and time management themselves, while at the same time drawing innovative tools for talent management, recruiting and onboarding from the cloud. Deep integration is essential for this. Both system components must be coordinated seamlessly with each other to enable information to flow smoothly between the cloud and the on-premise server.

For implementation projects, it is therefore also important to bring on board consultation partners who are familiar with both worlds, provide suitable interfaces and are highly skilled when it comes to HR processes. These partners bring their experience and expertise to bear in supporting the decision-making process and smoothing the path to a tailored HR system landscape. Instead of hastily breaking away from existing on-premise applications, gradually moving individual HR processes to the cloud is a good option for many organizations. This takes the pressure off and makes it easier to design a customized, comprehensive HR IT solution.


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