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When making the move from desktop software to the cloud, you need to put security at the top of your list of requirements
Nov. 17, 2016 10:49 AM
Migrating from Desktop to Cloud-Based Project Management Software
Seeing how a chorus of business leaders and tech innovators has sung praises to the cloud for quite some time, you're probably aware of the fact that the cloud adaptation is simply flourishing. According to research from cloud solutions provider RightScale, roughly 93% of business today are using cloud technology in some form or another. If you're not that familiar with the technology, you might be wondering - why is cloud just so popular? Furthermore, you're probably also thinking - are cloud services right for your organization?
Of course, it's understandable that embracing the current generation of cloud-based project management can certainly be a bit problematic for some organizations, including yours. There can always be a negative perception on the part of your team, especially if they are accustomed to their desktop-based management tools. There are probably some major security concerns over how project data are distributed as well. The point is - this change is not that easy for everyone in an organization.
Focusing on Security at the Selection Process
For starters, when making the move from desktop software to the cloud, you need to put security at the top of your list of requirements. According to IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study, when it comes to cloud security, some 64% of SMB owners are mainly concerned with security. And there are a couple of security considerations you need to ask about during the platform selection process, such as - are the security policies in place? What exactly are the PM vs. hosting provider access rights? And what about data center access?
Starting Small with the First Couple of Projects
Desktop project apps have a very long history, so moving to a more transparent app will be disruptive for your team, and for a number of reasons. First, the cloud-based systems have in way, "democratized" management information for basically everyone. This means that everybody from your newest employee to a C-level sponsor can govern the project plans, schedules and most importantly, information. And that's why you need to select a team with receptive members to take the new software a trial run. You should also take their feedback during the trial process, and make certain adjustments as needed.
Promoting Platform Tuning and Customization
You need to spend a certain amount of time with every single one of your team members if you want to set up their views into project data properly. Even though the Gantt chart was definitely tunnel vision for your average desktop app user, newer project management solutions, like Basecamp for example, have a wide range of different views over project information. Last but not least, you should take note of customizing your notifications, so they can give you only important, and not irritating, updates.
Introducing New Functions Iteratively
Seeing how Capterra research reveals that over 40% of companies select their project management software based on functionality and usability, it's safe to assume that you are going to have the same things in mind when making your choice. Now, you know that standard project managing app features in most cases, languish in obscurity, often buried four layers in sub-menus.
However, this not the case with modern project management software, like the aforementioned Basecamp rolls out new features iteratively. Furthermore, you can easily find a Basecamp alternative that introduces new functions on a quarterly basis. Therefore, you need to provide new feature information regularly, and make sure that team members know when new features are going to be available.
Involving Your Entire Team
In order to implement and use project management software successfully, your entire team will have to get involved in the process. You should take it one step at a time, and try to motivate and encourage your team to try to make it a central point. And the more each team member uses the software, the sooner you will get the embrace from the whole group, and the software that you chose will become "business as usual". And once everything is fully implemented, your workers will not know how they ever managed without it.