At a time when so much attention is placed on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) in South Africa, companies must consider a plethora of permutations when it comes to the hosting of their data. Ian McAlister, General Manager of HR (human resources) and payroll specialists CRS Technologies South Africa, believes this is especially critical when it comes to sensitive HR and payroll data.
“The regulatory environment is such that companies face significant financial fines if their data is not stored and maintained according to compliance requirements,” said McAlister.
“Even more significant is the reputational damage to a brand when customer data is compromised. Given the competitive landscape, it is easy for an end-user to migrate to another service provider and never return. Considering the sensitivity of data associated with HR and payroll systems, having that compromised could even more significantly impact the business not to mention its employees.”
All these factors add to the pressure on decision-makers to seriously consider the merits of going the cloud route.
“Irrespective of whether an organisation chooses a private or hybrid environment for HR and payroll systems, the reality is that data has become mission-critical to the running of a business. Without the ability to access and analyse it, no company can hope to remain competitive. And if internal data is stolen or subject to ransomware, decision-makers are threatened on a fundamental level.”
By 2020, every person will generate around 1.7MB of data per second and the accumulated volume of big data will increase from the current 4.4 zettabytes to approximately 44 zettabytes (equal to 44 trillion GB). Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries per second and, according to InternetLiveStats.com, when the company was founded in 1998, it was serving 10,000 search queries per day.
“The sheer amount of data means businesses must be more aware than ever about meeting regulatory requirements,” added McAlister.
“One weak link in the chain is enough to potentially bring down the entire organisation. It is vital for a business to partner with a service provider that can assist in meeting compliance requirements while still being able to provide the functionality and benefits of a private or hybrid cloud environment.”
McAlister says this requires a balanced approach that shows the organisation is giving serious consideration to how and where sensitive HR and payroll data is stored while still innovating.
“The private and hybrid cloud environments bring with them all sorts of business advantages,” he said.
“However, this must happen within the regulatory requirements if the organisation is to truly take its strategic deliverables to the next level.”