Published on May 5, 2020 by Ram B in LinkedIn Pulse
When the first PC using a microprocessor was introduced in 1973, the entire world was looking at it with awe and admiration. Since then, Information Technology underwent innumerable changes. With the advent of Software programs, organizations were able to accomplish its tasks at a much faster pace. Then came the client-server architecture based ERP Solutions, through which organizations were able to work on web in Real-time with Suppliers, its own Employees and Customers in tandem.
Change being the constant phenomenon, it led to new and innovative ideas in Information Technology space. The client-Server architecture is now being challenged by service-oriented architecture. The location / device independency helps Cloud Technology to sway organisations in its favour. Subsequent versions of ERP tried remove the barrier though, with Cloud Computing, the Location and Device independency has become a common practice. Among its other advantages over On-premise ERP, ubiquitousness is fundamental to Cloud based ERP. It will not be far, when Cloud based ERP might completely replace On-premise ERP.
In order to focus on core functions and improve bottom-line, organisations had outsourced Housekeeping, Security, and Transport functions. That’s how Outsourcing Industries flourished. Later organisations had outsourced its back-end data processing, that’s how BPO/KPO industries flourished. Now organizations had started to outsource its Data Centers. Adopting Cloud Technology is simply outsourcing your data centre. You don’t require to pay heavily for buying a license for a software solution, or platform nor IT Infrastructure. You can just outsource them and pay just a fraction of its cost. Yet, you can have access to the secured data anytime, anywhere.
In order to have the future in mind, organizations will be scouting for a good Cloud based ERP Solution. In order to answer the question as to which will be the right solution, let us look into various parameters.
Scenario: A CEO calls for a Cloud Based HR Solutions company. The CEO and HR team spends about 30 minutes for the product demo given by the vendor. The CEO gets highly impressed by the look and feel of the product. Since the cost of the product too falls well within the budget, the CEO Okays the product instantly. However, once the HR department start using the product, they realized that the product falls short of the features they need.
All that glitters are not gold. Don’t get carried away by the looks of the software. A software with the best Graphic User Interface (GUI) necessarily not have the features you actually need most. Most of the companies makes wrong buying decision, based on the first impression the product creates. Don’t get carried away by the halo effect… get into the product features, take enough time, ask right questions, check for the features and then decide buying a product.
Keep in mind that the product must be simple, intuitive, and fully integrated. The product must have authorization/restriction for the users based on the roles.
If a product do not have a mobile friendly version, do not even waste your time on their demo.
In order to be efficient and taking decisions in real-time, organizations need to have the right ERP system in place. But every delay in getting a product of its choice, will distance an organization from achieving its objectives. By the time an organization implements a right product, competitors already would have advanced in their IT initiatives. The speed at which an organization implements HR Tech, to that extent it can start communicating with employees with ease and accelerate other business activities. Because, every business activity is linked to employees. An organization has to be really fast in order to survive and grow in the marketplace.
Gone are the days where a company can afford to wait for months or even years for a go-live. A typical ERP company might take 8 months to 2 years for a go-live. Look for a company which can provide a solution in 1 month or so.
It is your choice to go in for a Point solution companies. However, you will feel the need for having other modules over time. Later you will be struggling to manage multiple vendors. It is better to choose a vendor who has the adequate HRMS modules to meet your needs.
At the same time, you need to have the flexibility of implementing the modules in phases. Most of the software companies, have a combo solution or a packaged solution. Organisations will be constrained to choose all the modules and shell out money beyond its budgetary limits. At the same time, do not fall prey for free modules too. Choose the one which you need most which can integrate with other products seamlessly, and go in for other modules in a phased manner.
Hence companies, especially SMEs which would like to implement different modules in phases due to budget constraints, need to have the freedom to choose which module it will activate immediately, and which modules it will activate later. So, look for HR Tech companies which will provide this freedom.
Only big companies unleashes the power of Integration. Since they have the funds, they buy the best product. But organizations of all sizes, require a product with integration capability in order to be efficient. Check whether the product has the integration capability. Integration here means two things. One, the product having multiple modules should be able to integrate with its own modules. This means there must be seamless data flow between their modules. Two, the product should be capable of getting integrated with the software / legacy system which your company already has. For example if you buy an HR software, that should be able to get integrated with Tally.
There are chances that a faulty software could give wrong outputs. With faulty data, companies might end up in taking wrong decisions. Just because your vendor is hurrying you up, don’t implement modules without checking the data accuracy of the output. Check for the data accuracy in the output.
The best software throws the right data whenever you ask for it.
The product you buy should be simple, easy to use and should have less complexity or even nil complexity. There must be minimal training requirement post implementation. If the training itself takes a month or so, employee onboarding and team onboarding will get delayed.
It is easy to identify a worst software. If a software expects your team to enter the same data again and again in different modules, then it is not worth buying it. Because, time is money. The amount of time your team spends on data entry – multiple entry of the same data in various modules eats away your team’s time and hence the cost spent on that effort is unproductive.
Avoid spending money on unnecessary customization which normally can be done by your organizational members. For example, your team should be in a position to make the necessary changes in the system for local statutory changes and best practices you want to adopt.
Similarly, the product should allow you to make multiple rules by yourself for multiple employee groups, to avoid additional cost on customization.
Security is the key. Cloud based solution is vulnerable to data breach. There are three types of Cloud Security options available for your vendor. Private, Public and Hybrid. There could be unexpected data breach if you choose Public Cloud. This could lead to security issues. Hence, you should choose a vendor who has private cloud space.
First, your software vendor should have the capability to migrate your legacy data anytime during a Financial Year. Many HR Tech companies lack this.
Second, many HR Tech companies manually migrate the legacy data. An Auto-migration will save time, energy and cost. Why your team should do a manual task and end up making errors when your system can do it better and more accurately.
Third, historical information of your employee data is mandatory to complete your FY closing. If the product do not have the capability to migrate the historical information, your team will have to do lot of manual work to provide the information to your vendor. Subsequently, your vendor feeds the information to close the FY data. At times, it could lead to errors.
Choose a vendor, who has the capability to understand your data, and migrating the business critical, historical information.
Most HRMS vendors provide customer support through their teams. The usual method of supporting clients is through raising tickets and accomplishing tasks. However, you cannot afford to adopt this alone in a fast paced environment.
Look for companies which have the option of providing Live-support through On-call or Chat-boxes. In a Chat-box if you type a simple query, you will get an answer from someone waiting at the other side, in minutes.
Though there are, for and against views on Instant support, for resolving minor issues you cannot afford to raise tickets and wait for a resolution.
Reporting is foremost important for any HR Head / Business Leader. Business Leaders / CEOs will expect any type of report at any point of time. Many a times this becomes a nightmare for the HR Heads because, most of the time they will not have the data ready for preparing the report, and it is prone for errors too. Almost every HR Head would have experienced this.
Check whether the product is capable of producing as many reports as possible. The reports should be in the form of Excel Sheets or Tableau, which can either be viewed on the screen or be taken as a print out as well. Be cautious, you might have to shell out extra money for custom reports. If the product has the feature of easy self-designer reports, go for it.
Finally, everything drills down to cost. Look for a cost effective product. However this doesn’t mean you need to scout for a cheap product. A company might end up in taking a wrong decision by buying a cheap product, which has half functionality. The product should be able to satisfy the requirement of your organization. By implementing the right software, an organization should be in a position to optimize the HR workforce and realign them to more productive activities. This is how it brings value to your organisation.
To conclude, though the above parameters are not comprehensive, the above ones are the most critical ones, in choosing the right cloud based HR Tech solution.
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