To wrap up my series of posts on the Future of Time & Attendance, I want to highlight the most obvious, yet most exciting component – advancements in technology.
As I mentioned in part 1, a primary area of innovation in enterprise software is in the new, rich user interfaces they are now offering. Complex systems that demand expert users have yielded to graphical, content-driven applications that can be personalized to any user based on their role. This usability is critical to enterprise-wide adoption of time and attendance systems, especially when extending system use to all employees for the purpose of self-service functions. To ensure that hourly workers in industries like retail, healthcare and manufacturing will leverage self-service applications to check their schedule, request time-off, or adjust their W2s, simplicity and ease of use is critical.
In addition to many traditional enterprise applications being extremely complex to use, they are often equally complex to implement and maintain. That translates into cost. In most cases, enterprise software costs can be very high, making them virtually impossible for many small, medium and even large organizations to adopt. Fortunately technology is driving change here as well. Cloud-based computing has enabled hosting and managed services for today’s time and attendance systems, eliminating the dependency on large IT staffs and costly computing infrastructures. Further, subscription-based pricing and licensing models provide new levels of purchase and financing flexibly. The result is attainability for even small businesses with limited capital expenditure budgets. Today, regardless of IT and financial resources, a company can quickly leverage the most current time and attendance systems available, at a fraction of the traditional upfront costs.
Mobility has played a critical role in workforce management for years. On-board computers in the trucking and transportation industries have served as mobile time collection and communication devices for well over a decade, and long before the proliferation of today’s mobile devices and smart phones. Today’s advancements are more about mobile connectivity to a workforce management system. Managers and employees can now leverage their personal or corporate devices for time and attendance functions as well as many self-service applications. Unlimited connectivity allows users to send and receive their own personal employment data where they want it, when they want it. Additionally, mobility provides easier collection of more advanced labor data in real-time, with greater accuracy.
This is an exciting time for workforce management. Innovation and technology advancements are enabling companies to benefit from new levels of business productivity, efficiency and cost savings that just 3 years ago were unrealistic. Feel free to share how you may be using some of these new technologies in your company. I’d love to hear about it…