There is an amplifiePicture1d usage of Software as a service (SAAS) in business and it is becoming increasingly evident in HR software solutions as well. In fact, HR cloud applications are the third most popular applications (based upon a study conducted by Myhrtoolkit, wherein 32% of people interviewed stated they would invest in HR cloud applications for their business)

Flexible working is becoming increasingly acceptable in any organisational working environment. According to survey done by Institute of Leadership and Management, flexible working is being offered by 94% of organisations. This means increasingly there is a demand to access a company’s data from anywhere and everywhere.

So, what are the key drivers for selecting SAAS?

The focus of having SAAS system should be flexibility, ease of use and minimum interruption.  The good thing about having a cloud based system is massive reduction in cost. You pay on a per seat per user basis. The outlay is dramatically less than an on- premise license. It further has tax benefits at its treated as an operating expense.

Requirements of SAAS are enhancing with every passing year. No wonder there has been a buzz around SAP snapping up Success factors and Oracle Buying Right Now Technologies. Plus there are new vendors mushrooming offering comprehensive HR SAAS solutions which seem very lucrative for small and big businesses. So how should we go about choosing the right vendor? Data related to employees’ payroll, tax and benefits is crucial and therefore needs to be secure. Offline backups could be done but might result in increased breaches of corporate policies on systems.An important consideration of any SAAS softwareprovider is security of data that they provide. The focus and expectation of any client is getting the data instantaneously and being stored by the vendor securely.

Another plus for having a SAAS is scalability. Storage and usage is (theoretically) unlimited. If you have the budget and requirement, you can buy it when you need it. Success factors launched SAAS HR systems for Siemens in less than 6 months. It is no joke that with the launch itself, the system could handle 400,000 employee records and 40,000 daily logins. It goes without saying that you get SAAS for a robust online access all the time.

A good SAAS provider should offer a competitive price, and detailed project management plans on carrying out installation, updating and customisation of user interface and reports.SAAS vendors should take responsibility of managing software systems, fixing bugs and installing upgrades on a periodic basis (preferably monthly).Ideally, the SLAs should be fixed while signing Master Service Agreements. Meeting SLAs month on month can be challenging especially if the SAAS vendors are new to the technology.

A good idea would be to look at the detailed implementation plans and success stories for some of their recent clients before finalising a vendor. I am not saying doubt them but it is better to be prudent than sorry. My suggestion would be to know your prospective delivery team. Also, importance should be laid upon the accuracy with which delivery is made month on month for existing clients.If the entire software solution is not provided by a single vendor, then it is your job as a business to bring all vendors, your IT team creating clear communication channels at all times.

For successful implementation and running of a cloud based system, there should be clear communication between business, IT and operational team. This is for always being in line with achieving business goals and providing a robust system. The good thing about cloud based software is that as a business, you are less tied to a vendor or system. You can easily make a shift if you are not happy with the service.From employees point of view, place of work should almost become non relevant after a successful implementation. From users’ point of view, they should not feel any difference in the application’s look and feel.

It is implied therefore, that an established SaaS provider should be engaged. Although cloud computing has come quite far in last few years, it still has a long way to go- in terms of enhanced technologies and seamless integration but the amount of risk definitely gets reduced with an established provider.

Neeti Keswani Neeti Keswani (4 Posts)

Neeti Keswani is a passionate writer and trainer with 11+ years of experience in the industry. She has worked with global conglomerates like GE, Polaris, Standard Chartered Bank, Hewitt Associates.She is presently working freelancing for various online media, both here in India and London, UK. She has solid HR, Marketing and Operations management background.She has innate ability to translate technology into compelling simple messages. Her extensive business partnering experience to develop sustainable relationships with clients at CXO levels has helped her gain insights and develop effective solutions for clients.She writes and speaks fervently on current topics of importance to global companies. Her bespoke style of training instantly connects the trainees with the subject.

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