Cloud computing in HR

Engage is an example of a “cloud” application. But what does that mean? It means that the cogs and wheels as well as the data itself are stored remotely in a data centre rather than in your office. Each user accesses the software and their own segment of the data via the Internet using an Internet browser.

What is the benefit of using cloud computing?

There are many benefits to using cloud computing. First of all, using a network based application means that you no longer need to install the software on individual desktop or laptop computers. The site is available on any device with an Internet browser and connection. Secondly, the data can be accessed from anywhere. You no longer need to be at your computer to access your data but logging in with your credentials gives you access from any location. Not to mention that you can also use Engage like other cloud-based services from your tablet or a mobile. Engage has been built with modern programming technology to be cross-platform compatible – in English that means you can use it on an Android phone as well as on an Apple device or a Blackberry.

Another benefit of a central database that everyone has a personal login to is that you can collaborate. Different stakeholders may need access to employee records and absence histories for different reasons and, with a web app, that is easy to arrange. For example line managers can update the records for absent employees with notes and complete the Return to Work interview forms; HR administrators can add starters and remove leavers; HR Directors can check the dashboard for current absence trends and export graphs for a board meeting.

Is my data safe in the cloud? I hear you ask.

The answer is ‘yes’. With modern technology, accessing your data remotely does not need to be a security risk so long as things are done properly. When logging into Engage, you are using an encrypted SSL connection, which means that all data that travels between your browser and the data centre is encrypted in transit. This is the same type of encryption that your online banking apps use. Access to all data is guarded by user authentication (usernames and passwords) and your credentials define the parts of data you or other users are allowed to see. We also monitor our data centre closely and our uptime is 99% so you virtually never lose access to your data. On the off chance that our data centre should go up in flames one day, we also keep an offsite encrypted back-up that is ready to go live and replace the original at a few hours’ notice. By offsite we mean another data centre in a different physical location, all still within the UK.