The Complete Guide to Cloud Collaboration in Project Management

If you are tired of updating your project data in emails, spreadsheets, good old sticky notes, cloud-based project management and cloud collaboration can deliver better quality results, faster.

We're big fans of the cloud here at Wrike and we're not the only ones. Cloud adoption is flourishing. A chorus of tech innovators and business leaders are singing the praises of the cloud, and more than 60% of businesses rely on cloud solutions to power their projects. So why such intense popularity? And more importantly, are cloud services right for your business?

What is cloud-based project management?

Think back to the days when people used to store project data within legacy office systems, hard disks, or pen drives?

In cloud-based project management, all project data, documents, and programs are stored in a safe, centralized hub that is always synced across devices. Apart from being easily accessible, data in the cloud is more secure and available in real-time to your team members, irrespective of where they may be located across the world.

What are project cloud delivery models?

With an increasing number of businesses implementing cloud service models, choosing a cloud collaboration solution is essential. To stay one step ahead of the competition, companies will need to adopt cloud options for project management.

But, how do you choose the model that's right for your business? Let's explore and understand the top three project cloud delivery models.

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS is one of the easiest cloud delivery models that give you access to cloud-based applications without any need for an installation or download. Since these applications operate in the cloud, all the support and maintenance are handled by the vendor for a paid subscription access.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

In a platform as a service (PaaS) structure, different business applications can be developed, tested, and organized in one secure virtual environment. Enterprise software development becomes easy when the platform provider executes resource management for storage, servers, and networks. Since PaaS is also subscription-based, it is a scalable option for many businesses.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a service is a service where computing resources are delivered over the cloud. The service provider manages the entire end-to-end process, including computing systems, infrastructure including its maintenance and support. On-premise hardware is not required at all.

What are the benefits of cloud-based project management?

If your project team is located worldwide and needs a powerful, secure, and real-time tool to collaborate seamlessly, having a cloud-based collaboration tool is a no-brainer. Team members can work together in real-time on shared documents, review each other's progress, and move towards shared team goals.

Integrated tools

Odds are that your new cloud-based project management app integrates with other tools you already know and use. Aside from the added convenience and ease of adoption, your team can work more efficiently when all your tools work together and are accessible from one spot.

Cost efficiency

Put the company credit card away. You won't need new hardware, expensive onsite software installation, or extra IT staff to configure and maintain new software. With cloud apps, all you need is an internet connection and the computers your team already uses. 

Cloud services typically offer various software development pricing options based on features or account size, so small teams and businesses can access sophisticated tools that they couldn't ordinarily afford to license. Most cloud apps let you add new users as needed and scale back down just as easily, adjusting with your team as it grows.

Low maintenance tech

When managing complex projects with many moving parts, technology that's simple, functional, and easy to maintain is essential. Access the benefits of enterprise-level features without overly-complicated installations or paying for entirely new versions to get the one or two new features you want. Minimize the time you spend offline installing updates and checking system requirements.

Faster collaboration

With the reliance on remote workers growing exponentially, your project team includes people that you don't see at the office every day. If you're not taking advantage of the cloud, your remote team is not as connected or efficient as it could be. Cloud-based project management apps create a central workspace accessible from anywhere for your team to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Reliable and highly secure

Ever had to ask a colleague to email you an essential document? ("Can you send me the final version, please? ASAP!") Or tried to guess a missing co-worker's password to access that day's presentation slides? Major headache. When your project lives in the cloud, your team can access required work information anywhere and anytime as needed. Whether you're at a client meeting, networking event, or on your living room sofa, cloud software keeps information at your fingertips instead of stuck in your colleague's local computer folders.

Good cloud project management software offers first-rate security, using highly secure data centers and servers with built-in disaster recovery. If you spill coffee on your laptop, download a virus, or even lose your whole office in a hurricane, you can get back to work without skipping a beat since all your essential information is stored in the cloud. And if a laptop gets lost or stolen, all you have to do is log in to your online account and change your password to protect sensitive data.

The Complete Guide to Cloud Collaboration in Project Management 2
(Photo via Austin Distel on Unsplash)

Flexible system 

Whatever platform each member of your team uses — Windows, Mac, Linux — is irrelevant since a cloud application only needs an internet connection and a web browser. Tasks get done faster when each member of your team works in the environment they're most comfortable with.

What are the challenges of cloud-based project management?

Though cloud computing has a host of benefits, it comes with a fair share of challenges. It's time to address these issues before they lead to cost overruns or missed deadlines.

Integrating cloud with legacy systems

You don't want budget overruns or poor oversight ruining the cloud collaboration integration with the legacy systems already in place in the company. Consider the time and resources required to ensure seamless cloud integration.

Enhanced security needs

Changing generational needs come with their own considerations. A majority of millennial and Gen-Z workers prefer device and work mobility that lets them work from anywhere or any device. To help them access their documents from anywhere, platforms with solid security features will take precedence. 

Training internal staff

Even though your IT team may be well-versed in using cloud computing technology, other teams within the company will benefit from training sessions. Make sure to factor in this training time.

Executive buy-in

New work technologies are exciting to implement, but executive buy-in and approval are must-haves if you want to complete projects faster. Communicate clearly to get all the executive approvals your team needs and eliminate any communication gaps.

Additional setup and coordination costs

Cloud computing will lead to your organization having a larger number of vendors and more office hours spent in coordination with everyone to ensure a consistent flow of work. With this, both the initial setup and the maintenance costs are likely to go up.

Why collaboration is at the heart of cloud project management

16% of remote workers said that efficient collaboration with their geographically dispersed teams is something they struggle with while working from home.

An increasing number of businesses have a mix of local and global employees where efficient collaboration and seamless real-time communication are essential for team success.

Implementing cloud-based software allows decentralized teams to connect on a unified platform and easily share files, information, and folders.

Stay on target, work together in real-time and deliver results faster when you choose a flexible cloud-based project management platform available to your team any time and anywhere they want.

How to embrace cloud-based project management in your company

If you want to eliminate unnecessary meetings and cut your email writing time by more than 90%, it's time you embrace cloud-based project management. Whether you're collaborating with a large team or a small one, spread across the globe, here are two simple tips to boost your cloud collaboration strategy:

Standardized onboarding plan

A robust onboarding strategy for new hires can help with retention and engagement. Make sure to schedule a training refresher course for existing team members and a new hire onboarding training program to familiarize the entire team with any new cloud collaboration tools.  

Incorporate work mobility tools

A growing number of today’s workforce say they prefer to have the freedom to work from the location and devices of their choice. Ease the transition by ensuring that the collaboration tools are available on mobile to allow your team to work on their roles anytime and anywhere they want to.

Why Wrike should be your cloud-based project management software

Cloud-based project management solutions offer the simplicity and reliability that are so essential to success. Are you ready to join the millions of businesses already managing their projects in the cloud? Start a free Wrike trial and see cloud-based project management work for your team and organization!

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