Signing up for online payroll services through Dallas-based BenefitMall means moving payroll into the cloud. BenefitMall offers entry-level and full-service payroll options alongside specialized payroll solutions for the construction and restaurant industries. However, are their services better because they are cloud-based? Furthermore, is payroll always better in the cloud?
When cloud computing was first introduced in the early 2000s, there were plenty of legitimate concerns about adopting it for payroll processing. From security to data integrity, companies were concerned that moving payroll to the cloud could cause big problems. Cloud computing has matured considerably over the last decade, though. The cloud is now a safe and secure environment that powers some of the biggest names in business, names like Google and Amazon.
Despite all the technological advances of cloud computing there are still people skeptical about moving payroll into the cloud. Rather than criticizing that skepticism, a better approach is to analyze what the cloud offers as compared to locally hosted payroll software.
Given that security is one of the biggest concerns of the cloud, it is reasonable to wonder how cloud environments stack up against local environments. Look no further than the previously mentioned Amazon and Google. These two companies have proved that cloud environments can be kept safe and secure. Amazon is one of the biggest cloud users in the world, and they are not consistently running into security problems.
The locally hosted software package is just as secure as the most secure cloud environment – as long as there is no possible way to access the software from the outside. If software is hosted on a completely closed system, external security threats are eliminated.
Cloud computing has the edge in data access because cloud environments make data accessible from anywhere. Staff numbers just need an internet connection and a device to get into the system. Conversely, data access is much more controlled by locally hosted payroll software. Data normally cannot be accessed outside the confines of the local office and LAN.
Licensing fees and restrictions used to be a big problem for cloud-based enterprises. That is no longer the case. Licensing fees tend to be less expensive for both cloud-based software and services as compared to locally hosted software. Licenses for local software also tend to be more restrictive.
Updates and New Features
Payroll experts are familiar with the need for software to remain updated at all times. Where locally hosted software is concerned, businesses need to wait on software developers to roll out updates and new features. Some developers do so quickly, others can go months or years between updates.
In the cloud, updates and new features tend to be implemented much more quickly. What’s more, those updates and features are handled seamlessly by the provider. Customers are rarely impacted by problems that can be very troublesome for users of locally hosted software.
Cloud-based payroll solutions almost always make use of automatic backups across multiple servers. If one server goes down, a backup server immediately kicks in to keep software and data live. With locally hosted software, backups are not automatic. Payroll departments have to make their own backups and, should something go wrong, retrieve and deploy those backups by themselves.
It is probably not appropriate to state unequivocally that payroll is always better in the cloud. But when you compare cloud-based solutions with locally hosted software, payroll in the cloud seems to come out ahead point-for-point. If your company is not yet using a cloud-based payroll solution, maybe it’s time to think about switching.