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Today, wherever you look, everyone’s talking about the cloud. Rampant innovations and the cloud era are changing how businesses operate. Digital transformation has led companies to become more agile, flexible, scalable, and successful. The increased work-from-home adoption due to the pandemic and fourth industrial revolution has proven that you can no longer avoid moving to the cloud, especially for tracking time. Tracking employee’s time is an integral part of business growth, regardless of industry, product, or service.
Transitioning from a legacy system to a could-based time tracking solution doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right system in place, your enterprise can experience tremendous increases in productivity and efficiency.
Why Should You Move to the Cloud?
It’s sometimes difficult for established businesses to move to the cloud because of on-premise data centers that were not built overnight. But adding capacity to on-premise infrastructure is relatively expensive. It also takes a lot of time, experience, and money to manage and update the system to keep up with the latest technology and market demand. Moving to a cloud-based automated time tracker will benefit your enterprise in a few different ways.
Control Costs and Flex Up or Down Anytime
For cloud-based infrastructure, you need to pay on a subscription basis or for the services you will use, which means you don’t have to pay for recurring maintenance overheads. You can use that amount for advanced digital development and the latest technology infrastructure, product, and service improvements. A cloud-based automated time tracking solution will allow you to scale up as per customer demand. It also gives you the flexibility to increase the server’s capacity, adding more users or managing increased demand anytime. You can flex up or down as per your need, which is impossible with the on-prem solution.
Stay Up to Date
Cloud lets you access the latest versions of the software, apps, and tools you use as the updates are automatic, with 99.9 percent uptime. This also leads to zero impact on business performance and on-the-go availability of the latest features to teams. Therefore, on cloud, you don’t have to be concerned about wasting time on maintenance; instead, you can focus on the things that matter.
Improved Security and Compliance
Security will continue to remain the top area of focus. By migrating to the cloud, your company can use advanced and modernized IT solutions and infrastructure to protect against malicious attempts. On a cloud system, protection is applied spontaneously and automatically. You can also rely on in-built compliance with data transfer and protection, including GDPR.
Faster Deployment and Increased Collaboration
Cloud-based solutions can be deployed within no time (an hour or a few days), unlike on-prem solutions, which take weeks, months, or years. Cloud computing also allows employees to collaborate anytime from anywhere easily. It also provides syncing data in real time, which increases the collaboration and efficiency of employees.
These are just a few of the advantages; however, the list is a long one. With these, we can conclude that a cloud-based time tracking solution is the way forward. The migration to a cloud system may bring challenges, but the proper planning to move workloads and applications to the cloud can offset the complexities.
How to Move to a Cloud-Based Time Tracking Solution
Let’s look at how the journey from a patchy “legacy on-prem” road to a “modern cloud-based time tracking software” highway can be a smooth ride with these steps:
Research Your Options
Here are the essential things your automated time tracking solution should have:
- Single Source of Truth: It should be easy to deploy and help you manage every time tracking need that your business. The solution should also help you gain complete control over projects, resources, costs, billing, etc. It should support both your front-office and back-office systems.
- Future-ready: The solution should share data with commonly used CRM, project management, accounting, and ERP applications. It should also provide real-time visibility into clients, projects, resources, and billing using reports and advanced dashboards. All this will help you stay on top of business as you will make proactive decisions.
- Customization and Integration: Make sure that the solution is configurable to your unique requirements, models complex time tracking use cases, and supports comprehensive end-to-end workflows. One other vital factor to consider while choosing a cloud-based time-tracking application is how it can be integrated and with what. Integration is vital because it lets you sync your solution with other already existing software.
- Scalable and Agile: The solution should be a modern, agile, and purpose-built time management product so that it ups your scalability by handling large, global deployments, ensure that your business gets the maximum ROI.
- Mobile: The increasing need to work from anywhere has proven that your employees need a solution that can let them track time from anywhere. Your chosen solution should provide accessibility from any mobile device. Mobile time tracking software will allow your employees to clock in and out from anywhere and at any time.
- Streamlined implementation: Plug and play implementation helps you get started with the solution as quickly as needed. The solution should have robust infrastructure technology and processes to ensure the safety, scalability, security, and integrity fit for your enterprise. The support system should be available 24/7 to detect and fix issues before any impact on the business. Choose a system that offers 99.5 percent uptime for all cloud solutions, provides complete transparency with live status updates and supports global compliance.
- Training: To make sure that users are comfortable using the new system, the solution experts should conduct regular webinars and knowledge sessions to help end-users get the most out of solutions and make the transition easier.
Plan a Phased Migration
Getting the desired outcome with minimal business disruption can be achieved with careful and detailed up-front planning. A new time tracking system is like a new home; therefore, moving from legacy on-prem to cloud-based software is like doing major renovations and rebuilding while still living in the house. The work may take much longer to finish than starting from an empty plot of land.
The tip to achieve success is to plan for a phased migration. Start your migration from where it is possible to rebuild on the bare ground (a non-critical, non-use-facing application may be a good start), and then adopt an incremental methodology, which means moving one bit of the system at a time. This step can involve defining the end goal to the migration team, acknowledging the limitations, identifying data dependencies, etc.
You can also adopt a “lift and shift” method, which means moving an application and its related data to the cloud — without remodeling or redesigning it. In this way, there is also scope for cost savings, as you can analyze the on-prem solution and map it to optimize the application in cloud.
This is a minimum-risk method to get the best results and maximum ROI as it will help you do the deployment while automating the process. The lift and shift technique allows a more significant and straightforward security and compliance management to map the needs to results directly.
Identify the Impact
Dig deeper into identifying any effect on system performance due to cloud migration, especially end-user experience. You need a plan to measure the service latency before, during, and after the migration. Equally important is identifying all your critical applications and services to build an effective roll-back plan if anything goes wrong during migration.
The more you know, the better you can plan and grapple with any challenges arising due to the migration without impacting the user experience and system performance. An end-to-end migration plan will go a long way in ensuring that you meet your goals and enhance customer satisfaction.
Set Up and Rollout
Make sure the solution is easy to roll out and implement. A top automated time tracking system will have specialists who can configure the system to suit your needs and ensure that it is securely accessible by every employee in the system through a username and password. All the relevant information from your existing system should be imported. Data can also be imported using a web services platform that provides bidirectional data transfer. Know how well you can integrate it with all the leading ERP and financial applications.
Companies that abandon old methods of manual time tracking and move to the cloud will enter a new era of infinite flexibility, scalability, security, and attain a real competitive edge. By changing your business strategies to welcome the cloud as an essential part of your organization, you can avoid becoming obsolete like an on-prem solution.
Finding the right solution for your business can be challenging; learn more about how cloud-based, mobile time tracking software can empower your business.