Leveraging Cloud-based Technology to Deliver Employee Benefits

Cloud Technology in Benefits

Cloud-based services are really catching on for businesses everywhere. The idea is relatively simple, it allows the storing and accessing of data and applications over the Internet versus a computer’s hard drive. As controlling costs is top-of-mind for companies both big and small, they are finding cloud computing provides them a valuable solution for many organizational functions.

The role of HR professionals has expanded greatly over the years, with much time being devoted to managing benefits. The Affordable Care Act has increased compliance requirements and caused a shift to consumer directed health plans, which require more guidance and education efforts for employers to administer correctly and employees to use correctly.

A cloud-based solution can provide automatic updates about the law and simplify the benefits process, lowering a company’s risk for accruing penalties and fines. Payroll functions are also governed by changing IRS regulations, which when handled by cloud computing helps employees’ receive correct compensation. This type of technology provides real-time updates and access to the most current software version, without having to devote time to managing upgrades and having to worry about having enough space on company servers.

It also means employees can have access to manage their information anytime, anywhere. Similar to how they do most everything today from their banking to their shopping. With cloud-based solutions information is put directly into the hands of employees through mobile apps, allowing them to view and understand their paychecks and benefits whenever it’s convenient for them.

Does all this convenience make information less secure? Cloud computing means data and private information is no longer sitting on a person’s laptop or on someone’s desk where it can easily be walked off with. Data management best practices need to be followed by cloud vendors and clear authorization privileges need to be delineated for access to specific company data.

This is why this type of technology is helping in many ways, including overall growth for companies. A 2014 Deloitte small business study found that companies using cloud computing grew 26% faster and were 21% more profitable than those that did not. Additionally, a recent New Jersey Institute of Technology survey reported that 27% of businesses are moving workloads to the cloud because they believe is will help them lower their capital expenditures. By 2017 respondents feel two-thirds of all workloads will be processed in cloud data centers.

The benefits of using cloud technology are numerous. It has the potential to not only help make some expenses more predictable, but help lower costs in general by eliminating mistakes, inconsistencies and time-consuming administrative work. Cloud processing can ensure accuracy among many different type of processes and create an environment that promotes  transparency, product development and innovation.

Source:  Maclean’s. Businesses Should Care about Managing HR and Payroll in the Cloud. 10/3/2016. P 45.

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