Why a cloud HR system is a no-brainer

Paul Burrin
Published on 31st October 2017
3 min read

Some things are no-brainers. And when it comes to choosing new HR software – cloud is one of them.

Cloud is revolutionizing the traditional HR function, enabling HR managers to become people-focused, and allowing them to design great workforce experiences for their people.

Nearly 40% of businesses have moved their core applications to the cloud already, with a third of the remainder planning to migrate over the next 12-18 months, according to the fourth annual HR Technology Survey by PWC.

A modern global cloud HR management system (HRMS) enables companies to design better workforce experiences for employees. It is secure, flexible, and can be used across the world, as well as on mobile and on-demand.

In comparison, on-premise technology struggles to cope with managing a mobile, social and multi-generational twenty-first century workforce. Costly change control, complex hard-coded changes and lengthy implementations timescales are just some of the reasons why on-premise software and traditional HCM vendors are no longer fit for purpose.

It can slow down business progress, create frustration – possibly increasing the likelihood of good people looking elsewhere for career opportunities – and hold back growth.

Reports take hours instead of seconds, and mistakes are easily made through the reliance on manually inputting data into spreadsheets.

By 2020, investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) is set to grow to 32% of the HR technology marketplace from just 12% in 2016, while investment in licensed on-premises software is set to drop to 20% (from 45% in 2016), according to technology research firm IDG.

If you’re still on the fence or it’s been a couple of years since your last assessment of a cloud system as a viable option, here’s some compelling reasons why it may be worth revisiting the current HR cloud offerings.


Companies often use multiple systems for their HR and business management requirements, and it can be difficult to have clear visibility of all that data and information. This is where seamless integration comes in.

A “strong” cloud HR system must be able to ‘talk’ to other systems in your business, sharing the appropriate data as required.

A modern cloud HR and People system connects disparate applications into one environment, resulting in a single data source and version of the truth. At Sage People, our cloud HR and People System gives companies end-to-end functionality found in traditional HRMS – like performance management, talent management, and employee engagement applications – together in one place.

It also goes beyond that with its powerful integration capabilities; companies can pull into data and information from other applications such as payroll, learning management systems, expense management, advanced scheduling, and health and wellness, to name a few.

On-premise systems often require data to be exported to Excel to be manipulated for reporting, which is inefficient as every time HR and People data changes, the export and report compilation processes need to be repeated. This ‘out-of-date’ approach guarantees that your reporting and insights will always be out-of-date, due to its point-in-time nature.

Having an integrated cloud HR system enables records to be updated seamlessly across the business. It also offers excellent reporting features with data available at the touch of a button.


Global businesses often move their high-performing talent from place to place, with a greater emphasis on short-term assignments, frequent business visits, cross-border commuting, and virtual working.

Multinational companies are also required to comply with national holidays, pay periods, laws around when new staff can start to take holidays, and a multitude of other regulation and compliance matters.

Older, unsophisticated systems are not well equipped to deal with such multinational operations and do not have the capabilities to work in multiple currencies or multiple calendars.

To help drive business growth, international businesses need a globally-connected HR system that is able to consolidate and link data such as travel and calendar data, with tax and payroll data.


A cloud HR and People System enables your workforce to manage and take control of their working life no matter where they are, or what device they are using. Allowing staff to change their address, book leave, fill out sickness reports, manage teams and receive company updates electronically and remotely improves the employee user experience.

Half of the organizations surveyed by PwC said their cloud implementation had increased the use of self-service tools for HR-related transactions, with 52% reporting an increase in employee usage, and 47% saying managers now used self-service tools more regularly.

With better tools in the hands of employees and managers, HR and People teams can be untethered from much of the traditional paper pushing and transactional processes, allowing them to play a stronger consulting role in the business and provide a people focused strategy.

4.Lower costs

Cloud HR systems eliminate the need for regular maintenance of on-premise software, as well as moving away from sensitive hardware, disaster recovery issues, disruptive upgrades, and expensive licenses.

With SaaS, you only pay for what you need, and it can be up and running a lot quicker than traditional deployments.

Condensing HR processes into fewer tasks and automating manual data inputting frees up essential resource to focus on core business requirements.

Reduced cost of ownership was cited by the largest number of respondents to ISG’s research as being the top benefit of moving to the cloud, with reduced dependency on IT as the second most popular benefit.


A cloud HR system is vital when growing a business.

It is essential for companies joining forces that back-end systems are easily integrated, time and money spent trying to integrate legacy systems is time and money that can’t be spent on maximizing the benefits from a merger or acquisition.

Without robust HR systems it can be difficult to get the information needed and mergers and acquisitions can stumble as a result.

If your company wants to grow, a global cloud HR and people platform is a no-brainer, and essential for your people and company success.

Having a fit-for-purpose modern HR system is vital for any business wanting to become a People Company.  Cloud computing is secure, flexible, can be used globally, and creates better workforce experiences for your people.

We’re in. Are you?



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