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The Quick, Fast Path Route to Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
By Pradeep Bhanot

As cloud computing rolls over the hilltops, Pradeep Bhanot from CA Marketing (Europe) explains how the SaaS model can help organisations quickly exploit low-risk, low-cost, and high value Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions.

Software is precise; it’s sensitive to changes in its environment; it needs to be professionally managed. That’s why many organisations are happy to hand over the administration and management of software to external IT professionals. Indeed, most people would be happy not to deal with software compatibility issues, functional updates, patches, license management and everything else that goes with owning software. So when they hear about software as a service (SaaS) for the first time, their eyes light up. And when they learn that those who are already using SaaS are extremely happy with their decision (up to 97%, according to 2008 research by the Cutter Consortium), their eyes are wider than ever.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is one area in particular that can transparently exploit SaaS. In this uncertain economic environment, organisations need visibility over the entire enterprise to drive efficient prioritisation of projects, people, and resources. However, while executives recognise the need for a PPM solution, they are reluctant to invest capital budgets because they wrongly perceive there to be risks on the horizon: risks associated with building the business case, the perceived complexity of the implementation, or the risk that the business case approval takes long because sponsors are tied to other priorities. Simultaneously, they are searching for ways to shed excess costs, pay for just what they use, while enhancing the value IT delivers and protecting strategic business services. In essence, they’re looking towards ‘Lean IT’.

A SaaS-based, on demand PPM solution offers a rapid, low-risk means of maximising portfolio value while minimising project costs―key contributors to achieving Lean IT. The cloud model lowers deployment risk out of PPM by removing operation costs of PPM ownership, accelerating PPM end-users training and adoption. It lowers technical incidents by 30% because everyone is uses a tried and tested standard platform.

The on-premise model is still valid for users that want local control over their application infrastructure but SaaS delivery gives many organisations need first: fast, low cost deployments, with fast configuration of the PPM functions they use the most.

Pradeep Bhanot Markets CA Clarity PPM in Europe. He has worked at BT, the UK Department of Energy, ECGD, Watson Wyatt, Oracle, Serena Software and CA Inc. He’s an ITIL v3 Foundation certified, a PMI member, and has a Computer Science Degree from Greenwich University. Pradeep’s blog can be found at http://community.ca.com/blogs/ppm/

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