A Successful Public Sector HR Back Office Begins and Ends with Network Security

November 17, 2017


A Successful Public Sector HR Back Office Begins and Ends with Network Security

There was a time, not all that long ago, when green screen technology was state of the art for human resources IT, and digital security meant keeping the anti-virus software up to date on your local network.

But those days are gone, never to return. On top of all the front-line challenges facing HR—from a greying workforce and the battle for new talent to limited financial resources as the economy rebounds from the last recession—it’s a mistake to overlook back office digital security as a burning priority for human resource managers.

The opportunity in today’s integrated back office is to bring together all the information a public sector agency previously held in different, disparate software systems to support robust, data-driven decisions. The challenge is to keep that data safe and secure, in an era when even a modestly-sized government database might contain a million or more social security numbers—with dozens or hundreds of hackers determined to get their hands on them.

The Data to Do the Job

If there’s one imperative that all government agencies share, it’s the need to do more with less. And that, above all, is driving the emphasis on integrated, often cloud-based back-office systems to support human resource management and decision-making.

When dollars are limited, it’s even more important to get the greatest impact out of every single decision you make, using prescriptive analytics to spot trends that may have been invisible to you in the past. But you can’t get that level of performance with ad hoc reporting systems that were never set up to deliver the level or complexity of financial or program data that today’s HR managers need and want. Without the data, analysts are left in the dark, and crucial program decisions can become a matter of guesswork.

A transformed back office operation can also get beyond a database of resumés and build on a more modern understanding of what makes a successful employee. With the right data, HR offices can help line departments create personalized work experiences that maximize each employee’s potential and deliver better value to the organization as a whole.

A Secure, Service-Oriented Architecture

It all comes together in a service-oriented architecture that gives users greater flexibility to mix and match the data they need, whether an agency decides to host the system on-premises or subscribe to a cloud-based service. Either way, the success of the whole effort rises and falls on data security—and that’s where a cloud-based model really earns its keep.

With some of the world’s largest retail, financial, and government institutions reporting serious network breaches in recent years, cybersecurity has vaulted to the top of most organizations’ priority lists. (If your organization is not one of them…it means you’re even more at risk.) The sensitive employee data that HR offices necessarily collect and retain makes them particularly vulnerable to intruders with malicious intent.

That’s why it was so important for Infor to form a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s leading cloud security operation, to protect the integrity of Infor CloudSuite. Rather than expecting their own network security officer to keep track of a multitude of incoming threats, more and more public agencies are adopting a cloud model with sophisticated protection, backed by specialized teams that are constantly on the lookout for new threats.

All of which comes down to a simple choice for public sector managers: put together a big capital budget to upgrade on-premises IT infrastructure, or invest in cloud systems that are often more affordable and always safer and more secure. It’s a crucial decision that would have been hard to imagine in the era when mainframes ruled, and the big, green-screen monitor on your desk was still the latest, greatest innovation.

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Heather Sherlock, Director, Infor Public Sector
Industry
  • Federal Government
  • State and Local Government
Region
  • North America

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