Recently, “People and Management”, a popular HR magazine in India asked us to explain Web 2.0 and SaaS to their readers who mainly CEOs or belong to senior HR and other management roles. Our thoughts were published in the magazine as an article titled “Web 2.0 and the SaaS Factor for HR“. Here is the summary of the article.
If you read business or technology news often, you will have, most certainly, come across two buzz-words, Web 2.0 and SaaS. Let us discuss what these two actually are, how these are redefining the workplace and why as HR experts, we should be interested in these technologies. It has to be borne in mind, however, that Web 2.0 and SaaS concepts apply to several domains. Here we outline its application in HR management.
The Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is a specific type of design that allows “communication, and information sharing” among the owner of the website and visitors. Unlike previous websites which only allowed one-way communication (apart from filling a ‘contact us’ form), Web 2.0 websites allow visitors to communicate with owners about the content and also enables them to communicate with each other.
The free factor
The most significant thing about Web 2.0 is that it is free. Unlike earlier times, when you needed to pay to create a website, Web 2.0 works on the concept of free utilization. Now anyone who has access to Internet can create a blog or website or open an account for free.
How does Web 2.0 fit into the HR domain? Some of the reasons are:
- To know the latest happenings in HR: There are many good HR sites where you can know more about HR policies and processes. You can discuss and share your HR knowledge.
- To know more about your employees: Most younger employees create their profiles on social networking sites. By adding them to your network, you can know more about them, their activities and their latent talents which are not visible otherwise.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a software model where the purchaser does not purchase or own the software; they just use it as and when required and pay as per usage.
SaaS replaces the traditional ERP approach where organizations used to purchase software, hardware and then hire the consultants to customise it according to their needs. Many organisations purchased software but never used them due to lack of knowledge.
Benefits of SaaS technology in HR management
- Highly Affordable: SaaS applications are comparatively cheaper when compared to heavy ERP systems like SAP, Oracle etc.
- Global HR practices
- Available anywhere, anytime
- No software installation needed
- No IT problems
- Immediate installation
- Constant updates
- Customization available
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