UK organisations are missing out on benefits of BYOD and cloud-based HR. New research from MidlandHR

The research, HR Technology 2013: How mid to large sized UK organisations are using HR technology, examined the opinions of over 200 HR and payroll directors, managers and decision-makers from UK organisations with 500+ employees. The views of both private and public sector organisations were investigated, 52% and 48% respectively. Half (53%) of the organisations surveyed use a specialist or best-of-breed solution, a third (34%) use an ERP solution and 14% use a mixture of the two.
For the majority of organisations the jury is still out on cloud where items are stored and accessed from the internet. Whilst one in five (20%) organisations ‘most definitely’ or ‘probably’ plan to introduce or increase their cloud delivery, nearly double that (38%) are ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ not planning to make any further move towards cloud technology.
However, a very small proportion of HR departments (7%) are acting as technical innovators and already exclusively using cloud. A further 5% are using mainly cloud, with some on-premise infrastructure.
The research also explored how well HR and payroll departments of larger UK enterprises are embracing BYOD (bring your own device), where employees bring in their own computing devices such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs to connect to the corporate network.
The findings revealed that nearly half of all organisations (43%) believe their current HR system to be a barrier to BYOD.  This is despite the fact that BYOD is widely considered to increase employee morale and boost productivity through smarter working. As recently as January this year, a survey by Good Technology reported that enterprises are cutting costs and increasing efficiency through BYOD programmes*.
MidlandHR’s managing director, Declan McGrath, explains:  “The fact that many organisations believe their existing systems aren’t conducive to BYOD is not surprising when you consider that two thirds (62%) are using systems that are more than five years old. Many businesses are holding back from investing in new technology and whilst this is likely to be a reflection of these times of economic austerity, organisations need to ensure that their existing systems deliver more value. Perhaps the most imminent concern is how effectively these businesses will handle RTI and auto-enrolment – two of the largest and most complex legislative changes in recent years.”
When it comes to investing in the future, less than one in five (18%) organisations said they would review and/or change their system in the next year. Unbelievably, 43% don’t plan to review their HR system until more than five years’ time, even though so many of these systems are already more than five years old. Those that weren’t happy but were still not planning to change provider cited the high cost of changing supplier (44%/52%) and the amount of money already invested in the system (54%/61%).
The top frustration for today’s HR and payroll directors, managers and decision-makers alike regarding their existing HR and payroll systems is a lack of functionality (29%), the high cost of maintenance, upgrades and user licences (14%) and poor service received from their providers (14%).
“With the majority of HR departments (61%) still favouring on-premise solutions, they’re missing out on the numerous benefits of cloud-based HR or Software as a Service (SaaS),” says McGrath. “In addition to faster deployment that is more scalable to changing business needs, cloud-based services provide an excellent way for organisations to access leading edge software without having to make major upfront capital investments. Not only is the cost of the software spread out over a number of years, the risk and cost of maintaining an on-premises system is eliminated. This is particularly valuable in today’s economic environment where many organisations are realising the difficulty and high cost of internal IT resource.”
“With so many organisations missing out on benefits of using a modern HR and payroll solution, now is the time to embrace what modern cloud-based solutions and BYOD offer in terms of return on investment and real business benefits to the organisation.” 
To download a copy of the report, HR Technology 2013: How mid to large sized UK organisations are using HR technology, please click here.
*Smith, T. (2013, January 24). Enterprises increasingly supported by BYOD. CBRonline. Retrieved from: