Cloudy Business

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I’ve been in this industry for too long to pay too much attention to “the next big thing”--I’ve seen way too many “big things” come and go with very little impact. However, there is little doubt that cloud-based computing is more than just a trend. For IT departments, it offers a number of significant advantages including two heavy hitters--it strongly supports distributed teams, and it should be a cost-effective solution.

It’s therefore not surprising that it is being embraced more and more often by IT PMOs looking to improve project effectiveness and efficiency. However, I have noticed that in quite a few cases this decision is being made within IT; there is not always a business stakeholder at the table when the decision to manage projects in the cloud is taken, and that concerns me. In this article, I want to take a brief, high-level look at some of the considerations that require business engagement--even if cloud-based project management is only being used on IT projects.

What’s the risk?
Perhaps the most obvious issue that may surround cloud-based project management is the potential for an impact on the overall portfolio risk. Don’t get me wrong--I’m not suggesting that working in the cloud is inherently more risky. What I am suggesting is that a move to a cloud-based platform will change the risk …

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