Last updated: 26.10.13

SMEs unlocking potential of the cloud

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are increasingly looking to the cloud as a cost-effective solution to improving workplace efficiency and employee engagement.

According to Neil Pickering, marketing manager at Kronos UK, as these businesses have less resources than their larger counterparts, they are benefitting from being able to use online platforms to slash administrative costs and free up more time, Cloudtech reports.

Previously, tasks such as organising training sessions, scheduling meetings and recording absences were lengthy processes, with HR and IT teams suffering as a result. However, with the rapid advancement of digital technology, the internet has saved the day in terms of workforce management.

Mr Pickering noted that cloud technology options do not require as much time or budget to implement, therefore reducing the burden on IT departments to support software and helping companies to remain more flexible.

He was quoted as saying: "It also simplifies the experience for employees because they can access their schedules, jobs and holiday records from one place, hosted online." Such a seamless experience is bound to improve retention rates as well.

The expert pointed to recent research from business intelligence firm the Aberdeen Group, which revealed organisations with automated time and attendance solutions in place saw 12 per cent greater workforce capacity utilisation than businesses that relied on manual processes.

As for where cloud technology will take SMEs in future, it seems it could provide them with an advantage over larger companies and help them to unlock greater workforce potential.

Managers can be rid of the dull and time-consuming tasks that prevent them from getting around to the parts of their job they truly enjoy and drive their business forward in an innovative way that also benefits employees.

The Aberdeen Group study further found that firms with less than 1,000 members of staff are 45 per cent more likely than workers at larger companies to prefer a cloud-based HR and management model or software-as-a-service solutions.