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HCM Cloud Solutions: Tips for Getting Started

Choosing and implementing a cloud-based HCM solution can have far-reaching effects for everyone in your business. Keep these four considerations in mind as you weigh your options.

Increasingly, businesses are opting for HCM cloud solutions to update or replace their current HR systems. For some businesses, the choice is simple and clear-cut; cloud computing has been shown to help:

  • Increase employee access and participation;
  • Reduce expenses through a streamlined infrastructure; and
  • Provide a centralized database that's especially helpful for companies with remote locations.

On the other hand, HCM cloud-based systems can sometimes prove costly to some businesses. For instance, implementation can uncover issues related to data security (if appropriate safeguards aren't installed), or there may be obstacles caused by a lack of compatibility with a company's existing software systems.

If you decide to abandon an outmoded system, keep these considerations in mind when choosing a cloud HCM solution:

Start with a roadmap. Opting for an HCM cloud solution involves much more than just "throwing out" your obsolete HR system. The best cloud-based HCM systems are all-encompassing, as Forbes notes, offering features from mobile apps for employee use to advanced analytic tools for management purposes. That’s why developing an in-depth roadmap can offer a clear route from where you are today to where you wish to be tomorrow.

Determine what problems you wish to fix. Part of your roadmap should entail a precise understanding of current challenges you want to address. These problems will vary from business to business, but often involve a lack of efficiency, overly complex processes, and/or technology that employees either can't or don't wish to use. Pinpointing these difficulties helps narrow the criteria by which you'll select a cloud-computing vendor to meet your HCM needs.

One area of difficulty may be your current processes relating to talent acquisition management. A cloud-based solution can offer a new way to standardize talent acquisition outcomes, enhance your applicant tracking systems, and/or cut the amount of administrative time spent on by managers or recruiters.

Embrace the "single employee record" approach. How much information is required when a new employee joins your company? Your HR team may have to enter information into multiple database systems (security, benefits, taxes, etc.). What's truly valuable about a cloud-based HCM solution is that it integrates HR functions into a comprehensive HCM platform with a single employee recordBenefits include:

  • Reduction in manual data entry and time-consuming administrative tasks
  • All functions smoothly interact with one another
  • A similar user interface covers all functions, dramatically reducing training costs

As a result, employees can use self-service to update their personal information as needed, while managers and executives have access to this data when making key business decisions. Everyone is assured that information is accurate, up-to-date, and available on demand.

Searching for the right HCM provider

Undertake a knowledgeable search for the right provider. The good news is, many cloud-based HCM systems offer similar features. What really counts is drilling down with vendors to better understand the differences to best determine your final selection. The key is finding simple, usable technology that can drive the efficiency of your enterprise. Any system that's too complicated for employees throughout the organization to use is unlikely to meet your needs.

Other key vendor selection criteria include:

  • A demonstrated track record of experience and reliability in cloud-computing implementation
  • The capacity to provide a scalable HCM system where modifications can be made as needed
  • Ability to offer a separate mobile application to accompany their software, thereby expanding ways to interact with software
  • Quality of customer service, including extended support services hours and availability
  • High-grade system security, with strong data protection solutions (encryption, authentication, etc.) that protect against data breaches and business interruptions

It's also a good idea to ask for and check a vendor's references. Ask for recommendations from other businesses similar to yours in size and industry.

Choosing and implementing a cloud-based HCM solution can have far-reaching effects for everyone in your business. When you get it right, you'll see both short- and long-term benefits in efficiency, cost savings, and improved employee morale.


Meghan Biro headshot
Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized Talent Management and Tech brand strategist, analyst, author, and speaker. She is also founder and CEO of TalentCulture.
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