Editor’s note: Scott E. Secor is a CED FastTrac Tech Instructor and is the president of Oryel, Inc. Oryel sells and supports sophisticated and user-friendly Web-based tools and services for comprehensive human capital management. This column is the latest in the Entrepreneurial Spirit series done in partnership between the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and WRAL Local Tech Wire.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Around the globe, business leaders acknowledge that their greatest and most costly asset heads for home at the end of each day. We’re talking workforce – the men and women who stoke the fires of organizational growth and public confidence, the guys and gals who account for over 40 percent of a business’ operating costs.

Why do so many organizations try to meet their business goals without understanding who works for them? Is it because the critical data for seizing employee potential and reducing organizational liability resides in multiple databases on disparate systems?

Good news: Integrated human resources information systems (HRIS) provide small and mid-market businesses with ease of use, reporting accuracy, and if they are web-based, with the flexibility to safely engage and upgrade employee data from anywhere at any time. This advance translates to a single point of contact for access and administration and can include performance management, learning management, and time and attendance, in addition to payroll and benefits administration.

With the addition of employee and manager self-service, open enrollment can be an ongoing dialog within a company instead of a yearly headache. And having HR personnel learn one system instead of facing multiple protocols reduces administrative time as well as errors.

The timing is right. HR is no longer about benefits administration and the employee newsletter. Directors of HR are considered strategic planners, helping to shape corporate culture and growth.

Their demand for accuracy, relevancy, and efficiency from their payroll and human resources management systems has propelled the market towards integrated data management solutions in a hosted environment. Web-based applications today bridge organizational resource gaps in managing a dynamic workforce.

To be aware. To be prepared. To be efficient. To take full advantage of your greatest asset: Your business should integrate valuable employee data. And a web-hosted solution is your easiest and most cost efficient way to do it.