At the start of the 21st century, businesses depended on two types of project management systems – PC based and server based. PC based systems, even taking into account the relatively simpler project handling requirements of the time, were not considered very reliable for many reasons. The flexibility of PC based systems has been called into question. At the most, it can be used for handling just a single project at a time. Second, even with the low burden, a single project could be derailed, if it is too complex for the PC based system. On the plus side, these systems are fast and can accommodate a visually rich user dashboard.
Server based systems were considered the ultimate in sophisticated project handling mechanisms. Server based systems have two outstanding features:
- They are placed in the company servers. The servers are located at the data center of the service provider.
- The systems are handled by the company’s IT department.
The drawbacks being that a server offers limited accessibility. It is best deployed when all users are working within the same area, such as an office building.
Web based systems are the latest and they offer the advantage of wide accessibility. Many of these systems do not require a full-time IT department. While software installation is often not necessary, some of these systems may require it.
Cloud based project management is the latest in the lineup of tools to enable better management of projects, enterprise wide and individually. The benefits are many, including easy access from anywhere, collaboration spread over multiple locations, and access using many types of hardware.
Choosing the right system takes practice. Based on pricing, features, and complexity of project, the right tool must be selected.
Types of cloud based software
Basic: Smaller projects can be sufficiently handled with the help of basic software. Collaboration, email, filing system, and time management are the basic features of this type of software. This type of PM system is sufficient for most small businesses.
High end: Bigger projects require systems with features, such as resource allocation, schedules, and budgets. This type of system costs more than the basic one, but it offers mechanisms for tracking and updates.
Customized: For handling projects that cannot be accommodated into generic software, many businesses use specially created or modified software. Projects with very specific requirements are handled using this type of software.
Meeting the goals of PM
Much of the problems experienced during project management, including over allocation of funds and resources, and poor quality, are eliminated with the use of the right system. Each step in the path that has led to project management in the current times has been focused on the following goals:
- Getting accurate cost estimates.
- Eliminating contradictory requirements among multiple projects.
- Creating reports and updates.
These goals are adequately met with cloud based systems, with their wide range of features and cross location accessibility. Efficient project management helps develop superb IT and the latest cloud based tools have made things a lot easier.