Cloud HRMS Selection: 3 Questions to Help You Find the Right System

As physical borders and boundaries disappear – or at least begin to blur – the cloud becomes an obvious consideration when you’re looking for new HRMS software. The world increasingly requires 24/7, anytime, anywhere access. It’s what your customers are demanding and expecting of your ‘shop window’ and your employees want the same from your internal systems too. And that’s where sourcing a cloud HRMS can seem attractive; apart from anything else, it’s tailor-made for mobile (BYOD anybody?) access. So what are the key factors to take into account when selecting a cloud provider? Let’s take a look.

What Kind of Vendor Will Meet Your Needs Best?

First up, never mind the product, what kind of vendor will meet your needs best, a pure-play cloud/SaaS provider or a more established ‘big name’ that is diversifying into cloud systems? On the one hand, a pure-play vendor sounds good, after all, they’re not distracted by other platforms or spreading themselves too thin. But that Big Name has a lot of resources to put into their product (and they have a reputation they won’t want to lose). Tricky. Whichever you choose, any provider of a cloud HRMS should be able to answer difficult questions from the buyer (you!) concerning multi-tenancy and hosting, scalability, integration with legacy systems, and upgrades and enhancements.

What Are Your Data Center Requirements?

Then, what about the cloud HRMS data center that is going to hold your precious information? Where is it? It’s easy to forget to ask that question and maybe you don’t care but when your employee data leaves your premises what you should care about is uptime and constant access. What’s on offer in the service level agreement? Can you see their business continuity plan for the data center? How about the measures to prevent fraud or hacking? To paraphrase a folk saying, “The data that leaves your premises, leaves your control.” You need to be certain that your vendor will look after on your behalf.

What Cloud Subscription Model Will You Be Getting?

And of course that leads us on to security. Can the cloud HRMS provider show you SSAE 16 audit certification or similar that will reassure you about their internal systems and controls? Also, take a look beneath the ‘SaaS’ label. It’s entirely possible that you’re buying SaaS services from a provider who is using PaaS capabilities from another provider who in turn is leasing infrastructure from a separate IaaS provider who’s renting space in a shared data center. Remember the blurred lines and boundaries? In this scenario, your data is passing through four pairs of hands, no one. That might be fine, but you need to know it’s happening.

The cloud HRMS option offers a few advantages (usually price and ease of implementation) but ultimately, selecting a cloud provider is just like choosing any other system. It comes down to knowing your specific organisational HRMS requirements: what do you need this HRMS to do, both now and in the future and can the system on offer (cloud or otherwise) handle that?

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall