Skip to content

UKG Inc., a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions announces entering into a definitive agreement to acquire Immedis. Read More

Why Global Payroll Should Be in the Cloud

Paul Mills
Paul Mills

Principal Solutions Architect

Mar 9, 2021 5 mins

Before exploring the many reasons organizations benefit by hosting and conducting their international payroll on the cloud, let’s start with a brief introduction to the cloud.

What is cloud computing?


In the simplest terms, it is when data is stored and processed in remote servers. In some earlier drawings to illustrate this it looked like a cloud, hence the name. Because the information is hosted on a different machine, anyone can access it anywhere, so long as they have internet and authorization. For example, Immedis uses AWS servers, which are dispersed across the globe.

68% of CIOs ranked migrating to the cloud as their top IT spending driver in 2020. Meanwhile, estimates project that the global market for Payroll & HR Solutions and Services is projected to reach a revised size of US$38.4 Billion by 2027. Cloud, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 9% CAGR and reach US$18.3 billion by the end of the analysis period.

So, what are the reasons for the cloud’s growing popularity?

Although every industry will have its rationale, generally speaking, it is because the cloud offers these benefits:

  • Access for all-regardless of an employee’s physical location, they can continue to perform their job. This was a big driver for escalating cloud adoption in 2020 when COVID first impacted the workforce, and governmental lockdowns necessitated remote working.
  • No equipment as maintenance-servers and other machines are all now the responsibility of their service provider. Businesses, and their IT teams, are freed from this costly and time-consuming task.
  • Scalable-unlike many legacy and on-premises machinery, the cloud offers organizations unlimited storage capabilities. Instead of replacing or upgrading machinery, companies simply add to their service agreement as they expand.
  • Cost savings- no legacy hardware or equipment to purchase or replace when it becomes obsolete.

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Salesforce describes it as a method of providing software applications over the internet, usually on a subscription basis or on-demand. Customers of the service don’t need to worry about the hosting or the IT infrastructure, yet they benefit from everyone in the organization sharing the same infrastructure and service.

SaaS solutions such as the Immedis Platform provide the platform, the tools, and the services that organizations then leverage to meet a specific business need- in this case, global payroll.

Why moving your global payroll to the cloud makes sound business sense


Now that we have looked at why moving to the cloud offers significant advantages in general terms, I want to talk about what those benefits are for managing international payroll.

Global collaboration

One of the idiosyncrasies of global payroll is that the payroll team managing the company’s payrolls is spread across the globe. For example, there may be personnel in Mexico, Germany, and Malaysia, while the global payroll manager is in India. Ensuring that each has access and is working on the same payroll data is critical. A cloud-based payroll solution means that no matter where in the world payroll teams are, they are all logging into the one platform and sharing the same information, processes, and experience, and all in real-time.

Not only does this enable an organization to have cohesion and consistency over its global payroll management, but it also establishes a single source of truth. Now the CFO and other business leaders can at a glance assess with accuracy and ease payroll costs from both a high and granular level.

Increased security

Payroll data is highly sensitive information-from employee addresses and bank details to personal details such as the number of children or marital status. The risk of a data breach or getting hacked is high, and the consequences enormous. According to one study of security professionals, these risks are even higher now because of the pandemic. One of the best ways to ensure security is by selecting a cloud operator who is ISO 27001 certified. This internationally recognized certificate means that they have met international security management system guidelines to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details, or information entrusted by third parties.

Meet compliance requirements

Again, global payroll inherently involves working with numerous countries, all of whom have legislation that companies must adhere to or face hefty fines and reputational damage. Choosing a cloud payroll provider that ensures GDPR compliance, for example, is just one area where moving to the cloud also means meeting and addressing challenges around legislation, and reducing compliance risk.

Improve payroll processes and accuracy

Moving to the cloud means that an organization is now operating with the latest and most cutting-edge technology. We’ve found that often customers are using existing technology that is so outdated it is damaging their chances to transform or survive. However, by leveraging our solution, customers can remove risk and correct past errors, including – fragmentation, manual overload, and duplication, and implement payroll processes that optimize automation, enable better governance, and facilitate auditability. As a result, customers can look to the future, their future, with a fit-for-purpose payroll technology and service.

Stay current with new technology

One of the fascinating aspects of technology is the speed of evolution, known as Moore’s law. Staying abreast and taking advantage of the latest innovations is costly if a company needs to update its equipment with each iteration. However, when operating in the cloud, this is the responsibility of your provider. Customers receive notice of the upcoming updates, and these are installed seamlessly with minimum disruption to the payroll process and no new investment required. This is particularly important for payroll professionals as the industry is transforming, and if companies fail to change along with it, they will fall behind.

Ease of integration with HCM

Studies show that cloud-based human capital management (HCMs) are growing in popularity, so the next logical step is to move a company’s payroll to the cloud. Having them plus the Finance system, all operating in the cloud facilitates integration between the systems and offers huge advantages. As we examined in the blog, Why the Key to a Modern Global Payroll is Integration with HCM and Finance Systems, a true global transformation is built on a single operating model aligned with strategic HR and Financial objectives and gives unprecedented layers of control, transparency, and insights. The advantages of integration for delivering payroll include:

    • time back for payroll teams
    • a later cut-off for payroll close and a reduction in change files
    • confidence in compliance
    • improved accuracy of information
    • reduction in payroll queries due to inaccuracies.

Improved post-COVID recovery

As Deloitte describes, moving to the cloud has enabled businesses to adopt a more agile approach to business continuity and promote a culture of increased resilience. Leveraging the cloud offers companies access to the latest technologies and creates more opportunities for automation, innovation, and collaboration. Historically, a lack of access to technology and the equipment required to diversify or reinvent was a huge barrier to new opportunities. The cloud removes this hurdle, affording companies easy access to the tools and tech they need to offer additional services, for example.

Facilitates expansion into new markets


Whether through expansion or M&A activity, businesses often move into entirely new jurisdictions. Managing these global locations is a challenge, and international payroll with its myriad of local and national legislation even more so. However, it isn’t only a compliance issue. There is also the matter of currency exchanges, choosing the best and most accurate way to ensure your employees are paid accurately and on time regardless of where they call home. This is why it is essential that your global payroll solution can scale quickly and with minimum interruption to business. Having a consolidated payroll solution in the cloud offers companies the capability to grow and yet continue to pay their meet their payroll commitments.

The Immedis Platform is wholly owned, developed, and maintained by us. This gives our customers the assurance that they are always on the most recent version of the platform and can avail of the latest functionality without incurring any hidden upgrade charges.