By George Florentine, VP, Technology
HRMS archiving uptime requirements must be addressed to support your employees’ business activities. A robust, well architected archive deployed and managed by a well-trained deployment/support team can provide a great resource for your employees.
Why is HRMS archiving uptime important?
Simply put, the best HRMS archive isn’t very useful if its availability and uptime characteristics are not well specified and well understood. And to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements to provide your employees and ex-employees with access to archived date, uptime considerations such as the following are key:
- RTO/RTS – how long does it take to restore the service in the event of an outage?
- Scaling elasticity – can the system scale dynamically to support unanticipated access needs, such as employees looking at benefits after a natural disaster, regional, national, or international disruption in work patterns, etc.
- Global access – does the system support access from a globally distributed workforce?
- Support for the set of devices typically used by a modern workforce – phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop?
- Cyberthreat responsiveness. Can the archive system be upgraded to resolve cyberthreats as they are identified?
Let’s briefly look at each of these areas.
Systems fail. Whether caused by human, software or hardware failure, your archive will suffer a failure at some point. So, consider how the system is recovered from an outage. Is there a well-known and practiced disaster recovery policy? Does your cloud provider or on-premises IT staff have hardware spares and a team that can quickly deploy a necessary hardware or software fix?
When considering RTO/RTS, remember once adage – if it’s not written down, it’s not understood. And if it’s not practiced, it’s not real.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the COVID pandemic, it’s that our employees’ work situation and access patterns can change dramatically due to unanticipated business disruptions. An archive that works well when all your employees are on-site at your facilities but fails when accessed by a suddenly virtual work force won’t meet your uptime requirements. And if it can’t support a sudden surge of access because of unemployment related requests or employee history requests, your business and employees will suffer.
We continue to see M&As and consolidations in many business verticals. This typically results in a centralization of horizontal services, such as HR data archiving. An archive system might work well for a North American-based work force but could fail when faced with new requirements to support Asian, African, or European-based staff.
All employees, and especially Millennials, assume that the systems they use will be accessible from a variety of devices. From an uptime perspective, if the system works great on a desktop but is unusable on a phone, their response will be that the system has zero uptime!
Just as we know that your archiving solution will fail, we know that a cyber threat will enable a security vulnerability. As we’ve discussed in HRMS Data Security, your archive system must be kept secure. And to keep its uptime high, there should be processes in place to resolve day-zero attacks as they are identified, modify processes as vulnerabilities are exposed, and provide rapid deployment of fixes that may be made by vendors that provide components of your archiving solution. A compromised archiving system can greatly impact your overall HRMS uptime scorecard in addition to introducing other business risks.
To provide a high level of HRMS archive uptime, considerations should be made during the purchase and deployment of any HRM archiving system.
Flatirons Digital Innovations specializes in data archiving and is pleased to assist you in assessing your HRM archiving requirements. Contact us to get started or learn about Flatirons Digital Hub for PeopleSoft.