By Mauricio Prinzlau | Follow on Twitter!
With ever increasing adoption of the cloud, comes the ever increasing use of Software as a Service (SaaS). Using Cloud-based Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) significantly simplifies the business operations and workflows by allowing you and your entire team to focus on their core objectives, while it controls time and budget restraints. PPM allows you to reduce or even eliminate the various costs and other implementation problems that one typically faces with project management software. And although internal security concerns might prevent the usage of PPM, it offers some serious benefits for both business and IT users.
1. Remote Accessibility
Previous on-site hosting would typically only allow on-site access via hosted servers, but all that changed with the cloud. Cloud-based PPM enables users to work from literally any place that has an internet connection, whether it’s at work, home, or the local coffee shop. This provides a lot of convenience to employees who work off-site, or just want to work from home. Thanks to higher internet speeds and greater connection stability, SaaS PPM can be run with minimum effort and maximum productivity.
2. Minimum Maintenance
Cloud-based PPM software is typically licensed, implemented, and maintained, via the service provider, or a third-party remote host. These providers host and maintain their own hardware, which means that you’re likely to face little or no maintenance issues throughout your usage of SaaS PPM solutions. Overall, the use of cloud-based PPM services enables you to reduce, or all together eliminate capital expenses and other cost related to IT infrastructure. For your business, this also means lower labor costs, through automation of arbitrary tasks. And in case you do have IT staff, the maintenance-free nature of SaaS PPM solutions will allow them to focus on other aspects like technical support and enterprise software implementation.
3. Easy Implementation
Implementing a cloud-based PPM service proves to be way easier than traditional on-site web hosting. A great example of this is when you are interested in buying and implementing specific cloud software. Instead of taking the risk of buying something that isn’t suitable to you or your business’s needs, you can simply buy a month’s subscription and have your IT guys test the software. Some cloud companies even offer free trial versions of their software, and the same applies to cloud PPM providers. Cloud PPM implementation requires minimal setup, making it a great option for those who don’t have an IT department, or simply don’t have the time. If you don’t like the service or product you’re trying, simply stop using it and sign up with another one! The highlight of cloud-based PPM is that it allows you to eliminate the risks associated with investing heavily into software that doesn’t suit your company’s needs.
4. Less long-term Financing
Apart from capital investment savings, the use of PPM as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) also allows you to reduce long-term operational expenses. Instead of hiring and training over-paid IT professionals to give you what you need, you can simply hire the services of a SaaS provider, who will charge a modest fee for monthly and annual access. Having your PPM handled by a third party also reduces the risks that are normally associated with investing in process automations.
5. Immense Scalability
Current SaaS providers have an array of flexible subscription options that are based on competitive pricing models, or pay for what you use. But the stunner in cloud SaaS solutions lies in its scalability, which can be supersized or downsized, depending on your real time operational needs. This allows you to utilize the service that you need, avoiding wastage of infrastructure and/or resources. SaaS offers a truly revolutionary approach towards infrastructure management and resource optimization. Organizations that follow slow growth patterns are the ones that can benefit the most from cloud PPM services, as they can keep adding advanced features as and when the organization grows.
6. Lower Power Costs
Although it’s already mentioned that adoption of cloud-based PPM models can lead to lower capital and operational expenses, it can also lead to significant savings in energy costs. Electricity pays a huge part in any business, especially those that are IT-based, or depend heavily on IT infrastructure. And cost, obviously, plays a major part in a company’s operational outline. Using cloud-based PPM solutions doesn’t just reduce the need for capital investment, but also eliminates the need for huge power requirements that are characteristic of on-site hosted solutions. You can use this additional monthly saving to invest in your business’s core activities.
7. Enhanced Security
SaaS PPM solutions are one of the most secure software in the market, and ongoing security is a priority among SaaS providers. Most vendors have tamperproof security features within their infrastructure, enough to satisfy the demands of even the most security-conscious client. Compared to cloud PPM, on-site PPM solutions would require huge investments in both physical and virtual security. As an added benefit, the majority of SaaS providers also have automated backup systems in place, to make you’re your data is safe, even if your systems have been compromised.
What was originally designed as nothing more than an aid for SMEs to implement new technology, PPM services are slowly emerging as an IT must-have, thanks to their ease of configuration, customization and scalability. But as with any software and IT service, there is no “one size fits all” PPM solution and you’ll have to consider in numerous factors before deciding which one suits you.
Questions or comments? Feel free to share them below!
AUTHOR: Mauricio is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs.
Follow him on Twitter, @Cloudbackuping.