More than a third of respondents to the ITWeb HR & Payroll Survey 2015 have adopted a cloud-based payroll and human resources (HR) software solution, indicating many local organisations are embracing the flexibility that the cloud brings to their businesses. The Survey was backed by ERP consulting and implementation firm, Synergy Group, and leading African payroll and HR solutions group, Sage VIP, a division of Sage HR & Payroll.
The Survey canvassed South African organisations of various sizes and from a cross-section of industries. Out of the total sample, 80% of respondents are using some form of automated solution to manage payroll and HR. Thirty-five percent of respondents make use of cloud payroll and HR software, while the balance don’t.
Says Anton van Heerden, Managing Director, Sage HR & Payroll: “We found it remarkable that such a large proportion of companies have opted for cloud-based payroll and HR solutions. Today, it’s a third, whereas it was probably less than 10% just five years ago. In another five years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than two thirds of companies using cloud solutions.”
“In a volatile environment where workforces are fluid and capital budgets are under pressure, more and more companies will inevitably opt for the flexibility of software-as-a-service.”
Van Heerden says the familiarity of the Internet for most business managers and owners has helped to drive adoption of the cloud. They have been using it for online banking and other mission-critical functions for years, so they feel comfortable using Internet-based services for business applications such as HR and payroll.
Another benefit of the cloud is that it supports the drive to mobility. Executives today want to access business information on the go. Most modern cloud solutions make it easy for them to access their data and applications across a standard HTML5 interface from their tablets or smartphones so that they can keep business processes flowing even when they’re out the office.
Out of the 20% of respondents that indicated that their organisation does not have an automated payroll and HR solution, 74% said the reason was that they have too few employees to justify one. “This is an interesting perception,” says Van Heerden. “We believe that even companies with three or five employees can benefit from a cloud-based payroll solution. Pricing per payslip per month can be as little as R22 and you only need to pay for the number of people you employ.”
Time to modernise
Synergy Group CEO, Ashley Regenass, says that his company’s experience in the marketplace echoes the results of the survey. The few companies that have yet to automate HR and payroll are rapidly doing so, while others are modernising their HR and payroll departments with new-age solutions that support the cloud, mobility, and analytics.
Synergy Group CEO, Ashley Regenass
“Many companies are embracing modular, flexible technology that allows them to take advantage of trends such as mobility and Employee Self-Service,” he adds. “Modernising the business systems goes along with the need for HR and payroll departments to play a stronger role in supporting the business as the war for talent heats up. A good payroll and HR system is a platform on which HR departments can build capabilities such as HR analytics and Employee Self-Service.”
“Employee engagement is vital today, which is why there is as much focus today on HR service delivery as there is on improving efficiencies,” he adds. “With an online solution, HR and payroll teams can simply log in from wherever they are and start working. Their data is available online, anywhere, anytime and from any device. All they need is an Internet connection. This helps them to be more flexible, efficient and responsive.”
“Self-Service is convenient for the employee, and also saves managers and the HR department a great deal of paperwork,” he adds.