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Web 2.0 Cloud computing in recruitment

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Got a headache with your servers.  Take one Cloud computing pill to relieve tension

Here is the thing.  You can have a server with your entire database on it.  You have to back it up, have redundancies in place, ensure it is physically secure, keep the hardware and software on it up to date, protect it from power outages or spikes.  It’s an expensive thing to run if it is done properly.

That is why, increasingly, recruitment agencies are turning to hosted software.  The company that provides your recruitment software keep the server.  They are responsible for backing it up, keeping it running smoothly, and keeping it up to date.

It runs over the internet.  This is cloud computing.  Your software and database are “out there” in the cloud that is the internet.  Obviously there is a server involved, but you don’t need to know about it.  All you have to do is log into your software.

The result.. no headaches.  Don’t have an IT team.  Not a problem. You pay to have somebody else worry about it.

The benefits:-

  1. Reduced staff (You can reduce your IT team)
  2. Lower cost desktops.  Your desktops will only need an internet connection.  They will not have to have any hefty, resource draining software running on them.  In other words, you don’t have to buy higher end machines.  You just need a good internet connection.
  3. Offices split over several locations do not need complicated VPN tunnels set up to communicate between several servers.  Again, all you need is an internet connection.
  4. Lower Maintenance bills for your hardware and software.  Computers need regular attention to keep running smoothly.  Using a cloud solution makes that someone elses problem.
  5. If your business burns down you can be up and running again as soon as you have a working PC and an internet connection.
  6. It is much harder for data theft to take place on your premises (nobody can plug a USB key into your server and download your database)
  7. Someone to shout at.  It’s nice to have somebody else to give out to if everything is not running entirely smoothly.  You will have a whole team of them to work on getting it right.

The Disadvantages:-

  1. The cost is higher from your provider (but this should still work out less expensive than having to upgrade your own server).  Have you virtualised your servers yet?  That will be done for you.
  2. Lack of control.  You give up some of the control you have over your systems.  In general you will be giving control to people who are better qualified to look after them anyway.
  3. High bandwidth requirements.  While you can be extremely portable (particularly if you use Voice over Internet for your telephony), the internet connections needed for each staff member and for voice calls will use up a considerable amount of bandwidth.  A 3 meg broadband connection may be ok for general occasional browsing, but you are likely to need considerably more.  If you are based in the center of one of our metropoli then this is not a problem (apart from the expense), but outside our major cities broadband speeds are still embarrassingly low and can’t cope.  Even where higher broadband speeds are offered. The actual speed often falls far short.
  4. Online security.  While it will be in the hands of your provider, by using online services security will never be as good as a closed system.  Then again, if you have a wireless network then your security is not great anyway.  If you have not upgraded your security from the Eircom default you can be hacked in under a minute!  Still, If you want total control over your security then you need to keep your servers under your own roof.
  5. You have no say in who your service provider hires.  If you hire your own IT personnel then you know what you are getting.  You can check references, look at their linkedin profiles, facebook and see who has recommended them.  You build a bond of trust and loyalty with your employees.  That is all out of your control with a cloud based recruitment system.

Ready to take a further plunge into Web 2.0?  Some of you have already!