It can be confusing trying to understand the difference between cloud computing and local computing. This is mostly on account of the fact that today the cloud is part and parcel of just about everything in the computing world.
As such, you can use local software tools, such as Microsoft Office 365, while simultaneously relying on its cloud computing capabilities for storage in the form of Microsoft OneDrive.
Microsoft has a set of web-based apps (think Office Online) that are OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word versions that are only found on the internet. These apps, as well as many web design tools, can as such, be easily accessed through a web browser without the need for you to install anything on your computer.
The following are a prime example of how cloud computing works.
Most of the largest cloud computing services are email-based. In fact, millions use Windows Live Mail and Hotmail. Further, web mail also means that you can access emails from any location. Various other Cloud solutions, such as Webcastcloud facilitate Webcasts and events.
Although you might get a storage service for documents, it is highly likely that you will still maintain a copy on your computer. However, local computing is problematic since you can lose data due to computer hacking, destruction, and theft. The best solution is to use a service that is entirely off-site – such as those provided by Mozy, Carbonite, and JungleDisk.
For HR, cloud computing offers faster access to innovation. Some companies have implemented SaaS by subscribing to an internet-based app. This is the preferred option for most software providers because subscription allows companies to use a platform/program without having to worry about how to host it.
Here are a few cloud computing services already used by Human Resources organisations for many years.
1. SalesForce Cloud
This service provides companies with a task and case management interface as well as a system for the automatic escalation and routing of important events. Through the customer portal, users can track their cases, perform social networking, access and use analytic tools, as well as receive email alerts.
2. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
A primarily PaaS (Platform as a Service) service, Amazon Elastic Cloud is a platform for students and developers for designing and creating apps.
3. Google Cloud Platform
On the Google Cloud Platform, businesses can access Google Compute, Google App Engine, Google Drive, and Google Cloud Print.
Overall, with the advent and easy penetration of cloud computing, it is highly likely that more than 50% of all Human Resources apps will be accessible via the cloud by 2020.
Most bloggers already use a number of Cloud-based time management and employee monitoring tools, such as Codebase, Upwork and iWriter. None of these tools existed 10 years ago. It will be interesting to see how employee management will be transformed in the next 5 to 10 years with the development of Remote Employee Monitoring (REM) for Mobile applications. Will HR managers be able to see what their employees around the world are doing at any time by pressing a button on their iPhone?