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Making a Smooth Switch From Spreadsheets to a Cloud- Based HR Software

Published on 22 July 16

Who here loves spreadsheets? I certainly do not. At least I would not use such a strong word as love. I would say that I find them useful, they help me get the job done. Getting the job done, however, can be achieved by other means as well, such as by using a cloud- based HR software for example.

Cloud technology is relatively new, which does not mean we should doubt it. Of course, adapting to change can be difficult, especially if we are so used to our customized spreadsheets and have already acquired some Excel skills. Still, if we want to stay ahead of the technology curve we must be ready to embrace change.

Fear of utilizing new technology, i.e. change, is a common phenomenon in the world of business. Therefore, we will address how to deal with uncertainties that might arise from switching from spreadsheets to a cloud- based HR software. Everyone is doing it and you can too, so bear with me.

The Problem With Spreadsheets

First of all, as an HR professional you are probably required to deal with a variety of processes. These include payroll, onboarding, employee information, performance evaluations, benefits enrollment, recruiting, employee scheduling, data analysis and decision making.

While smaller companies tend to handle these processes with the help of spreadsheets alone, bigger ones just need more. It is often a matter of computing power. Furthermore, business growth depends on utilization of cutting edge tech which will go side by side with its development and the sooner a company starts to use a cloud based- HR software- the better.

What Will Happen to the Existing Data?

This question is only logical. Does switching from spreadsheets to a cloud- based HR software require deletion of the existing data? Of course not. Software companies have got us covered, but let us address this fear further.

As an HR professional or a business owner, you know that losing the important data can lead to losing your job or even trigger company failure. What is comforting, to say the least, is the fact that most software companies offer you to export your existing data and integrate it with the new software.

So you do not have to worry about backup. Then again, if you love your organized spreadsheets so much, you can still use them alongside the cloud- based service. I guarantee that you will eventually stop using those as well and make a full switch to a new, more efficient technology.

The Question of Security

This has to be addressed as data is often the most valuable resource a company might have. The majority of people have an (ungrounded) fear of new apps. We live in an age of constant security breaches and hacker attacks, but spreadsheets are not really known to be a secure way of storing data. Your computer can easily be broken into, even by your colleague. I do not mean to cause paranoia, by the way, but hackers are getting more creative by the day.

Therefore, cybersecurity is often the primary focus of cloud companies. A great HR software is completely encrypted, and in compliance with many cybersecurity regulations. Cloud companies have to jump through many hoops in order to be able to call its product secure. This is not the case with spreadsheets, as you are solely responsible with the stored data. Why not leave cybersecurity to the professionals and take some pressure off yourself?

Robots vs. Humans

It is interesting that what was once a Sci-fi scenario is slowly becoming a reality. There is an increasing number of new robots, AI software and generally software that automates various human jobs. This is why a lot of people fear that they will lose their job to a piece of software. This fear is completely ungrounded.

Once a cloud- based software eliminates the need for manual input of data, you as an HR professional will have more time to focus on what your job should really be about and that is people management. Your company will be able to work with you on strategies, ideas and projects that are much more important that handling tons of data.

So, the question should not be: What will happen to him, now that we have a software to do his job? Rather, it should be: How can we use his knowledge to better organize our employees and focus on attracting top talent to our company? Neat, right?

Better User Experience

There is a common belief that apps and software within your cloud infrastructure will be tough to navigate and sync. However, syncing those very services is one of the main concerns of service providers. Nobody wants to remember a ton of different passwords, but that is why the infrastructure is organized in a way that you can use a single password for almost your entire cloud. Individual spreadsheets do not allow for such a smooth navigation.

Still, a lot of us love our spreadsheets (I say us to be polite, but I really do hate them). The only way to switch to cloud-based HR software if to make that a change for the better. What does that mean? Basically, you should ensure that the new solution offers an even smoother user experience than the spreadsheets (like that is hard). You should by no means switch to something that is more rigid.

I advise you to consult your potential service provider and go through a customization process of the software so that it is the best, smoothest possible solution for you and your employees. I do not want to lie to you that any cloud- based HR software is better that spreadsheets, but most of them are- at least the companies that take user experience seriously.

Embrace Change

Finally, to make the transition to a new technology as smooth as possible, you should look at the benefits that this transition may bring, and there are many. You will no more be doing tedious, automatic tasks, but will be able to be creative and really deal with people within your company.

Consequently, you will have a greater chance of promotion and really be in the heart of the action. Embracing change is vital for staying ahead of the technology curve. It brings out the more human elements of HR and leaves the robotic part of the wort to the robots.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Enterprise Applications Community

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