Articles written around the first of the year to address potential changes to payroll almost always focus on federal and state laws. That is understandable. The legal environment surrounding payroll changes so frequently that one cannot help but worry about how new laws will affect what the payroll department does. For this post though, we wanted something different.
The following paragraphs deal with two significant changes we see on the horizon. But these changes are not related to law; they are related to technology. The speed at which technology is advancing is having a definite impact on how companies like BenefitMall process payroll. Furthermore, we suspect that two emerging technologies will have a more profound impact than anything our industry has seen in the last several years.
As you read about the two technologies below, bear in mind that BenefitMall strives to remain at the cutting edge in everything we do. We will give the same level of attention to these technologies that we give to the payroll processing needs of our clients. Should the changes we anticipate come to fruition, we will not be caught off guard.
Artificial Intelligence (Chat Bots)
When you think of artificial intelligence (AI), what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most of us probably default to virtual reality, augmented reality, and the like. But AI has many real-world applications for business, too. A good example is the chat bot.
A chat bot is an app designed to carry on a 'conversation' with a human being. Chat bots have been around for quite a while now, but they have been limited in both function and intuitiveness. Artificial intelligence is changing that. By infusing chat bots with AI, software developers are creating new apps that can do incredible things.
We can envision chat bots being incorporated into payroll to make things like data entry more natural and seamless. For example, rather than someone from the HR department looking at a cold, impersonal computer database into which employee information is entered, a more friendly and personable chat bot will collect the data by asking questions. The chat bot could carry on a conversation with the HR worker in a way that actually makes data entry pleasant.
Most people understand blockchain technology as having to do with cryptocurrencies. Truth be told, blockchain transcends mere digital coins. The whole concept of blockchain can be put to use to create decentralized, independent applications that require very few dependencies to work. And because blockchain is so versatile and secure, it is already forming the foundation of a new way of developing software.
Blockchain technology is perfectly suited to payroll and benefits administration. The same technology that enables the world's cryptocurrencies to operate independently and securely could revolutionize the way payroll is processed, tracked, and reported. We are fairly confident that blockchain will eventually be the foundation for future implementations of payroll software. It is just that good.
How would blockchain help payroll processing? It would make processing faster by localizing functions within a given cloud environment. Blockchain's data distribution model can make payroll more robust, more accurate, and less susceptible to cyber-attacks. Lastly, blockchain could open the door to more customized solutions for industries with unique needs.
Rest assured that BenefitMall will be keeping an eye on both chat bots and blockchain. In the meantime, we encourage you to evaluate your own payroll processing systems. If you are having trouble with anything payroll related, BenefitMall can offer you a customized solution that will fit your company's needs and budget.