Yes, Yes and Yes. Just as people say, important point needs to be repeated 3 times.
Since this is the most frequently asked question from users, therefore I think it's worthwhile taking a break from my development work in order to expand a little more with a topic dedicated to this.
How secure is my data with HR.my if it is free forever?
In short, it is every bit as SECURE as other paid solutions. Just think Gmail, it's free too, but it's secure.
All connections to HR.my are encrypted with SSL (TLS) protocol. HR.my data is secured with daily off-site backup and data export. HR.my data privacy is fully protected by restriction of the access for maintenance purpose only, with no third party allowed to access HR.my data at all. HR.my passwords are hashed. As an Employer, you have complete control over your employees' access to their Employee Web Account and the accessibility of your employees to certain information.
Additionally, you may export important data anytime so that you always keep a backup in your hands.
Why is HR.my free forever?
As many people are aware of the proverb "there's no such thing as a free lunch", it is absolutely reasonable to be doubtful of HR.my's "business model".
We will deal with the justification of the "business model" in the next section, but let me tell you what motivate me to build a free HR software.
I love building software. That's my job and my pastime. HR.my took me years to develop to its current stage, but the experience was very rewarding. When HR.my was functional with bare-bones features, had I naively decided to charge for it's usage, it would 101% for sure end up with no one paying and no one using. Instead of keeping my labour of love close to my chest (which is very likely to demotivate further development on HR.my), it is certainly much more fulfilling to make it free for all, so that users with the minimum needs may at least find something of value in HR.my.
When more users use HR.my, I start to receive more requests on what to build onto the platform, which keeps me occupied and excited in meeting the user challenges.
From here it kick-starts the virtuous circle. With each new upgrade, HR.my appears to attract even more users to sign up. Again, more users bring more ideas to the development of this free HR software.
As HR.my is currently supported by advertisement and Crowdfunding campaign, therefore the ever increasing user base may even help HR.my become profitable one day.
When HR.my is profitable, I could invest even more by hiring better brains, which will result in better HR.my performance and features. There goes the positive feedback loop.
In summary, I had no choice but to start HR.my free when it had very limited features. Judging from the growth trajectory, HR.my may be able to reach break-even point. If HR.my may be profitable while it's free, why do I want to make it non-free later?
How can HR.my be free forever?
In my simple "business plan", the key to providing a free service is cost control. With that, I mean to say squeezing out the most result with limited resource input.
In terms of disposable resources, presently the only resource available for HR.my is my own labour (or time), which could be translated into my equivalent income loss (before HR.my is making enough to pay for my labour ).
Server operational cost comprises of servers, bandwidth, storage and other cloud-based infrastructure fees that I have to pay every month, plus the technical labour input from me to keep the servers running smoothly. Understandably, the more users onboard, the more I will have to pay for it. Luckily, thanks to the Crowdfunding sponsors, I no longer have to cough up my own money to cover this cost.
User support cost comprises of my time to answer user questions in various channels (email, Facebook comment, Facebook Messenger, forum etc) and to prepare user guide. Similarly, the more user questions, the more time (cost) I will have to spend (to pay) for it.
On the development cost, it's solely my personal labour. Not surprisingly, this is also the BIGGEST cost component.
Given the cost and resource constraints, how do I make ends meet?
Fortunately, I am a technically competent full-stack developer. In layman terms, this means that I could build entire platform & mobile apps solely by myself. In other words, I am the whole of HR.my's development "team". While my expertise is very valuable in the job market, it becomes affordable for me to build something I love, i.e. HR.my. This keeps the development cost under control, or from another perspective, I have been albe to subsidize the cost of development with my own potential salary.
In the meantime, whatever cost that's involved in the development of HR.my is already considered sunk cost. Moving forward, if I am still capable of subsidizing the on-going development cost, then we will see many features to come. If not, I could choose to slow down the development while I moonlight on other jobs, thus reducing the development cost drastically. Thankfully, the Crowdfunding campaign is starting to pay for my salary partially, isn't it an encouraging signal that HR.my will continue to thrive?
With pay-per-use cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services, server operational cost is also becoming very affordable. The good news is that this cost component is already covered by Crowdfunding sponsors.
On the revenue front, there has been some meagre income from advertisements. Thanks to some users' suggestion, I started the Crowdfunding campaign in 2017. Throughout last few years, the momentum has been picking up and this has proven to be very helpful, at least in partly supporting the cost of HR.my.
How can you help to make HR.my free forever?
If you like HR.my and share my vision of keeping HR.my free forever, please join others to crowdfund HR.my. That is the most powerful way of telling the world that you love the idea of keeping HR.my free forever.
As I am not able to spend to acquire new users, your word of mouth can defintely help introduce HR.my to your social networks. With more users signing up HR.my, chances are some of them may be able to join the Crowdfunding campaign. You could either tell your friends directly about HR.my, Like and Share HR.my on any social media, or leave a Testimonial.
If you are an experienced HR.my user, you may also help answering newbies' questions on getting started with HR.my.
If I am to answer all these newbie questions, it would be a huge waste of my time, which could be put to better use in the development work. Newbie questions are typically those under the scope of user training such as questions that are already documented in user guide, questions that they could easily find answers themselves should they spend a little bit of time checking the user interface etc.