Cloud Time & Attendance Solutions: 4 Reasons to Choose Cloud
SaaS (Software as a Service), otherwise known as the cloud, is attracting more and more companies. Why? It allows an organisation to take advantage of bespoke software via an internet connection rather than having to install it on its own servers.
Time & Attendance Software publishers have followed suit, and now offer their solutions via the cloud. This is a trend which has sharply increased with the coronavirus crisis, which has escalated the need for employee mobility. So why should you be interested in SaaS Time & Attendance Solutions? What are the advantages of these solutions when it comes to the specific needs of Workforce Management functions? Why are hosting options relevant to HR Departments?
Originally, the choice of hosting options for Time & Attendance Software was a technical consideration for your IT department. However, many of the advantages of hosting this software in the cloud are particularly relevant to HR departments and staff. With this in mind, look at four benefits offered to HR by a Cloud Time & Attendance Solution.
1) Accessibility for all your employees
One of the main advantages of cloud software is its unparalleled accessibility. It enables a user to connect to a secure space, thanks to a simple internet connection. This means that it’s available not just through a PC, but also through any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
In the case of Workforce Management Software, this is even more relevant since it’s intended to be used by all employees across your organisation with different functionality and access levels: HR administrators, temporary staff, and even those without access to a PC. From a construction site worker checking how much overtime he’s accrued, to an employee booking leave at home after consulting with his family, and a manager away on a business trip checking staff rotas, all your employees benefit from being able to consult HR information and perform administrative tasks remotely.
This level of accessibility for a Time & Attendance Solution makes it a lot easier for employees to work remotely, without any loss of functionality. This was of particular benefit during the recent pandemic, when staff were working from home in much higher numbers. Those organisations with such a solution already in place were able to transition to this way of working in a much more fluid manner.
HR personnel also benefit with remote access to a Workforce Management System. The cloud provides secure access to the system from anywhere, at any time; you are no longer limited to working regular hours at the office. This provides managers with complete peace of mind when working remotely, since they can still complete tasks such as validating leave requests or checking team planning.
The level of availability of any cloud software is formalised in the SLA (Service Level Agreement) created by the host. Software availability is expressed as a percentage of time the software is available to the user (for example, 99.9%) and takes into consideration works necessary for the maintenance and security of the hosting platform.
Our advice is to be careful when comparing availability rates from different hosts, as the time periods they refer to can vary. For example, does it cover every day or just working days? Are nights and holidays included? You must ensure that you are comparing like-for-like to avoid any confusion or issues further down the line. If anything is unclear, don’t be afraid to get further clarification from the host before accepting the terms of their agreement.
2) Regular Time & Attendance Solutions updates
The second advantage of cloud software is that it benefits from regular updates, which are included as part of the service. Rather than just purchasing a software license, you are subscribing to a live service which continues to evolve. This means that you can always benefit from access to the latest software version, and the latest functionality.
Typically updates include:
- New design/layout to improve the user experience.
- New functionality increasing the scope of the solution.
- Security updates.
3) Security for your Time & Attendance data
Computer security is a major issue for businesses, and one of growing complexity as they are the subject of increasingly targeted and sophisticated cyberattacks. Managing IT security internally requires specialised skills, and growing investments of both time and money. Whilst larger organisations have the resources to potentially fulfil these requirements, smaller companies are more vulnerable to major security breaches.
All data held by a company is important, but as defined by GDPR, HR data processed via a Workforce Management System is private data of a personal nature and can be particularly sensitive. This is especially true when it relates to the health of your staff. As such, your company is responsible for its processing and safe storage, with any data breach resulting from non-compliance or negligence subject to heavy fines. These can be up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater, so a potentially crippling financial blow.
Using a Cloud Time & Attendance System guarantees that IT security is managed by expert professionals equipped with substantial resources. To receive ISO 27001 certification, a host must monitor and continually improve the security management of their cloud solutions, which includes conducting regular security audits. No matter the size of your business, a cloud solution ensures a high level of security for both the software itself and hosted data.
4) Improved HR agility
A lesser-known advantage of SaaS software is its ability to adapt to the evolving needs of an organisation. Since web solutions come in the form of a subscription, they enable you to choose the necessary functions and hosting capacity you require now, and adjust them over time. For example, Time and Attendance can include elements such as:
Your IT department faces the challenging task of trying to anticipate the level of server resources required at all times. Not only will a new internally-hosted solution require additional storage for the software itself, but it makes the on-going process much more difficult if data storage requirements fluctuate. With outsourced hosting in the cloud however, server space is rented and can easily be up or downscaled to match demand. This feature is a particular asset for Time & Attendance Software, making it possible to cope with rapid or seasonal variations in your workforce since data storage capacities can quickly be adjusted as required.
The cloud summarised
Due to the specific functions of Workforce Management Software, cloud hosting offers many advantages. It removes certain risks, assuming de factor responsibility for aspects which are proving increasingly complex to control, such as securing personal data. Additionally, web-based Time & Attendance provides flexibility to employees, in a time of increased workforce mobility. It improves quality of life for all employees, whist increasing the efficiency of internal processes.
Elements such as these have an impact on the social climate and staff retention of your organisation. It's critical that HR managers understand the importance of the benefits highlighted in this article and have input into the hosting decision, even if they don’t usually get involved with such choices.
Looking at switching to the cloud? A pioneer of SaaS solutions for Time & Attendance, Bodet would be happy to provide further information and discuss the advantages of web-based solutions.