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Cloud computing is a hot tech field these days, particularly as consumer companies like Amazon have brought out cloud-based services and Apple is set to introduce its iCloud this fall. As our special section on HR technology noted in its section on “Data and Security”:
“Cloud computing enthusiasts tout its ability to eliminate on-site hardware, software and the expensive system upgrades that are common in human resources departments.”
Yet it seems HR departments are not flocking to the cloud, at least not yet.
When an HR process is taken on the cloud, it’s through software as a service (SaaS). The software delivery model and its associated data are hosted in the cloud.
This past May, Human Capital Media (HCM) Advisory Group, the research division of Talent Management magazine, conducted a survey on how HR and technology interrelate. The survey was sent to 1,131 HR professionals in positions of director and above. It was completed by 193 and partially completed by 261 recipients.
Survey respondents were asked if their organizations have adopted SaaS technology. The majority – 64 percent – said no, which is perhaps not surprising considering that widespread use of cloud-based computing for consumer and business functions is not yet fully mature.
Of the 36 percent of respondents using SaaS technology, another 36 percent are doing it on the cloud through a subscription-based service. Half of respondents reported deploying SaaS via licensed software hosted remotely or on the premises or via in-house software. So those using SaaS for HR remain a minority, and of those using SaaS, those doing so on the cloud are also a minority. These numbers should grow as cloud matures and its proponents continue to tout its advantages.
Another interesting question the survey asked is “What type of social networking tool does your organization use?” Respondents were presented with 19 options and asked to select all that applied. Not surprisingly, Facebook and LinkedIn ruled, both cited by 20 of respondents. Twitter trailed slightly with 15 percent of respondents, which is perhaps not surprising. Using Twitter for business purposes presents a bit more of a learning curve than the other two – certainly more than LinkedIn – and requires more in the way of continual management to see success.
Perhaps the most interesting response we saw here is that nearly 11 percent of those surveyed said they do not use social networking at all. One suspects that’s a figure that will steadily shrink over the years if these companies want to remain competitive.
What do you think – are you looking to take all or some of your tech-based HR functions on the cloud?
Daniel Margolis is a managing editor of Talent Management magazine. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, and has been writing and editing professionally for more than 12 years, contributing content to publications such as Wax Poetics, XXL, Complex and AOL Digital City Chicago. Prior to joining MediaTec, he served as a staff editor on publications covering printing, machining, metal service centers and project management. He can be reached at dmargolis@TalentMGT.com.