Cloud computing is a very broad term for the ‘IT systems via the internet’ that hold the application technologies they run by an external party. Subscribers do not own IT infrastructure and are charged typically on the basis of per user per month.
Analysts predict that the worldwide cloud computing market is expected to exceed $25 billion by the end of 2013, although global technology research firm Gartner predicts cloud computing is still 2-5 years from mainstream adoption in the business world.
Adopting cloud computing could have significant and potentially disruptive implications for project risk and governance frameworks in enterprise IT projects, given the current relative immaturity of this technology, lack of standards, and inconsistencies in the governance frameworks.
Cloud computing has immediate appeal to the business community in that, when compared to the traditional on-premises enterprise IT systems, it has the potential to:
- Lower IT operational cost
- Deliver much faster IT project implementation times
- Simplify some of the complexities associated with enterprise IT systems,
- Foster innovation through viral projects, and
- Release working capital by moving IT system’s costs from capital to operational expenditure.
This potentially disruptive technology has implications for both the project managers as well as the PMO, not to mention organisations themselves, in that a fully featured, enterprise ready application is deliverable at the start of the project.
The conventional enterprise system implementation methodology is (broadly speaking):
define requirements > specify > build/ buy > implement > maintain
This could change to:
subscribe > configure > deploy with cloud-based services