PM World Today – June 2010 (Vol XII, Issue VI)
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PM WORLD TODAY – FEATURED PAPER – JUNE 2010
Cloud Computing meets Project Management
By Raj Asava and Hussein Mzee
History demonstrates that market changing technologies are the ones that enable a broad class of
people to employ what previously, only an elite class could afford. Cloud computing fits this bill.
Cloud computing can be regarded as the fourth wave in the Information Technology (IT)
industry, following the mainframe era, the rise of the personal computer (PC) and the internet
revolution, which collectively span from the 1960’s to the present day.
The rise of the PC changed the narrative from expensive mainframes used only by a few
organizations, to computing devices the masses could afford. The affordability, combined with
democratization of information resulted in higher operational efficiencies and dramatic gains in
overall production and performance of both public and private companies. A significant number
of companies including today’s Fortune 100 businesses such as Microsoft, Intel and Apple saw
their growth accelerate during this era.
The follow-on internet revolution combined billions of information islands to form a huge world-
wide-web that made it convenient and feasible to collect, index, publish and share information en
masse. In the process, we witnessed exponential gains in productivity as communication and
collaboration joined forces with democratization of information and affordability – the world
was beginning to get flat! Cisco, Dell, EBay and Yahoo are a few enterprises that rose to
greatness during this revolution.
The Rise of Cloud Computing:
Cloud computing, the latest wave of disruption in information technology, holds the promise to
dwarf the gains experienced by the previous two revolutions. So what exactly is cloud
computing, and why does it hold such awesome power?