Large recruitment firm Hudson has reduced its IT staff numbers from 50 to 15 across Australia and New Zealand over the past three years partly due to a gradual move towards cloud computing.\nSince 2009, Hudson\u2019s Australia and New Zealand operations has moved its payroll and billing system, Microsoft Office Communicator software and storage services, into the cloud by engaging specialist outsourcing providers.\nHudson\u2019s Asia Pacific CFO Mark Leigh told CIO that Hudson \u201chad gone through a pretty significant [business] transformation over the last three years.\u201d\nHe said moving these core applications and systems to the cloud was a \u201csignificant driver\u201d to reduce its IT staff numbers.\nHudson announced yesterday that it had replaced its legacy payroll and billing systems with cloud-based software provided by Infosys. The platform has automated these functions for more than 2000 temporary staff and contractors and 600 full-time employees.\nHudson and Infosys also created a portal that makes it easier for contractors to get paid quickly and accurately and subscribe to SMS alerts.\n\u201c[Hudson\u2019s legacy payroll and billing systems] were costly from a business perspective; we had to retain in-house business analysts and developers,\u201d he said.\nAccording to Leigh, cloud computing enables Hudson to access ERP and infrastructure expertise that it does not have in-house or \u201cwe don\u2019t have those levels of specialisation.\u201d\nThe cloud computing model also provides Hudson with a variable or \u201cpay-as-you-go\u201d cost structure, which eased pressure on its operational budget.\n\u201cThat very much matches our revenue stream as well so it\u2019s good to have costs and revenue in alignment,\u201d he said. \u201cFor contracting there are seasonal increases and decreases [in revenue] and the economic cycle that goes with that.\u201d\nLeigh said it was difficult to put a figure on total cost savings resulting from its move to cloud computing and other outsourcing agreements undertaken by the company in recent years.\n\u201cBecause of this and other work Hudson has done in either outsourcing or cloud services across finance and IT, we were able to lose a whole 1000 square metre floor in the Sydney CBD, and [floorspace is] expensive,\u201d Leigh said.\nRemaining staff on a growth path\nAccording to Leigh, the roles of Hudson\u2019s remaining 15 staff across Australia and New Zealand have changed from \u201cdelivering outcomes to actually managing outcomes.\u201d\n\u201cThat\u2019s a big mindset shift I think for many people to go through,\u201d he said. \u201cOnce they have made [that shift they] find that their job is more challenging and rewarding and probably more difficult than it was before. Our [IT] people are focused on managing those core outcomes.\u201d\nHudson\u2019s core database for managing candidates and its customer relationship management (CRM) system are still managed locally. However, Leigh expected to move these systems to the cloud over the next few years.