When it comes to scouting out a new HR solution for your business, it can take long enough just to work out which system will work best, and that’s without having to then figure out which platform it should be on.
So, is a cloud-based platform the better option or should you go for a server-based platform? The rise of cloud-based solutions has completely changed the math when it comes to deployment of top-of-the-line HR solutions, allowing smaller companies to benefit from advanced functionalities just as much as their larger competitors. Still, many enterprises prefer to host their own software and retain full control over their data, even if it means they have to manage hardware and software elements of the system with in-house resources. This debate probably isn’t going to end anytime soon, so it may be the best to list the advantages and downsides of each architectural model in the context of human resource management and let each company come to its own conclusions:
Cloud-based platforms – AKA SaaS solutions
Software-as-a-Service is a concept that is rapidly gaining mainstream recognition and is widely used in a number of industries. It relies on remote cloud servers for data storage and processing, liberating client-facing applications to be compatible with any device, even a mobile phone, making it an ideal platform for Mitrefinch time and attendance software. With SaaS, you don’t need any hardware purchases or software installations and can simply utilize the solution as needed. SaaS solutions come in many shapes and forms, but they are characterized by some common strengths and weaknesses regardless of the exact deployment model:
- It usually results in much lower implementation costs than for a server-based solution, since cloud architecture eliminates the need for local infrastructure
- You don’t need a local IT infrastructure, so your IT team don’t need to spend time maintaining it or putting through upgrades
- No maintenance costs, since this is handled completely on the provider side
- They generally have a more user-friendly interface that minimizes training and facilitates more enthusiastic adoption
- You can usually be able to pay only for those services that were actually used
- Cloud-based solutions are usually accessible anytime, anywhere provided there’s internet access
- To use a cloud-based solution you have to have an internet connection. Depending on where your business is located and what the access to the internet is like may be a deciding factor on which platform you eventually choose
- There is a vulnerability to server crashes or third-party errors
On-premise server-based solutions
In contrast to cloud-based systems, on-premise server-based solutions offer a greater sense of security and more complete control over proprietary data. Solutions of this type must be installed locally, so even if they feature wireless access they still remain tied to a single geographic location. Access to software of this type is usually used based on licenses issued for a certain period, with every upgrade requiring additional agreement with the provider. Here’s an overview of the positive and negative features typical for this platform type:
- It gives your business full control of all modules and procedures, with the ability to react quickly to any hardware problem or data loss
- Your IT team are able to maintain and update it themselves. This means that any updates happen on your schedule and not when it suits someone else
- Server-based platforms provide improved data security, with the possibility to determine various clearance levels for different employees and physically restrict access to most sensitive information
- The biggest is cost. A large investment in infrastructure is necessary before deployment – unless you already have this place
- There are ongoing expenses to consider, relating to the administration and maintenance of the system, that will need to be accounted for
- You may be locked into a single HR software product until the license expires, and could be required to make additional payments for upgrades
Every organization prioritizes differently. Yet in most cases a cloud-based (SaaS) solution represents the more cost-effective option. With improved responsiveness and advanced encryption techniques becoming the standard, this group of HR solutions seems to have addressed the most glaring issues and can now compare to custom-built solutions in terms of functionality. Unless you already own the necessary infrastructure in place, it would be more cost-effective and less disruptive to opt for a cloud-based platform.
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