In previous articles, we walked through the key features of a multitenant system: security, sharing data and processes, object orientation and flexibility. If we look closely, they are very similar to the key functionality of an HR Cloud system. For a truly efficient, flexible and secure human capital solution in the cloud, it should be based on a multitenancy model. In this article I will convey the 050-894 technical possibilities of multitenancythrough their practical application in the HR field, starting out with two crucial capabilities: sharing some data, processes and corporate policies, and autonomy isolation from others.
The basis of a multitenancy system is the ability to share data, policies and processes across the organization, or between multiple customers, but in such a way that each entity can operate in isolation if required. In a nutshell, a system that is “shared and yet operates as if it were exclusively for a single organization”.
For this, data sharing is the foundation; without it you cannot have policies and processes. Above all, obviously it is very important to have a completely safe environment for this data, an environment with security standards based on roles, audits and more, which are common to the entire company.
Multitenancy technology through this security offers a consolidated information system for the entire organization, more importantly that is always kept up-to-date keeping in pace with the relentless changes in businesses today. Such information always available around the clock makes for real time information gathering and reporting on all subsidiaries in a snap. As applied to people management, for example hiring or downsizing the workforce is immediately reflected in the system – vital for budget planning. In fact McFeeney, executive VP and chief financial and administrative officer for CSAA’s (California State Automobile Association) member services business says that “the ability to immediately see how a change in the number of employees at any of the nearly 100 CSAA field offices might affect that location’s profit-and-loss statement has taken CSAA’s management capabilities to a new level “.1
Apart from data sharing, to execute a corporate Human Capital Management strategy, a multitenancy environment must enable shared policies and global processes, as well as allow each organization to operate
000-872 autonomously at the local level. That means a system with sufficiently flexible technology to enable decisions on what is shared and what is not. As mentioned in previous articles, object-oriented technology makes this doable.
But before defining further sharing/segmentation scenarios for corporate processes and policies, and concurring with the HRTech expert, Naomi Bloom, it is important to note that when we talk about multitenancy in an HR solution we are talking about two possible applications: one from the provider’s standpoint and another, the customer’s.
In the first application, the multitenancy solution allows a provider to serve multiple customers from a single instance, while keeping them totally secure and autonomous. This saves time and money for providers, bringing down the service cost in turn, as we shall see in our next article. But above all, more efficiency is gained: policies that must be shared by all companies, such as tax laws or ethical codes are automatically inherited by all those who apply these. The same goes for any updates the product provider makes, all clients receive them when they are ready, benefiting from the improvements driven by other customers: a true network of shared knowledge and best practices.
Other than benefiting from certain common features, with multitenancy companies operate completely independently of each other in their own environment with autonomous and secure data. And this, Naomi Bloom points out, “while having the fullest possible configuration by individual client (e.g., user experience look and feel, client-specific coding structures, and client-specific processes).” 2
In the second application for a multitenancy solution, it is the customer who benefits from multitenancy in their system for their organization. It can share data, policies and processes at the corporate level, which all its subsidiaries will inherit. However, these subsidiaries can in turn configure their specifics. From the customer’s point of view, the more complex it is, the more it will need a multitenant technology. This is especially apparent for companies operating in different countries or with different subsidiaries within the same geography. These companies can achieve a true corporate HR culture with this technology: key competencies throughout the organization, unique IDs, “holiday pooling”, alerts, etc.., and also manage all their global processes in unique workflows. This won’t hinder the different subsidiaries when configuring the solution according to regional specifics: language, currency, job classifications, remuneration policy, performance evaluation, and much more.
These advantages aren’t just a few, but what’s further to the point, using a multitenancy system too saves time and money. We’ll see more on this in the article to come.
FOR KNOWING MORE…
– 1 Through Tony Kontzer , in Cloud Simplifies HR and Finance, BaselineMag http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/IT-Management/Cloud-Simplifies-HR-and-Finance-890513/
– 2. At If We Have SaaS, Do We Need BPO? An Introduction to SaaS Architecture, Business Model and Deployment Option – and to its Relationship to HRM BPO, from Naomi Bloom, IIHRIM Journal, 2009 http://infullbloom.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/IHRIMJournalXIIINo2April2009S.pdf
– Software is Key to HRO Profits, http://infullbloom.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/HROTodayNaomiColumnOctober2003S.pdf from Naomi Bloom, Tech in Bloom 2009
– Re-emphasizing the One-to-many Model when Pondering Technology, from Naomi Bloom, HR Technology at work, 2009 http://infullbloom.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/HROTodayNaomiFeatureSept2006S.pdf
– HR in the cloud: It’s inevitable, de Deloitte http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/us_consulting_HCTrends_HRintheClouds_060611.pdf
– HR on cloud has a promising future: Experts, from Joseph Rasquinha and Mohammed Zaheer Hussain, Deccan Herald http://www.deccanherald.com/content/146025/hr-cloud-has-promising-future.html