Many small companies worry about adopting cloud-based time tracking software. Some find it hard to justify.
New technology can be scary, but you don’t have to be afraid. Cloud-based time tracking can improve your chances of success, and there are a lot of reasons. Need justification?
Here’s all the justification you will ever need:
What Is “The Cloud?”
Many small business owners have concerns about the cloud. They are unfamiliar with the concept and have some fears. Cloud-based time tracking is nothing to be afraid of and comes with a wide range of benefits.
In a nutshell: cloud computing is a system on that runs on the internet. For instance, you access a cloud-based time tracker through a browser. The difference between cloud software and traditional software is where you find it.
Traditional software runs on a desktop computer or on a local company server. Access is available to location-specific employees. There is usually an administrator who has primary access. Access restrictions for most employees apply, either by proximity or authorization. If you’re not in the building, you can’t get to it.
Cloud systems run in a specialized data center. Cloud access occurs through a browser over the internet. There are a lot of advantages to cloud-based computing.
Let’s take a look at the advantages in the context of justification for an upgrade:
Cloud Adoption Is Growing
These new cloud solutions are gaining traction with small business owners. Savings in time and money, along with advanced features, are a compelling draw.
According to Goldman Sachs, adoption of cloud computing platforms is growing at 30%. That’s a lot of adoption!
Adoption means that the cloud model is sound and companies are experiencing success. The more companies that adopt, the more options developers will create. There are already a lot of companies providing cloud-based solutions…
Amazon.com is one of the largest companies in the world. Their entire effort is cloud-based. In fact, Amazon leases space on their cloud platform to other providers. Not only is Amazon running in the cloud, they are helping deliver other cloud services, too.
SwipeClock is a software company that provides cloud-based time tracking.
SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management services. WorkforceHUB™ is their newest workforce management product. WorkforceHUB offers the advantages of full-featured time and attendance in the cloud.
SwipeClock enables you to transform labor from a cost to a competitive advantage. Cloud services are key to this benefit.
The bottom line: cloud computing is seeing widespread adoption. Small businesses are adopting cloud-based solutions such as time and attendance. This has raised the competitive bar and is a compelling reason to justify your upgrade.
Always Up To Date
One of the major drawbacks of traditional software installations is the upkeep. Managers need to watch version numbers and decide when upgrades are necessary. In most cases, updates lag behind important improvements that could help you save.
The cloud offers worry-free version control, saving update costs, and regular feature updates.
Cloud-based time tracking software is always up to date. You aren’t hosting the software on a local machine, so there is nothing to update on your side.
You won’t have to worry about which version you are using because it’s always the latest.
With cloud-based time tracking software, you can remove the cost of regular updates. Software costs can soar for a company working to maintain compliance. End software costs with simple cloud-based access to your time tracker.
Customer service objectives motivate providers to update features often. Providers like SwipeClock work to ensure they are delivering the latest features. They are always adding new compliance features, updating time-saving optimizations, and improving processes. The result is software that is always up to date, and feature-rich.
The automatic update nature of cloud-based software means you save time and effort. For time tracking software, that means less worry and more productivity.
Automatic updates is a powerful justification to upgrade to cloud-based time tracking.
Cloud-based time and attendance trackers have to worry about compliance. Their software must include updated legal compliance and industry regulations. They won’t be able to sell their service if they don’t. It’s an important competitive distinction.
Traditional systems include regulation compliance. The problem is that you’ll be back to playing catch up version control in no time. Tracking machines that are compliant, and which are not, becomes a huge worry. That kind of worry can be a drain on productivity.
Worse still is when you discover a compliance issue and have to backtrack, or pay fines. It happens.
Built-in compliance offers an immediate advantage to anyone working in a regulated industry. Even for less regulated industries, time and attendance tracking present legal pitfalls. It will always be a critical worry for Human Resources managers.
Worry-free compliance is a worthy justification in your time tracking process.
No IT Department Needed
Cloud-based time tracking software eases IT resources for any size organization. They use the vendor’s technical expertise for their employee timekeeping system. Yet they pay a fraction of the cost of having in-house techs and hardware.
Growing businesses won’t have to expand their IT departments. They can manage timekeeping for as many employees as they need. Their IT departments will not need to maintain any extra infrastructure.
Start-ups without IT employees can use cloud-based time tracking software. It will accommodate a burgeoning staff without adding an IT burden.
Some Human Resources managers for large businesses don’t want to get IT involved. They prefer to maintain systems on their own. It can be frustrating to wait in line for a busy IT department with a long to-do list. They can’t risk missing payroll because IT can’t work on their broken system. That’s one reason some Human Resources departments stay with manual systems.
With cloud-based time and attendance, the payroll manager doesn’t need technical skills. The timekeeping vendor keeps the system up and running. They handle anything an IT department would handle. The time tracking system is intuitive and easy to use.
Cloud-based time tracking systems do not need IT support. This is one of the reasons they are affordable and easy to put in place.
Easy End-user Adoption
Cloud technology makes end-user adoption a breeze for four quick reasons:
- Easy to access
- Device independence
- Personal empowerment
- Reduced steps
Managers want to make sure employees will use their time tracking system. Cloud-based systems like WorkforceHUB have an intuitive user interface. Single sign-on, ubiquitous browser-based access, and clock compatibility also make this easy.
Employees can clock in from the device that is most comfortable for them. Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. There is no learning curve.
Device independence means fewer employees will find reasons to avoid the system.
Employees who adopt cloud access find empowerment in the form of self-service. Self-control over personal profiles, tax exemptions, and historical payroll data offer freedom. Employees feel like they are in control, and the business has fewer maintenance tasks.
The rollout of new cloud-based time tracking software causes minimal disruption. It eliminates time tracking tasks instead of adding them.
For example, the system removes the burden of employees filling out time cards. Supervisors don’t have to collect and correct time cards. The only change in routine is that time and attendance tracking is easier and faster.
End-user adoption has never been so easy with cloud-based computing. Cloud time tracking makes company-wide rollouts easier than ever.
Wide end-user adoption means you have more data to work with and fewer outliers to worry about. When was the last time you didn’t have to fight for change?
For most companies, this isn’t a huge problem. Traditional time trackers are available during shift work. There is little need to have someone managing your time tracker while the lights are off.
Companies with mobile or remote employees are more concerned about 24/7 availability. Businesses working across time zones are also concerned with wider windows of access.
Cloud-based time trackers are up and running all the time. Access is independent of time. Whenever your company is working, so is your cloud-based time tracker.
This is a small justification for a few companies, but 24/7 access is a big deal. It’s even bigger for small companies who would have a hard time justifying the cost of all the uptime.
Along with 24/7 uptime is mobile access. Anytime, anywhere access is a competitive advantage. especially for sales groups and service organizations.
You access a cloud-based time tracking system with a web browser. That simple fact is key. If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, you’ve got access. If you use a computer, you’ve got access.
Anywhere in the world. With an internet connection and a device, you can access your time tracking system.
Cloud-based software has allowed the telecommuting trend to balloon. Business owners who want to let employees work at home need cloud-based time tracking. Without it, there is little oversight and accountability.
Your cloud-based time tracking app is your eyes and ears out in the field with your mobile workforce. Cloud-based time tracking apps use GPS (Global Positioning System). You will know the exact location of all workers.
If you have mobile or offsite workers, cloud-based time tracking software is the best fit. When managers need to access payroll records when they are at home, the cloud has you covered. Because you want your employees to have HR access round-the-clock, you need cloud time tracking.
Mobile access allows your employees to clock in from anywhere. It also allows your managers to provide effective leadership while they are on the road. That’s a significant justification that saves time, allows continuous management, and process optimization.
You can have this running on a server that allows other locations to get to it, but that involves costs. Adding IT costs is something we are trying to avoid in our justification to upgrade, so we’ll focus on the cloud.
Cloud-based time tracking is location independence right out of the box. No added costs or IT department requirements.
Location independence gives you greater management ability without the added expense. Expenses include costs of hardware, software, and support. None of these things are necessary to provide employees access from many locations.
Cloud-based time tracking software is available to all employees, no matter their location. At no extra cost.
Most managers I’ve talked to stop my at “no added cost” when it comes to justification, and cloud has it built in.
You can’t appreciate centralized management until you try it. When the time tracking system is in one place, your workforce doesn’t need to be. All players can access it from anywhere. At home, at work, at their kid’s soccer game.
With a cloud-based time tracking system, everything updates at once. In fact, it features real-time updating. when an employee punches in for a shift the digital time card captures the punch. No one picks up a pencil and paper time card. The system records the transaction in real time. Real-time data is available to managers at every instant.
Spreadsheets on a laptop become irrelevant if nobody remembers to update them.
Team members can collaborate without duplicating work. No one needs to send an email to explain a change in scheduling. It’s all right there in the system. The time tracking system records updates in real time. Everyone sees the latest version whether they are at work or not.
Cloud systems make it easy for any team to manage time tracking. Solve your HR collaboration problems with centralized management and cloud time tracking software.
Cloud services allow you to focus on growth without a worry for outgrowing your software.
The cloud allows you to grow without worry about the scale, cost spikes, or version control. You won’t have to plan for costly upgrades or shift to a new provider when expansion occurs.
Providers like SwipeClock build growth and scalability into their systems. You don’t have to worry about growth or future impacts to the system; they are working it out for you.
SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB, for example, includes customizations for the industry, personnel, and managers. You can tune the entire system to your unique business needs.
Like traditional software, cloud services allow for input options that optimize your account. Account settings apply to all users in your account. You can refine the experience down to the individual based on profile rights.
Grant specific employees rights to designated features. Restrict managers to specified groups. Limit editing options and lock out employees based on circumstances. Customization allows you to make the software unique, and to optimize by company standards.
Moving to the cloud doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice your unique process. Cloud-based time trackers allow you to customize everything from clocks to profiles.
The ability to customize your cloud experience is a significant justification. In most cases, your cloud options are even better than with traditional software.
There’s never been a better time to upgrade to the cloud.
Time Clock Integration
Whether you need biometric, card-based, or web-based clocks, SwipeClock cloud has you covered.
Cloud-based services like WorkforceHUB are API-driven and work with industry standards. There are solutions for every kind of clock you can imagine.
The easiest clock to manage with a cloud-based system is a web clock. Web clocks allow for access from any browser and offer a lot of flexibility.
If your shop needs hardware clocks, most are compatible with cloud-based time trackers.
SwipeClock offers a full range of clocks that work with cloud-based time tracking. If clock compatibility has held you back from upgrading to the cloud, wait no more. The cloud works with hardware, and even better than you’d imagine.
Scalable As You Grow
It’s not hard to see why some business owners rule out legacy time tracking systems. It’s a big commitment to buy one. Especially if your workforce fluctuates. Ongoing support and maintenance are expensive.
With cloud-based timekeeping, you pay a monthly fee per employee. No large one-time expenditure. You don’t need to wait until there is enough revenue to justify premise-based software. Start-ups can enjoy enterprise-class time tracking before they’ve turned a profit.
Acquiring another company swells a workforce fast. Cloud-based time tracking systems streamline payroll during and after mergers. The time tracking system can handle any number of new employees immediately. And that’s not the only advantage. Owners aren’t stuck with two disparate time tracking systems that don’t work together.
Cloud-based timekeeping is not only scalable, it’s elastic. Say your 100-employee company decides to outsource three departments. 20 employees remain after the restructuring. Your cloud-based system and monthly cost shrink to fit your team. (And it never complicated the decision in the first place.)
If you need to improve time tracking and legacy systems don’t work for you—the cloud is your solution. Modern companies need the agility of cloud-based time tracking to meet budget goals.
Scale up or scale down; the cloud makes this a seamless prospect. Pricing can expand or contract with your needs, and web-clocks reduce hardware expenses.
Instant Disaster Recovery
Cloud systems help you resist disasters by locating data off-site. If your building has a fire, you may not be able to access data for weeks. Heat and water can damage hard drives.
If your headquarters has a disaster, but you have other sites, they can continue to operate. Records, management, and employee data all remain available in the cloud. Limit downtime and preserve company data.
With cloud-based time and attendance, your data is safe and available at any time. Even during a disaster.
A team’s ability to collaborate can make or break HR efficiency. Hunting for documents is a huge time-waster. When everyone has access to every relevant document, more people can join in. There is no gatekeeper.
Payroll managers, department supervisors, and employees can collaborate as necessary. All stakeholders have equal access.
Collaborators are not limited by geography, technology, or time of day. There is no better forum for brainstorming. Participants can contribute their ideas in real time. Video meetings and conference calls are far more productive. You don’t need to do screen shares when everyone can access documents in the cloud.
If your company uses large video or audio files, you are not limited by small-capacity servers. Cloud access eliminates the need for thumb drives—which are easy to misplace. Workflow is never interrupted by the inability to attach a large file to an email.
Consider what this means for productivity. There is no time lost figuring out which document is the newest version. Geographically-dispersed teams work at their convenience. Total transparency improves communication.
If a manual system is hampering collaboration, a cloud-based solution is a great fit. Cloud-based time tracking streamlines HR collaboration.
Leverage Industry Innovation
As a small business, you look for leverage wherever you can find it. We don’t have a lot of extra money to throw at large IT departments or expansive development teams. Why not leverage an entire industry?
Cloud providers are creating products for the widest possible audience. That means they are spending time getting to know the industry and creating features to address needs.
A lot of research goes into finding what the industry needs. Features, integrations, and regulations. All these and more are part of the developer protocol. By using the cloud, you are able to leverage a larger team of developers working just for you!
This all means you can leverage their talent to make your company run better. Cloud-based software such as Salesforce.com started as a small customer relationship manager. Through the years their developers have worked to integrate new features, third-party services, and new markets. The result is a cloud-based solution that provides every benefit available in an affordable package.
SwipeClock has done this with time tracking software. WorkforceHUB is a cloud-based time and attendance hub that provides leading-edge development in an affordable package.
SwipeClock is at the forefront of Workforce Management technology. Their developers are working to bring new Human Resources features into your workspace. You get the benefit at a cost far lower than you could afford to do yourself.
Recent innovations include “employee-aware” time clocks, break tracking, schedule enforcement, and geo-fencing. Small employers can enjoy the features used by large corporations with vast resources.
WorkforceHUB provides time tracking plus everything else you need to manage your staff. It allows small businesses to use the most sophisticated technology.
WorkforceHUB combines payroll and comprehensive Human Resources. The workflows include time tracking, scheduling, onboarding, benefits enrollment, and employee engagement. That’s not all. WorkforceHUB integrates with third-party apps that let you do even more. With third-party compatibility, businesses can use the latest apps in their industry.
Companies that understand that technology gives them the competitive edge choose the cloud. Cloud-based WorkforceHUB has state-of-the-industry tools for businesses that value innovation.
Effective time tracking file management reduces payroll errors and keeps you compliant. It also maximizes admin efficiency. Advanced search tools retrieve documents far faster than rooting through a file cabinet.
Cloud-based time tracking software has familiar user interfaces. You don’t need special training to work with files.
Cloud-based time tracking systems expand and limit document access as needed. It allows managers to create or access records from any device. They are not limited by location or time of day. It also allows managers to restrict access as needed.
Centralized digital files allow for convenient collaboration. Especially if many people are making frequent edits to documents. You never have to wonder if you are working with the latest version.
Cloud access automates Human Resources workflows for your employees. They can manage their payroll documents such as time cards and tax forms. Both of these are document-heavy and compliance-sensitive.
There are cloud-based systems that have onboarding and benefits enrollment. Imagine having every form from new hire to retiree digitized. Pull up any document with a quick search. Duplicate a file with a mouse click. Employees verify with electronic signature where necessary.
If your company has inefficient document processes, cloud-based time tracking is your solution. WorkforceHUB from SwipeClock provides affordable Human Resources document management.
Security Built In
A data breach is a 24/7 threat. Regardless of the type of system you use for time tracking. It’s understandable to fear the loss of control when moving sensitive data to the cloud. You want your data with you, onsite. But it’s misguided, to believe that control and safety are the same things.
Giving up control may actually better protect your data. Reputable cloud-based providers have layers of sophisticated security. Few small businesses have the resources to safeguard their data this well. Let’s discuss a few of these protections. Consider how your business compares when it comes to security.
Cloud providers use encryption and authentication. Plus ongoing threat monitoring and third-party auditing. They improve disaster discovery plans as a function of their development.
Physical security includes access controls and electrical back up systems. Also theft, fire, and flood protection. They use rigorous background checks for the technicians who maintain the servers.
The simple fact that you are always running the latest version of cloud software is critical. Updates contain patches that plug weaknesses and protect against new threats.
Many companies aren’t as vigilant about software updates as cloud providers. For large premise-based systems, it can cause system downtime. The “WannaCry” ransomware exploits outdated software.
How vigilant is your company about backing up files? Are the back-ups stored at a different physical location? Note that many businesses store their legacy system back-ups in the cloud.
When comparing vendors, get detailed information. Learn about their data protection systems and security credentials. Most providers are more secure than small to mid-size businesses. Don’t let security concerns cause you to forego the advantages of cloud time tracking.
Cloud-based is the greenest. Hands down.
First, it doesn’t use paper records. Experts estimate that a four-drawer filing cabinet costs $25,000 to fill. Plus $2,000 yearly to maintain. That’s one expensive file system.
Plus, there are costs to shredding documents when you don’t need them anymore. Studies have shown that office workers throw away a third of copies made. (Those poor trees died for nothing.)
Office copiers consume energy as well as trees. And their toner contains environmental toxins that are problematic to dispose of.
With paper systems, you have a carbon footprint immediately. Before the documents make it to the filing cabinet.
Cloud systems allow employees to work at home. When workers stop commuting, they reduce their environmental impact. Less gas burned reduces pollution. Telecommuting reduces traffic congestion in our cities.
Telecommuters eat out far less than office workers. This reduces the demand for so much planet-adverse food packaging.
Switching to a cloud-based timekeeping system is justifiable on the environmental merits alone. With SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB, you can de-paper your company. Your shift schedules, company policy manuals, and onboarding materials move to the cloud.
Green companies embrace eco-friendly-based cloud time tracking software.
Integration allows for time optimization, savings, and error avoidance. All big justifications for migrating your time tracker to the cloud.
Payroll integration has become a critical time saver for small business. Providers know that integration is key to adoption, and so it has become a primary feature.
Cross-platform integration with payroll is critical. Cloud-based time trackers allow for integration with payroll. If your traditional software doesn’t integrate with payroll, it’s time to upgrade.
Employees manage their own time cards and everything else. They can track PTO accruals and update tax forms. A virtual trade board lets employees handle shift trades.
Onboarding tools guide employees through activation, benefits, and company policies.
Employees love self-service HR. The empowerment helps them do their jobs better. It eases the burden on your HR team.
Employers enjoy streamlined communication and increased workflow efficiency. Self-service reduces admin costs and simplifies labor law compliance. Managers have increased oversight and control over scheduling.
You customize your self-service timekeeping interfaces to reflect the company culture. This increases employee engagement and team unity. Businesses with innovative cloud-based tools are more likely to attract and keep employees.
SwipeClock is the industry leader when it comes to self-service Human Resources. WorkforceHUB is a unified timekeeping, employee scheduling, payroll, HR, and engagement portal.
There are no downsides to switching to cloud-based Employee Self Service. It is the least expensive and most efficient way to manage time and attendance. And you can add tools for any HR task.
It’s time to start using cloud-based time tracking software. The justifications are sound, and the time has never been better.
WorkforceHUB from SwipeClock includes all the features discussed in this article. All provided in a cloud-based model.
Contact SwipeClock today to learn more about cloud-based time tracking. We can help your business future proof with leading-edge cloud-based time tracking.
By Cary Snowden and Liz Strikwerda
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