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Why the Cloud Makes Sense for Talent Management

If you’re a CIO, you’re probably tired of hearing the chorus of vendors who sing that a move to the cloud will conserve your resources, lighten your load and simplify business operations. You’ve heard this song before, just with different notes. In the old days, the message was “take everything off the mainframe and run it on client/server systems.” After that, it was “make everything web-based.” Today, it’s “put everything in the cloud.” But the other extreme—that nothing should be in the cloud—doesn’t apply either. That’s because the cloud is web-based, and web-based was client/server—but better in its latest iteration. There are some applications that are actually well suited for the cloud. Talent management—for all companies, but especially for midsize companies of up to 5,000 employees—is one of those applications. Why? As midsize companies need to compete with larger, wealthier firms for hard-to-find employees, talent management—the ability to track employees from recruitment to succession—becomes more strategic. It’s certainly becoming more popular: In 2014 talent management consultant Josh Bersin forecast that global spending on integrated talent management systems would grow 17 percent, to more than $6 billion globally that year.1 But that doesn’t mean that an on-premises system has to become one more melody in IT’s increasing large songbook. With a cloud-based approach to talent management, IT can save its resources and still deliver critical, tangible business benefits, a crucial goal of any IT initiative.

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