Chances are high that your industry, company, or perhaps more specifically, your role, has been altered over the years by cloud computing. The rate by which these changes continue to happen is increasing at an alarming rate as more corporations seek cost saving solutions and tools to increase productivity and effectiveness. Your organization has most likely transitioned, or begun to transition, toward cloud computing strategies and more specifically utilization as it relates to Human Resources and Recruitment. Assuming a basic understanding of what the cloud is, let’s break down some of the advantages and disadvantages for those that are still unfamiliar or possibly resistant.
As already mentioned, there are several reasons companies decide to evolve through the use of cloud computing. I once heard an analogy, though very simply put, gave a basic explanation of the cloud and why it is necessary for business. If the electricity used to power your home is representative of the internet, then the cloud is the original power source for that electricity. You may not know exactly where it’s coming from, but you have a basic understanding of how it gets there and the necessity of it (I said it was basic). Not utilizing the cloud is analogous with using a generator to power your home. It may get the job done, but it’s highly inefficient and there are grave limitations you have to worry about with each generator. I’m sure that’s clear as mud, so for a more specific breakdown here is a shortlist of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing summarized from recent articles on HostReview, :
- Cost reduction and budget management. You are not responsible for extra costs associated with updates, added features, licensing, etc. and this can add up to substantial cost savings.
- Software licenses. Updating software and hassling with licenses for each employee that has it installed on their computer will no longer be an issue.
- Solution options for companies vary widely and can be customized dependent upon the size of the company and their budget.
- Portability. Cloud computing opens up a wider range of options for working remotely and on-the-go. Home, a separate company location, jobsite, anywhere there is an internet connection becomes an “office”.
- Data sharing. With the services available, sharing data has never been easier or more flexible.
- Security. Compared to hosting services in the past, “cloud computing deployment models are very much safe and secure”.
- Productivity and Innovation. A combination of previous advantages, the ability to have the latest and greatest in software and technology, ease of collaboration with other employees and users, as well as the mobility to work anywhere at any time, the possibilities become limitless.
- Internet dependency. Cloud services are at the mercy of the speed and type of internet connection used to access them. This can cause problems where slow connection or no internet connection at all hinders work progression. Downtime due to upgrades, technical difficulties, etc. and the lack of ability to control these occurrences can create productivity losses.
- Security. Though increasingly secure, utilizing the cloud and sharing data presents increased risks with potential legal ramifications. When information is stored in a location that can never be 100% secure, privacy will always be an issue.
- Loss of control. Handing over the reigns can be frustrating or scary. You are no longer able to have complete management over when updates/upgrades occur and concerns develop over the security of the server. Without control, you are at the mercy the service provider.
What does this mean for recruitment? Why will it work or won’t it work for the purposes of staffing and development? A recent article, focused specifically on advantages of SaaS for recruiting, looks at why you need to consider this option:
Multi-tenant and Frequent Releases
The way the cloud works means that customers that use the product are always using the most updated version of the software as it is patched and updated often to meet customer’s needs. That means that new features are available a few times per year instead of having to wait two or more years between traditional software releases. Another benefit of this is that all users of the cloud software are always on the same version of a release. This removes the issues of incompatibility and having to create major upgrades.
Configuration and Tailored to Users’ Needs
One of the best parts about a Multi-tenant SaaS system is that it can operate on a subscription model according to the variables of a company’s needs. This allows those companies to leverage the software based on the levels of use. This saves companies money versus a traditional software model because there doesn’t have to be a purchase of a license of a software that may have more than what they use. This also saves money and time in the form of training and implementation that doesn’t have to take place. This variable pricing model can better help a business’ needs by allowing them to control their user counts on demand. Cloud based recruitment software means that a company uses what they need when they need it.
No Implementation Costs
If there is one thing that sets SaaS apart from traditional licensed software, it’s that it literally has a no implementation cost. This is because there are no upfront capital expenditures, no IT resources needed and a much faster setup and training. Customers benefit from the “rent vs. buy” model that SaaS software is and benefit from not having to deal with software licenses. Companies save money by not having to pay for servers, extra software, consultants, or in house IT staff.
Cloud computing is affecting every business, whether through implementation at the company itself, customers, employees, etc. Like it or not, it’s infiltrating our lives. At the end of the day then, it doesn’t come down to if you decide to move over to cloud computer, but when. For those that drag their heels too long, as the economy heads into what may be the next Great Depression, increased efficiency and low overhead may be the difference between going under and staying afloat. Looking into the sky (you may really have to squint), the cloud kind of looks like a life preserver.