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Last week, we partnered with RFP365 to share some info about the cloud and tips for moving to the cloud. If you weren’t able to catch the webinar, you can check out our teaser or the actual replay.

During the webinar, we received a few questions and wanted to share the answers with everyone. Check out our responses to the questions below.

What portion of HR tech vendors are on the cloud versus still on-premise? 

Most, if not all, of the traditional major on-premise solutions today also offer a cloud-based technology as well. In other words, vendor XYZ will provide either an on-premise solution or more of a SaaS/PaaS (cloud) solution as well. There are still several on-premise full HR/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions today. Most of these are specialized solutions that cater to certain industries.

What’s the most common mistake you see as people vet cloud-based providers? 

Choosing a partner is a big decision, and the last thing anyone should be doing is rushing through the process. Depending on the scope of what you need – meaning benefits administration only versus say full human capital management (HCM) – give yourself a comfortable amount of time to go through the vendor selection process. Three to six months, again depending on scope, from start to finish is pretty typical. In terms of a common mistake, it’s crucial to do a discovery of what you want to accomplish. Determine your wants, your requirements, what functions you need, etc.  Document all of that.

How do you help stakeholders get over the fear of off-premise solutions? 

Education. Many times we see the C-Suite yield this point directly to the IT leader (be that the CIO, CTO, etc.). Either way, it’s important to make sure the stakeholders who sign off on the technology/security are involved in the process of course. Almost every vendor has a very nice and condensed summary of its technology/security. It’s usually a five to 10-page document, which covers a lot of information, and we commonly call this the “CIO level documentation.” In addition, most vendors will zip-up and send over their more detailed information as well (audits, diagrams, etc). Lastly, a good 30 to 45-minute call with the right resources from both the client and vendor side can usually talk through any remaining questions.

We should also restate, it’s important to make sure the Finance side is onboard with the move to say a SaaS partner. The spend model between on premise and off premise is different, and thus most organizations need to have the buy in from Finance on the operation expense.

Lastly, make sure Legal is comfortable with the agreement of course.

When is off-premise simply not a viable option? 

From a true data security standpoint, there’s really not a true blanket statement which says: “off-premise should never be used for XYZ.” Again, due diligence is imperative because some industries are more highly regulated than others. Often, the on-premise/off-premise decision comes down to client-specific complexities and requirements. If an employer truly has very complex and unique needs, there may be some limitations which come into play on a true SaaS model. SaaS is all about configuration, and sometimes it’s a matter of having to make a decision to make a change to a process or the “way we do things today” (change management) to accommodate what the product/solution can do.

What groups within my organization do I need to on-board? (Who needs to be involved in making these decisions?) 

To be candid, if one has silos in place between say HR and Payroll/Finance, this is the time when those groups have to work together on the decision. Even if HR is championing an HCM, it’s imperative the Finance/Payroll teams are involved as well. So, traditionally, for HRIS/HCM, HR (to include also those involved in Recruiting, Benefits Administration, Job Comp, Employee Development, etc.), Finance/Payroll, IT and Legal. Sometimes even Procurement. It’s often wise to involve a handful of managers and even front line employees as well. Managers and employees can help validate your objectives and perhaps give a different perspective from their view and role as well.

Are you ready to move to the cloud now? Have you recently made a move to the cloud and want to share your experience? Comment below.