Buzz or Bull? Top 5 buzzwords in the world of HR & Payroll – Part 1/2
If, like me, you read technology publications it seems that a month cannot go by where new buzzwords are not thrust upon us, with a promise of making our lives easier in ways we never dreamt possible. In this short 2 part blog I take a look at 5 of the most common buzzwords used in 2015 to understand if there is any substance behind the hype these words generate.
Technology giants like Microsoft all the way down to small niche software houses are talking about ‘The Cloud’. As a buzzword it is catchy and sounds great, but what does it mean?
‘The Cloud’ simply means storing and accessing information over the internet instead of a computer’s local storage; the information is usually stored on servers held in a datacentre.
One of the most popular examples of this is services like Netflix or SkyGo. These services allow you to stream movies direct to your PC, Tablet or Phone. When you watch these movies they are not coming from your local hard drive but from files held in the cloud. As an end user, all you need to access these file are 3 things:
- A device capable of receiving the movie
- An internet connection
- An active account for the service you are trying to get content from
If you have these 3 elements then the cloud can bring benefits, such as:
Not enough space!
Movie streaming services allow users to access 1000’s of films. If you wanted to store all of the content available on Netfix you would need 130 million gigabytes of storage, the equivalent of 500,000 laptops! By hosting this in the cloud, consumers can access this data from an internet enabled device without needing to worry about storage.
Information when you need it.
The cloud has changed our perceptions of when and how we can access content. The cloud is 24/7, meaning we can access content whenever, without having to be in a specific location such as an office or using a specific device such as a PC. This means content can be accessed from anywhere, on everything from a smart phone through to a traditional PC.
Both of these benefits translate into the business world too. Cloud based systems take away a lot of the technical headaches, costs and constraints usually associated with local installed applications.
2. Big Data
Big Data is one of my favourite buzzwords. Whenever I hear it I think of this Dilbert cartoon:
So what is ‘big data’?
In essence, big data is collections of electronic data that are so big they become difficult to understand. Think of any business and the information they will hold. Usually data is stored in separate systems with no easy way of linking it together.
Now imagine what would happen if you had a way of linking this data together and looking for patterns and correlations. As a business you would be able to ask questions such as:
- Is there a link between my sales data and employee performance?
- Is there a link between customer satisfaction and employee absence rates?
- Is there a link between customer terminations and employee turnover?
In the last few years, the market has seen an huge increase in people talking about big data and ‘Analytics’. Analytics is nothing new but through the use of cloud technology we have seen the emergence of modern analytics tools; these allow businesses to look at complex data to see how it relates, and pull out trends and understand problem areas in their business. All business leaders will have a gut feeling of what is right or wrong with their business, these modern day Analytic tools allow you to look at your ‘big data’ and validate these gut feelings.
Read part 2 of my blog where I look at the final 3 buzzword and decide if these are Buzz or Bull…