What are the benefits of digital HR information systems?

HR teams face many of the same business challenges, regardless of industry. For a start, there’s the headache of storing huge volumes of paper records. Then the complicated nature of compliance. Paper can be difficult and inefficient to manage. Not to mention, it’s costly and not very environmentally friendly.

If you face these issues in your business, it’s time to consider digitising your systems.

In this post, we’ll outline the common problems faced by HR departments and the ways that digital HR information systems can help to solve them.

Key challenges faced by HR departments

Accessibility of information

If your records are on paper, it can be a challenge to find documents when you need them. Under these conditions, information management is inefficient, at best. At worst, it’s ineffective. While you’re managing the mundane, you're not focusing on driving the business forward.

Lack of access to quality information, could prevent you from keeping pace with the evolving demands of the modern workplace.

Record retention

The statutory retention period varies from one record type to another. There are also different record retention regulations for specific industries. It's a complex task keeping track of:

  • retention periods
  • data storage purposes
  • and deletion processes

But the implications of non-compliance can be costly and damage your reputation.

If you’re keeping paper records, it’s harder to keep an audit trail of what’s been collected and how it’s being used. And should a record be updated to include, for example, health information, this could change its retention status. Keeping track of this in paper record storage is incredibly difficult.


Record retention issues beget compliance issues. Where and how do you store the records that you must hold to assure compliance with GDPR, data protection law and other regulations? Are they properly secured? If someone requested archived files, are you confident every document would be available? And completed to the same standard?

HR teams relying on paper-based systems can struggle when trying to answer these questions. Responding to subject access requests can be difficult and maintaining the compliance standards that come with holding employee health data may not be possible.

Let’s take a look at solutions to these common issues.

How digital HR information systems can help

Digitising your HR systems can support you in meeting challenges and maintaining compliance. Expect secure storage, ease of compliance, and access to records at the touch of a button. The majority of HR leaders who have moved services to the cloud report that doing so met or exceeded their expectations in every way.

Here are the key benefits of digitisation and digital systems for HR professionals.

Improved accessibility

Digital documents are easier to track, so a digitised system puts an end to misplaced records. There are no more accessibility issues, or hours spent digging for paper documents. You’ll have a searchable, centralised hub.

Ensured compliance

Digitising boosts your compliance by standardising processes and reducing human error. Plus, digital systems can monitor retention periods and alert users when documents need to be destroyed. The tool simplifies or automates many of the fiddly but important details that used to pull you away from bigger picture tasks.

Improved security

Digital records offer increased security. By setting permissions for digital files, you'll limit access to authorised personnel. You have an automatic audit trail of access and changes to records. And implementing two-factor authentication is one way HR information systems make data breaches easier to prevent and contain.

Better disaster recovery

A flood or a fire is a nightmare, even without the added stress of destroyed records and compliance failure. Digital HR information systems store electronic backups of original documents. So, you can be confident that, in the face of a natural disaster, business impact will be minimal.

HR digitisation in action in the NHS

Datatron has implemented secure, future-proof digital HR systems for several NHS trusts.

Updating paper processes in Northumbria

At Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, every line manager held a paper HR file within their department. Management access to information wasn’t a problem (until an employee moved departments). But when the central HR team needed access, it proved a time-consuming task.

Datatron implemented a secure digital HR system. Now, HR can manage confidential record, department managers still have easy access, and it’s much easier to process employee transfers.

We scanned over 375,000 documents. And we implemented BS10008 compliance. This quality standard ensures those documents are clear, legible, and admissible in court. They're also secure and accessible.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust can now embrace an efficient, digitally driven future. Data accuracy and compliance have improved and The Trust benefits from one of the most dynamic digital HR systems available.

Implementing efficient workflows in Newcastle

We also introduced a digital HR information system to Newcastle Upon Tyne Foundation Trust.

Putting in place efficient workflows has led to huge labour savings. In one example, we streamlined the study leave application procedure using e-forms. The Trust processes 4,500+ applications every year. These paper forms used to travel through multiple levels of management for approval. Sign off could take weeks. Now, an e-form is easily accessed via the intranet. An intelligent workflow sends it straight to the correct senior managers. Once approved, a case file is automatically generated, within the digital HR system.

Choosing your digital HR information systems partner

It's important to choose the right document and information management partner. To improve procedures, you need a partner who understands complex business processes. They must also have the tools to support and refine those processes.

Datatron begins all new relationships the same way. We familiarise ourselves with a client’s processes, goals and priorities. That way, we recommend only the most cost-effective solutions.

Track record and independent quality standards

Datatron is a veteran organisation. We have the knowledge and technical experience to support your rigorous security requirements.

We operate to UKAS-accredited ISO quality and security standards. Our site is purpose-built, with a climate controlled and fireproof data-hosting room. We hold ourselves to these standards, and you get complete peace of mind.

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