Adopting disruptive technologies by managing projects in the cloud.

Francke, E. & Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference on World Wide Web Applications. 7-9 November. Durban, South Africa.

Francke, E. & Weideman, M. 2012. Adopting disruptive technologies by managing projects in the cloud. Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference on World Wide Web Applications. 7-9 November. Durban, South Africa. Online:

There has been significant increase in the development of information communication technologies particularly in Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Web 2.0 and Social Media. These can be described as disruptive technologies that will have a significant impact on project managers and the manner in which businesses operate. If they do not respond appropriately, project managers practicing conventional methods might be missing the opportunities and benefits that these disruptive technologies present. In the realm of information technology, the term "cloud" simply refers to the Internet which suggests that cloud computing is Internet computing. It is, however more than simply going online and surfing the web. Cloud computing involves operating applications that one would use at home or to operate a business, but over the web. These applications would conventionally run on hardware that one would purchase, install and maintain. With cloud computing the applications run on a server on the web. This effectively eliminates the need to purchase expensive hardware or software, install or maintain it which ultimately eliminates the high cost of an IT infrastructure. Section III of “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) lists Nine Knowledge Areas of project management of which Project Communications Management is one. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate to what degree cloud computing could improve Project Communications Management and in so doing improve overall project success. The research methodology is essentially quantitative and included a survey of relevant literature. The literature review indicates that several surveys have been conducted into project failure and that poor communication management appears to be a major contributory factor to many failures. A survey conducted by Computing Technology Industry Association indicates that communication failures top the list of reasons why IT projects fail. Another survey conducted by The Standish Group also suggests that communication breakdown is the predominant reason why IT projects fail. Research conducted by Global Project Strategy, reports that Project Hurricane Katrina which was instituted after the flood in 2005, was plagued by four project management failures of which poor communication is one. In conclusion, the study has shown that cloud computing benefits include the sharing of documents, videos, presentations, photos, calendars and other information communication technologies which are all valuable for managing projects. Through the adoption of cloud computing and the effective use of its associated technologies, project communications management can be significantly improved and consequently the success of projects.
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