6 factors driving ‘Cloudsourcing’

by Michael Custers

In recent years innovation and transformation in Human Resources (HR) have been considerably accelerated by the availability of new, innovative solutions such as HR outsourcing and cloud-based HR technologies. ‘Cloudsourcing’ – the combination of HR outsourcing and cloud technology – will accelerate this evolution of HR towards a more strategic role even more.

HR outsourcing has enabled the streamlining and standardizing of HR processes. The advent of cloud technology solutions – such as SaaS (Software as a Service) and BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) – has brought even greater potential for accelerating this evolution by delivering all kinds of critical benefits, including continual innovation, shared infrastructures and unified global technology platforms.

Thanks to a variety of cloud-based solutions and services, HR can more quickly follow up on the increasing globalization and complexity, and can manage HR requirements in a more flexible and cost-efficient way than ever before.

The evolution of technology in HR is still underway and the end is not there yet. Cloudsourcing combines the above two trends – providing HR outsourcing services using cloud technology – and herewith provides an answer to the current technological and economic developments and challenges.

Thanks to cloudsourcing, HR can evolve from transaction-based to a more strategic discipline that creates value for its stakeholders: senior management, business partners and employees.

NGA distinguishes 6 major technological and economic challenges tackled by cloudsourcing:

1. The consumerization of technology

Not that long ago, technology was controlled exclusively by IT departments. The rise of cloud technology has drastically changed this; almost everybody can effortlessly use cloud-based services to search for, manage and share information. This has completely changed the way we live, work and connect with others, and as such we also expect more speed, usability, accessibility, mobility, agility and accuracy at work. Organizations have to evolve with this trend, and cloud-based technologies and services are absolutely essential in this regard. IT is no longer the only ‘owner’ of technology within companies: the business lines (HR, marketing, finance) have also claimed their place at the table.

2. HR goes Digital

The current generation of – more digitally savvy, social and mobile – employees expect and demand direct access to HR services. Digital enables employees to be active participants in managing their own careers, by both accessing and adapting their own personnel data. HR must then act as a strategic partner for both management and employees and create added value for the organization by establishing and managing globally compliant, easily accessible and transparent HR processes.

3. Economic uncertainty

Due to the recent economic downturn and uncertainty caused by events such as Brexit, organizations face intensifying pressure to justify expenses and cost-to-value ratios. Technology and HR expenditures are, of course, among them. HR outsourcing through cloud-based platforms reduces some of the acquisition and deployment costs and provides organizations with the necessary flexibility to adapt the services – and the related operating costs – to the changing business conditions.

4. Continued Globalization

An increasing number of companies employ people on different countries and continents and require global oversight over their workforce, for compliance and/or performance reasons. Thanks to global cloud-based solutions, employees around the world are interconnected and can count on the same support, on the same technology platform. By combining this technology to HR outsourcing services, employers can ensure compliance and a globally uniform process support.

5. A shrinking workforce

As more and more of the world’s population ages and moves into retirement, organizations suddenly find themselves with critical skill gaps in competences and workforce. Although HR may set the strategy and lead or manage the processes, talent management in today’s environment is shared among HR, managers, business partners and the employees themselves. The combination of cloud-based technology platforms and outsourced HR processes enables talent management across different regions, laws, cultures and languages.

6. The rise of analytics & data

In these economically challenging times, the correct interpretation of HR data is essential. The increasing complexity of HR requires robust solutions and fact-based decisions. Access to HR data and the ability to integrate, analyze and implement these are essential. HR reports and analytics – more important as organizational tools than ever before – are completely dependent on the ability to amass good people data and to put relevant reports in the hands of HR, managers and employees. The availability of a uniform, global HR solution is therefore a strategic imperative. Additionally, a global HR service delivery network ensures maximum transactional efficiency.

Cloud-based technologies complemented by HR outsourcing services (aka ‘cloudsourcing‘ or BPaaS – Business Process as a Service) comply remarkably well to contemporary organizational requirements regarding flexibility, accuracy, compliance, usability, cost effectiveness and global reach. Moreover, cloudsourcing offers significant advantages such as more standardized HR processes, greater mobility, time savings, and improved quality and integration of employee data.

Moving to cloud-based HR service solutions doesn’t have to be difficult, prolonged or disruptive. This transition can be done through a staged approach, and your past investments are not wasted. Cloud-based solutions can perfectly be combined with on-premise technology through hybrid HR models.

Moreover, the right partner will not only guide organizations in choosing the right solutions, but will also implement them in an efficient, streamlined way. This way, the HR function transforms into the strategic leader that 21st century organizations demand.