Whitepaper. Cloud Cover. A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing

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1 Whitepaper Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing

2 Introduction A few years ago cloud computing was a concept relatively unknown to all but the IT industry. Now, however, the cloud has become a familiar term in all circles; from the average household internet user to businesses big and small. Although it may seem somewhat complex from the outset, cloud computing needn t be puzzling. In fact, once you ve ironed out any confusion, the business benefits of the cloud become very clear. Contents 2. Introduction 4. What s in it for SMEs? 5. What about my payroll and HR department? 6. Cons of cloud 7. Is it for me? 8. What next? 02 Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing

3 What s it all about? Essentially, cloud computing is about storing and accessing programs and data via the internet. Before the cloud, these activities occurred using the hard drive of your computer, a more traditional approach referred to as local storage and computing. This method meant having all your data and programs stored within your computer, never too far away. Unless your computer got stolen. Or broke down. In which case, that information is potentially gone forever. So, if data and information is stored in the cloud and not in your computer, where does it go? To put it simply, it goes wherever you do. If you re working on a document that you save in the cloud, you can access it anywhere, at any time, from any device, as long as you re connected to the internet. All the information and applications that were previously clogging up your hard drive are now floating freely in the agile cloud, ready and waiting for you to pick up exactly where you left off. Why now? Believe it or not, the initial concept of the cloud originated in the 50s. It underwent development over each decade thereafter until, some 60 or so years later, we arrive at Suddenly, the cloud becomes somewhat of a buzzword*. With global giants such as Google, Microsoft and Apple all launching cloud-based products at this time, it s not surprising that the consumer would head straight to the search engines to find out exactly what the cloud was all about. Even less surprising, was that smaller businesses followed suit, keen to discover why they too should go cloud. Three years on, and the popularity of cloud computing has continued to grow. Cloud has become a household term and, each day, business owners are realising the potential it holds. It has quickly become the modus operandi for many organisations and we ve certainly witnessed this here at Moorepay with the exponential take up of our new cloud-based integrated HR and payroll solution, Moorepayhr. 75% of UK business will be using cloud services by the end of * Source: Cloud Industry Forum Search interest over time The number 100 represents the peak search interest Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing 03

4 What s in it for SMEs? A recent survey by The University of Manchester Business School indicated that more than half of SMEs recognise that cloud computing can help smaller firms to compete with bigger businesses. Of those already utilising the cloud, 85% stated a 50% increase in profits since the migration. With the prospect of an increase in profits alone, many businesses have jumped head first into the cloud. But the benefits don t stop there. Businesses can experience: > Flexible working. The ability to work remotely has become increasingly popular and allows employees the flexibility to more easily deal with a variety of commitments whilst maintaining their workload. The debate around working from home remains a hot one, with many seeing this option as impractical for their company. How you allow your employees to work comes down to your day-to-day operations, the preferences of managers and the needs of your employees but, with the cloud, staff can more easily work from home during out-of-office hours, or if they re off sick. Your IT team can also say goodbye to the problems surrounding the traditional IT environment, such as unsafe public networks and the implementation of VPNs. > Business agility. A survey by Sandhill Group found that many IT execs were migrating to the cloud as it allowed for faster and more flexible growth for their business. The execs surveyed felt that development was easier and quicker following the move. > Blue sky thinking. Thinking innovatively and implementing initiatives can become so much easier with the cloud. By making use of these services, many businesses have been able to put in place new business models resulting in fresh streams of revenue. Some, particularly SMEs, have even built business models around cloud computing. > Cost efficiency. For a start, businesses in the cloud should see a decrease in up-front license costs, an expense which can quickly add up. Then there s the reduction in hardware costs, the fact that the cloud uses less electricity (thus lower energy bills), and the decrease in people costs. Research recently commissioned by Rackspace found that cloud computing could save an organisation an average of 225,000 a year. This figure leant more towards larger companies with a more significant spend, however 83% of all businesses surveyed were able to achieve an average increase in profits of 22% thanks to cloud services. > Improved distribution of resources. By deploying software which results in increased efficiency and a reduction in operational problems, your workforce are able to spend their time working on activities which may provide better value to your business. 28% of IT decision-makers said they would not take a job with a company that does not utilise the cloud. Source: Zenoss 04 Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing

5 What about my payroll and HR department? When cloud computing first gained precedence, many organisations were reluctant to outsource core functions such as payroll and HR to Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. Concerns over security were the main factor in the resilience to make the migration. What these companies didn t realise was that the cloud offers incredible security. In fact, as soon as you save data in the cloud it becomes securely encrypted, it is then sent through managed networks and winds up stored in remote server farms which possess some of the most aggressive security systems that exist. More recently, HR and payroll decisionmakers have woken up to the fact that security needn t be a worry. These cloudsavvy individuals have outsourced their HR and payroll functions with SaaS companies, such as Moorepay, and found a wealth of benefits available to them. These include: > Adaptability. Should your business experience a rapid upsurge in employee numbers, your software won t struggle. The cloud is able to adapt to your needs and is built to efficiently manage sudden increases in workload. > Up to date. Whenever there are changes to legislation, or new laws are introduced, the cloud is able to instantly update information, ensuring your department has immediate access to the latest advances which may affect HR. > Ease of expansion. For companies looking to expand into other regions, the cloud offers a solution which allows new teams to easily access your system, from any location. With all aspects of HR accessible from a central zone, teams that are spread across the country, or even the world, should find communication a breeze. > Selected sharing. Restricting access to certain members of the team is a quick and easy measure and means you don t need to worry about people accessing information which they shouldn t. > Supported learning. HR in the cloud helps to encourage the organic knowledge sharing and team learning that should occur within any organisation. > Rapid implementation. Non-cloud-based payroll solutions are typically timeintensive when it comes to installation and set-up. A huge selling point of products such as Moorepayhr is that the quick and simple implementation times result in rapid ROI. In a survey by Deloitte, 47% of participating companies cited quick implementation as the key benefit of SaaS. > Cheaper implementation. Research suggests that traditional payroll solutions will set your business back more than a subscription to SaaS. Jan van Wijngaarden of NorthgateArinso asks: Does the cloud really open doors for the HR Manager who sits sandwiched between two contradictory goals: professionalism and cost-cutting? Yes, says Wijngaarden, but it only works if organisations see the bigger picture and change step by step. 54% of respondents cited security as their top concern for transitioning to the cloud. Source: LinkedIn Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing 05

6 Cons of cloud There are two sides to everything and the cloud is no different. It s important for business-owners to be aware of potential disadvantages before signing up for this technology. While there is undoubtedly a wide range of benefits to be had, varying circumstances from business to business can mean that these advantages don t always apply. Things to consider include: > Availability. As the cloud market grows, so does the competition, and this is likely to continue over the following months and years. This can beg the question: What happens if the service ends? There is also the (albeit slim) possibility that the service will suffer an outage, which could leave you without access to information. > Ownership. You ll need the reassurance from your provider that you can get all your data back and that they will destroy this data once you ve finished with the service. > Privacy. Seek information on your cloud provider s privacy policy. Many IT decisionmakers are put off the cloud over concerns regarding the data their vendor is collecting and how this information is used. > Costs. There may be occasions where processes of one business mean they ll see an increase in costs. However, the majority of businesses utilising the cloud experience savings. In fact, a recent survey by IDC found that almost every SME using cloud services saves money, with most managing to lower costs between 10 and 20%. Although these are valid disadvantages, it is clear the pros far outweigh the cons. Nonetheless, it s important that you take both camps into consideration before you make the decision to migrate to cloud and take a look at how effectively your company s HR and payroll department is functioning without it. Moorepay has worked with clients that were previously processing their HR and payroll manually, working with multiple suppliers, unsuitable HR documentation, no central database, and filing cabinets everywhere. For many, this archaic approach is labour-intensive, time consuming and far from cost effective. 54% of respondents claim that they ve never used cloud computing, but the majority have without even realising. 59% believe the cloud is the workplace of the future. Source: Wakefield Research Source: Wakefield Research 06 Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing

7 Is it for me? Would you like to offer staff more flexible working conditions? Are you experiencing rapid business growth? YES Do you see your current processes as being too expensive? NO It sounds like cloud-computing could be the answer. For information on how the cloud could help with your HR and payroll, get in touch with Moorepay today. Do you fall behind on HMRC legislation? Would you like to see more social learning among staff? While the cloud may not help in one area, it could provide considerable benefits in another. Unless you find that the cloud is particularly costly for your business, it s a good idea to get an idea of the full picture before making a decision. Do you need a new HR and payroll solution set up quickly? If you think that your business could benefit from cloud-based HR and payroll, or perhaps you d like to find out more about how these functions work within the cloud, call us on or visit Cloud Cover A HR and Payroll Professional s Guide to Cloud Computing 07

8 What next? To find out how Moorepay can support your business, call us on , or visit Moorepay Ltd Warwick House Hollins Brook Way Pilsworth Bury BL9 8RR Telephone

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