Strategic Use of Technology in HR & Payroll Solutions
Does technological jargon fill you with fear? Are you confused by what exactly is on offer? Are you really sure that the HR and Payroll solution that you are purchasing is what your business needs?
Every business is different, so why should the solution that you use be too ‘boxed’ and inflexible? Unfortunately today, so many HR and Payroll solutions are sold as off the shelf consumables which cannot be tailored to your business needs. These are often presented as the most cost-effective option, but do they solve your business problems?
Choosing a solution that is not just based on feature-lists but that also factors in intelligent technology choices, will ensure that you end up with a solution that delivers tangible business benefits.
Make sure you can actually get hold of your data and that it is not stored in an industry standard database. This is so important when choosing a solution.
All payroll and HR software solutions have the same basic principles. Information goes in and out and, in between, various processes happen. Payroll, and to a much greater extent HR, is all about information. Information and data transparency should be a crucial factor when choosing a solution that exposes information, as complications can arise in all of those steps and difficulties occur when you try and tackle the complications.
More and more solutions store their data in SQL-like databases which should make inaccessible silos of data a thing of the past. Sales literature will tell you this gives you access to your data, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can actually use it! Odd as it is, it is obscured by a lack of information about the structure. So what is the answer to this? Well it is either a self-documenting database that contains information about its structure and content, or an alternative method of access, with the latter usually involving some software development or programming of some sort.
When things need to change, which is most of the time, information transparency is vitally important. For example, the board of directors asks for a workforce ‘cost v. absence’ report in a form that your solution doesn’t quite offer, the raw information is all there, just not in a form that you want! Being able to leverage that information transparency by accessing the information using Microsoft SQL Reporting services, or even just Microsoft Excel, will suddenly validate your earlier insistence for an information transparent solution.
Ensure that your solution is web based, allowing information to be accessed by the right people, from wherever they are.
Exposing information to the right people at the right time is a challenge in itself. It is essential to choose an HR and payroll solution that enables you to have all the information in an integrated secure location that can be accessed easily by selected people in the organisation.
The most effective HR and Payroll solutions deploy information via a web browser. This almost universal content container can be reached by people at their desks, their homes, and en-route between the two.
Another benefit of using a solution that can be consumed by a web browser is that it will free up server resources and eliminate scalability issues.
Web browsers have also improved considerably over the years to such an extent that it allows actual computation to be done in the browser itself. The new higher performance boost in web browsers means that a lot of complexity can be pushed onto the client, which is excellent for freeing up server resources and allows more responsive, innovative web based interfaces. Older software solutions were much more demanding on server resources, causing problems of scalability if the complexity of the content or the number of users started to increase.
Open deployment architecture
Ensure that your organisation opts for a standards-based deployment solution enabling you to do things your way.
Successfully managing the relationship between business and technology is a daunting task faced by all companies in the twenty-first century. In our modern economy, every software decision can have a significant impact on a business and most business decisions will influence a software application’s viability.
Something that is often imposed on an organisation by a supplier is Solution Deployment. This means that if you want their solution then you have to deploy it their way – whether that’s delivered entirely in-house or via the web.
Both of these solutions are fine if you have the infrastructure / web access, but where they fall down is if you need greater flexibility such as if your IT budget has been cut.
There is now an emerging trend where businesses are opting to mix and match parts of a deployment. It works well for example if you want to have your payroll data on site, but you just don’t have the expertise in running a payroll or you want to have your HR database hosted, so that every manager throughout the organisation can have access to it without you footing the infrastructure costs.
Ensure your business achieves a high level of security by opting for 2 Factor Authentication.
Traditional authentication schemes use username and password pairs to authenticate users. This provides minimal security, because many user passwords are very easy to guess. What’s more if more complex passwords are chosen then users are likely to write them down in order to remember them!
2 Factor Authentication offers another level of security. As well as a password it also requires something that the user has for ID that is coupled with the password to gain access. Traditionally this has been a USB device or dongle, but the use of mobile phones, either through voice or SMS text message is becoming more popular, so much so that Google has just rolled out 2 Factor Authentication using phones to all of its corporate users.
The use of 2 Factor Authentication gets you away from a device that gives you access to any entire system, such as a PC, to something that gives you access to an application, or even a service.
Right for You
Choose technology that fits your business
It is very important when choosing a solution, that you are not afraid to ask questions. There are many excellent solutions available that will deal with all the issues raised in this article. Don’t fall into the ‘what magnificent’ features trap, but choose technology that will really help you to manage your IT needs. Information is power – remember that and embrace it!
HR and Payroll Solutions – Find out more by contacting us today.