Cloud Computing for HR

Written by Newspaper Humor Columnist & Social Media Expert

September 23, 2022
Cloud Computing for HR

As human resources professionals look for new ways to improve their efficiency and productivity, one of the areas to consider is cloud computing for HR departments. If they want to be able to keep up with the latest technology and to improve their cybersecurity, cloud computing offers a number of benefits.

That's because HR departments need to operate human resources management (HRM) software and processes in order to keep up with recruiting and hiring goals. They need to automate their core HR processes and streamline their recruiting and hiring efforts.

In the 1990s, companies often bought software licenses (or "seats") that they installed on each individual's computer. Each application was a standalone app, and the data existed on each person's computer, often out of sync with one another. There were software conflicts and crashes, especially as each software provider made updates to their system.

In the 2000s, companies began moving toward in-house computer servers and running enterprise-level software. A single server might sit under someone's desk, but as the demand for servers grew, companies began installing server rooms on their premises, with several blade servers running in concert. That meant hiring IT staff to keep the servers running. If the server crashed, no one could work until the server was back up.

In the last several years, companies have been moving to cloud computing. Cloud computing, like the in-house servers, allow HR departments to run the HRM software and processes, and to centralize their data. An HR cloud can handle all those software solutions, as well as other corporate software like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and storage of proprietary data.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the term for delivering hosting services over the internet. Rather than having applications and programs running on your in-house servers, they can be accessed through a direct internet connection between your computer and the cloud server in another part of the world.

A cloud server can hold as many apps and as much data as you need. You could have a cloud setup that is just a few hundred gigabytes (GB) in size (about the size of a laptop hard drive), or one that is many petabytes. (A petabyte equals 1 million GB or 1,000 terabytes.)

In-house Server Drawbacks

Organizations often turn to cloud service providers over in-house servers or individual desktops for a number of reasons. Using a cloud setup instead of an in-house server system is an ideal way for companies to save time, money, energy, and resources compared to in-house cloud servers.

  • An in-house server room uses a lot of power just with all of the servers running constantly, 24/7. The more servers you have, the more power you use.
  • Those servers generate a lot of heat, which means that the server room needs dedicated air conditioning to keep things running. If the AC breaks down, you're in danger of overheating your servers, which can be devastating. All told, the server room can be one of the biggest energy consumers in your operation.
  • A server room takes up a lot of space, but it's very difficult to expand. If a company needs to expand their server capacity, they need to upgrade to better, more expensive servers. Or they can physically expand the space by knocking out walls and rebuilding. Or they may have to move to a new location. They can't easily add more server capacity without a lot of planning and costs.
  • An in-house network also requires hiring IT staffers who are familiar with the latest server technology and software. As the server system grows, the staff requirements grow as well.
  • Finally, in-house servers are less secure than cloud computers and more prone to cyberattacks and data breaches.

Cloud Server Advantages

Cloud Server Advantages

Cloud computing eliminates all of these problems because the cloud providers manage these issues.

  • The cloud hosting provider bears all of the energy costs, not you.

  • They also deal with cooling costs and equipment.

  • No servers in the office means no server rooms. It's possible to have a 100% remote workforce logging into your company's cloud network and never have to have a physical space of your own.

  • Expanding your processing and storage capacity happens with the click of a mouse and takes a few minutes at a minimal cost. You can increase and decrease your capacity as needed.

  • You don't need a lot of staffing managing the entire IT network, the cloud provider handles all staffing and hiring.

  • Cloud platforms have some of the best security software on the planet, making their operation more secure than nearly all corporate security systems.

All in all, cloud computing is a much better alternative to in-house servers performing the same functions.

Why Cloud Computing for HR?

Cloud computing for HR lets your entire department access all of your processes from one easy-to-use location. Cloud computing is an offsite server that works like your in-house server. HR cloud software is stored on those cloud servers and is usable by anyone with password access to the software and data.

This is especially important for multinational companies with offices in various locations. If your team members are all in different locations, it's difficult to manage employee data between those locations.

By keeping the data all stored in a single location, rather than on different servers and individual computers, you can more easily access the necessary information without emailing each other trying to track it down. You can get data in real-time, as you need it, without delay.

Using a cloud solution also means your organization can benefit from using an all-in-one HR information system (HRIS) for sourcing candidates, vetting, interviewing, scoring, hiring, and onboarding them. An HRIS needs a cloud platform to operate since it typically can't be installed on individual computers. They can be accessed through a web browser, however, which has completely changed the way many HR departments function.

Many companies are switching to an integrated HRIS because there are too many apps and platforms they have to use to perform single functions: Apps for recruiting, hiring, onboarding, payroll, time off, and benefits. It has gotten so bad that, as John Bersin said on the HR Executive website, "on average, large HR departments now have 11 systems of record, and L&D (learning and development) departments work with as many as 22 different vendors."

With an HRIS, companies are able to track an employee's entire time with a company, from the first time they apply for a position, through onboarding, promotions, and ultimately retirement. There's no need to copy and paste data between apps or manually enter information for each individual app. The HRIS tracks all the data and shares it between every HR function available.

This helps avoid errors, save time on data entry, and reduce a lot of the small, labor-intensive tasks that HR professionals have to complete each day. Employees are also able to self-manage a lot of their own information, such as benefits, change of address, and time off requests.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing for HR

The Benefits of Cloud Computing for HR

There are several benefits to using cloud computing for your HR operation.

First, cloud computing offers centralized data storage. Rather than storing different databases and information files on different computers or shared drives, you can keep all employee data in a single location. Different reports show that workers spend anywhere from 1 to 1.8 hours per day searching for documents, which means you're spending a lot of time trying to track down missing reports, address updates, training logs, certifications, and so on. By keeping your data and documents centralized (especially in an HRIS), nothing can get lost or accidentally deleted (as long as you limit the access and permissions for all users).

Cloud computing also means you can reduce the number of paper files and forms. Everything can be filled out online and stored in your HRIS or other appropriate app. Paper file storage is not only inefficient, but expensive. Companies spend a lot of money storing all their paper in folders and filing cabinets. This means spending more money on real estate and office space just to store forms that are several years old. With a cloud system, you can store everything online and never take up any physical space.

Third, your data can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Whether it's a multinational corporation with offices around the world, or remote workers and field workers on tablets and mobile phones, it's not necessary to be at your desk to work. With the right login credentials, employees can access their necessary applications and data on their laptop, tablet, or phones.

Forth, some HR applications and HRISes are browser-based rather than standalone applications. The IT team doesn't have to update or manage the software, updates are made by the developers and installed without disrupting your work. The platform can be accessed with any web browser, on any kind of device, and any operating system.

Cloud computing saves a lot of time. Storing all your data centrally means you don't spend a lot of time tracking down lost files and missing data. Rather than spending time asking colleagues for a missing file, it's easy to find because it's stored where everyone can find it.

Cloud computing for HR is more secure. Most HRIS applications and apps let you set access levels for all appropriate personnel, from the newest employees through the CEO. And as we said earlier, cloud servers have state-of-the-art security software to repel ransomware and cyberattacks. This means your employees' information is safe from data breaches and identity theft.

HR professionals can automate core processes such as submitting timesheets, performance reviews, time-off requests, as well as recruiting and interviewing. This lets them focus on more important projects and can reduce the number of people needed to handle the manual, mundane tasks that don't really require expertise to finish.

Cloud computing is scalable. If you ever need to add new users or need extra processing power, you can upgrade in a few minutes. Expanding your server capacity can be done with the click of a mouse, and only costs a small amount of money per GB. You can also scale back down if you want to cut back on the server size. This lets you purchase extra processing power and space only when you need it, rather than being stuck with extra server space you only use a few times per year.

You can future proof your operation with cloud computing. Most in-house server setups only upgrade every few years, but cloud providers upgrade their servers and operating software regularly. They also do their own research and development, giving their users access to new technology and features as they become available. That can be an expensive proposition on in-house servers.

Finally, a cloud-based HR system puts you ahead of your competition. Recruiting and hiring are important issues to HR professionals, and hiring cycles can take months thanks to outdated and obsolete practices. Too often, large companies and government agencies lose top-notch candidates to smaller, more agile companies that use an HRIS on a cloud system. With a cloud platform, it's possible to recruit candidates, have them apply online, track their applications, score them as candidates, give assessments, and store interview notes all in one application.

This data is then available to HR staff and hiring managers, who can assess the available talent pool and make decisions. Once the right candidate has been hired, you can turn the application data into their employee file and keep them in the system.


Cloud computing is already a standard in the rest of the business world. Business analysis, research and development, and finance all benefit from the cloud and it has changed the way companies can store and analyze information.

HR can benefit from that same technology as well. They can automate mundane tasks, simplify core HR processes, and streamline longer and more complicated tasks all with cloud computing for HR. If you would like to learn more about cloud computing, you can speak to one of our representatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I try a managed cloud server?

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