I was driving home today listening to The Cloud Computing podcast where Chris Dailey discussed an article entitled Scrap you code. Start from scratch for cloud which was suggesting that smaller companies do not need to invest on-premise computing offerings instead they can go straight to the cloud for everything. The premise of this, going all cloud, was you saved money, became more agile, executed faster deployments delivering an overall better result. Chris and his fellow panelists disagreed with this approach being 100% right all the time, and I totally agree with them. To quote one of the panelist:
Buy what you can for your business from the cloud that makes sense but there is a good chance there is an expect of your business that will require specialization and that the cloud will not make that go away.
Instead you should go through a process of mixing and matching different technologies to an end result that delivers value for your business and allows your business to operate in the manner it finds most effective. Just like on-premise software implementations to be successful you need to start by assessing your business needs and then select the most effective product for that need, regardless of technology.
Going cloud for every new requirement or migrating currently operating on-premise software to the cloud just because everything should be cloud based is wrong. You need to work towards an optimized solution that considers your business requirements, reviewing the value of all existing technologies to determine which types of products and technologies provides the best value for your business problem.
These same process should take place with your HR/Payroll technology selections. Does it make the most sense to host your online job board on your own IT infrastructure running on-premise software or is it best to use an Software as a Service (SaaS) provider? Your payroll software should that be on-premise or SaaS?
Finally these questions cannot and should not be answered in isolation they need to be reviewed based on your business requirements, IT strategy, HR strategy to determine the solution that offers the most value to your organisation.