These 3 contracts prove Human Resources should be worried (really worried) about cloud vendor lock in.

It used to be HR controlled the company’s employee data.  It was right there in a locked file cabinet.  Every employee had a master file.  Access was controlled.    If you needed the data, it was easy to get.  Today we’ve replaced our locked file cabinet with vendor lock in.  You put data in various cloud applications with no thought as to how to get it back.  You might think the cloud vendor is just a modern system of record and will take care of your data – dig deeper


Actual Contract No. 1 from Major Payroll/HR Vendor

“Upon Client’s request and to the extent possible, Vendor will assist client to restore any lost data caused by Vendor.”

That’s awesome.  If they lose the data to the “extent possible” they’ll assist but take no responsibility in your effort to find it.


Actual Contract No. 2 from another Major Payroll/HR Vendor

Vendor “is not and shall not be Client’s official record keeper, Client shall keep copies of all information and Personal Data it deems necessary.”

If you use a vendor like this then you need to become really familiar with Alt+Printscreen. You pay them to store your data, but they’re not your record keeper.  Seriously?

Not convinced?  Let’s look at one more.


Actual Contract No. 3 from another Major Payroll/HR Vendor

“We shall not be liable to you … for …any damage or corruption of data.”

Remember that saying about a creek and a paddle.  Use Vendor number 3 and you’re that guy.  You pay them thousands maybe tens of thousands of dollars and if something happens to your data, they just walk away.

Part of HR’s job is to manage risk.  If you are not controlling the company’s employee data that is a huge risk to your company.  As can be seen above, the risk of loss is entirely on you.


It’s time to try something new

If all the risk is on you, then doesn’t it make sense to adopt a data first strategy?  If you control the data and then share it with your application vendors, you mitigate whatever horrible risk their lawyers attempt to shift on to you.  

You also create a  lot of business value.  By controlling a single master copy of the data you get better reports; you can create a better employee experience; you can reduce integration costs; and, if you decide you’ve had enough with any of those vendors who don’t want to properly manage your data, it’s a heck of a lot easier to move on.

There’s a new file cabinet in town.  It’s called the HR Data Platform.  It’s fundamentally a different and better way to roll out an HR Technology Strategy.

To take control of your HR Data, please contact us at


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