Introduction & Purpose
Sure, The Cloud is good for saving family photos, connecting with friends, and accessing social media, but how applicable is it to your business? Surprisingly, very! Today’s Recruitment firms who move their applications to The Cloud are taking advantage of the myriad of benefits offered by getting their applications out of the office and onto The Cloud.
The purpose of this whitepaper is to outline how your company can benefit by moving staffing agency applications to The Cloud, rather than depending on onsite infrastructure. Additionally, this paper outlines the considerations that need to be included when considering cloud-based applications, and what your company needs to do for a successful implementation.
What are the reasons?
So what exactly are the reasons to move your firm’s operations into “The Cloud”? While there are many, here are some of the most compelling arguments that you should consider:
#1 Save on infrastructure
Servers and all the associated software and hardware your firm requires for operation can cost thousands of dollars (or more) per year. In addition to these costs you also have to factor in the cost of upgrades, replacements, and paying staff or consultants to repair and maintain your equipment, not to mention creating customised applications and programs to cover any inefficiencies.
When recruitment operations are moved to The Cloud all you need is a few terminals with internet access. With some firms spending up to four times their infrastructure budget on IT staff, this could lead to significant savings. Additionally, cloud-based mobile applications give your company the ability to give staff access to applications wherever they are, from smartphones, iPhones, and tablets, further reducing the need for hardware in the office.
Instead of finding a program that “almost” meets your needs, in The Cloud you can combine applications that specifically match and meet your business requirements. This specificity means you get more from every application and so do your staff. You only need the applications you are going to use – nothing more, nothing less. Cloud applications eliminate the need for bloated programs, database management, or additional programming – your business ends up with exactly what it needs.
Gone are the days where you have to wait for a daily automated synchronization to refresh information between programs and databases, once you are in The Cloud your data is updated and synched immediately between programs. This gives you more time to react to changes, or to prepare reports. It also lets you stay on top of important cases, clients, or trends. This faster response time means you can react more quickly and offer a higher level of service.
#4 Pay only for what you use
Tired of paying for bloated programs that are full of features you will never use? How about buying licenses for software to ensure that, in the rare case all of your staff needs to access the program at the same time they can? In The Cloud you only pay for access to the application you know you are going to use. On a per-user basis, cloud applications are much more affordable. If you need to add more users, merely add more users – it’s that easy.
#5 Seamless upgrades & scalability
Upgrading software (or hardware) on site is an operation that requires the skill of a ninja and the patience of a saint. Instead of planning for downtime and holding focus groups on execution and implementation, in The Cloud your applications are upgraded automatically – saving you and your company the time, expense, and headache of managing upgrades in the office.
What about when your business expands? Do you buy a bigger server, more desktops, or change your programming? With cloud applications scalability is not a problem. Simply increase the number of users, the amount of data. Cloud applications can handle the influx of new business or users without a hitch, so you have nothing to worry about.
#6 Increased productivity & profitability
Less time and money spent on infrastructure, programming, maintenance, and synchronization means a healthier bottom line for your company. Your staff can access programs from virtually anywhere and results are updated immediately – so you can get everything done more quickly. Additionally, programs that are hosted in The Cloud can be accessed more quickly, so there is less time spent waiting for applications to load.
#7 Focus on your business
Instead of worrying about infrastructure, upgrades, or software budgets, in The Cloud you will have more time to focus on growing and expanding your business. In the case of issues a customer service team is ready to help. You’ll find that you have more time to run your business, rather than fixing system issues or planning your next upgrade.
Before jumping into the deep end with cloud applications you need to factor in a few considerations to ensure that you end up with the “right” application for your business and that it is successfully integrated into your workflow. Failure to properly plan and integrate new applications can result in downtime and significant time spent getting staff up to speed. With proper planning you can significantly reduce or eliminate disruptions to your workflow.
Applications must be designed for your industry
There are many applications that may seem “about” right, but the last thing you want is to have to work with a program that isn’t quite what you need. Find a program specifically designed for your industry and you will get more benefits than with ones that almost work. Also look for applications that are designed to work together.
Ensure correct communication
It’s unlikely that one single application in The Cloud is going to solve your business needs, so you may need two, three, even four applications in order to run your business operations. However, unless all these applications can communicate effectively with each other you can run into inefficiencies.
Train your staff
Although cloud applications are often more straightforward than complex, bloated, software programs, they still require training to use. Training your staff will help make the transition easier, as well as ensuring that each application is correctly employed for its intended use. Also ensure that your staff has access to the support they need, so they can get answers to their questions, quickly.
Choosing the best application
The ideal application is the one that works best for your business. When considering an application (or group of applications), ask the following:
Once you have weighed all the pros and cons and have talked to the representatives of individual companies, take a few programs for a test drive to see which one gives you the best balance of functionality and usability. From here you can make an informed decision about the application that will work best for your business and begin working on an implementation plan.
Instead of spending money on aging systems, bloated software programs, maintenance, repair, and expansions, focus on applications that can serve and streamline your company better. Cloud-based applications are faster, more efficient, and cost less. They give you more flexibility, scalability, and faster response times, as well as giving your staff the ability to access information anywhere, anytime. Moving your company to The Cloud can give you the leg up over your competition, and help you prepare to take your business to the next level.
For the past six years, astutepayroll.com has been helping recruitment and staffing firms do business better by ensuring that the 100,000+ people who log in to our portal every day are happy and satisfied.
With 99.9% uptime throughout 2011, astutepayroll.com has helped 50,000 Employees, 40,000 Client Approvers, and 10,000 Recruitment Consultants to process more than 50M hours of work, through 1.5M timesheets totalling more than 1.25B in wages.
To keep things working and functioning faster and better every day is no easy task, which is why our energetic and focused IT teams based in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand are standing by and ready to help you move your company successfully into The Cloud.
Want to try it for your business? Go to www.astutepayroll.com and sign up for a free demo and trial.