Clearing up the Cloudiness
The benefits of the cloud for HR technology are unassailable. It makes the adoption of robust, complex programs and systems affordable and scalable. Unlike legacy systems that run on your organization’s own servers, cloud-based solutions don’t require you to buy any hardware; all system maintenance, updates, and support are part of the package, and they’re usually paid for on a subscription or fee-for-use basis. Cloud-based solutions are also often designed with layers of features and complexity built in — behind the curtain, so to speak — so you can change your configuration and add more users with the flip of a switch.
But just as with any other HR purchase, you should know what you’re buying, what it really means to do business or have an HR technology solution “in the cloud,” and what the boundaries and risks are. What types of cloud computing models are out there? What are the differences between public cloud, private cloud and traditional hosting? What is Hybrid Cloud Computing?
Some basic definitions:
- Public Cloud – typically just called “Cloud computing” – provides computing resources that are not tied to any specific location. Cloud computing basically consists of (1) virtual computers/servers, (2) data storage capacity, (3) communications and messaging capacity, (4) network capacity, [and] (5) development environments. Amazon EC2.
- Private Cloud – is the restriction of cloud computing services to a limited number of people (typically within one company or organization).
- Traditional Hosting – is a dedicated server, whether on premises or at a 3rd party, and has only the client’s application and data. No other clients can access it.
At LBi Software we utilize a combination of cloud technologies in our HR HelpDesk hosting options:
- LBi HR HelpDesk Free, Pro and ProPlus are true SaaS applications that are multi-tenant and hosted in the public cloud (AMAZON EC2/RDS). But there is one caveat for security purposes: the clients’ data is not commingled – we utilize a separate data schema for each client.
- LBi HR HelpDesk Enterprise is a single-tenant application that can be hosted on a dedicated physical server (at Rackspace) or a Private Cloud (AMAZON EC2) or on premises. The application and data for each client are on separate servers whether they are physical or virtual.
Learn more about the benefits and risks of “cloud computing”, including what a Hybrid Cloud Model is, in our latest industry brief, Setting Expectations: The Clout – And Caveats – of Cloud-Based HR Technology