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What Companies Want When Using Project Controls to Manage Projects From the Cloud

What is Project Controls?

Project controls is a process aimed to gather and analyze project data to keep projects, costs and schedules on track. Project controls is an iterative process that measures project status, forecasts likely outcomes based on those measurements, and works on improving project performance if those projected outcomes are unacceptable. Project controllers advise team members (including project managers) of possible cost, schedule, or recovery plan issues and focus primarily on developing each project’s cost and schedule.

What Differentiates Project Controls from Project Management

While ‘project management’ is an umbrella term to describe the planning and management of a project across many industries, ‘project controls’ is more specific to the construction industry, describing cost and budget management via project-specific, cloud-based applications within operations. Understanding the difference will help you direct your energy and resources more productively by exploring the best digital transformation technology available for your specific needs.

‘Project management’ describes the planning, initiation, execution, monitoring, and closing of a project. In contrast, ‘project controls’ describes the processes used to gather and analyze project data to control costs and stay on budget in the cloud. 

Download LoadSpring’s “Project Controls vs Project Management” whitepaper to better understand the difference and direct your energy and resources more productively

Learning About Project Controls from Project Management Leaders 

What’s the best way of knowing what customers want? Ask them! We recently conducted a survey of companies using cloud-based project controls. We found out what they were getting versus what they really wanted.

A key conclusion from the project controls survey was the desire for one cloud for access to all project controls. The difference between DIY in the public cloud and managed cloud services is the need for an entire team to manage the cloud – a struggle well-known to on-premise users. Managed cloud services were a winner in our project controls survey with a clear preference for app and performance support at the infrastructure level in a vendor-agnostic cloud. Other areas highlighted for attention were security, support, availability, data ownership, and performance optimization.

The Project Controls’ Survey Audience

LoadSpring Solutions asked project/management control leaders, managers, and users in construction, engineering, mining, and government departments (local and state) about how they were using cloud project controls within their operations.

Responses from our Project Controls Survey

One cloud to rule them all

A massive 74% of respondents wanted just one cloud, irrespective of application or vendor. Multiple users made it difficult to know exactly which tools and applications they were using and how much. Most organizations did not know the precise number of software licenses in use in their operations. License rationalization was a challenge, especially when individual users bought licenses without using a centralized purchasing process. This increased security risks as well, as the IT department or IT security team was unaware of these new licenses.

However, multiple versions of applications were desirable when combined with a sandbox environment for testing new apps before putting them into production.

Bringing cloud up to required standards

Many companies still divide their project control applications and data between the cloud and on-premises. The hybrid approach means extra complexity. It can also show up shortcomings in certain cloud (SaaS) versions of applications.

Every respondent indicated that performance, security, availability, and support were paramount in their use of project controls. But when rating how they used project controls apps, respondents criticized these areas. They highlighted concerns about tools being slow or unreliable. They also found that vendors could be slow to address these concerns. Data access was a further concern, with some SaaS providers struggling to segregate data in a shared environment to give each customer access to its own data, for example, at the end of a project.

Shared access is an extra challenge

Shared access to systems, as in joint ventures, compounded problems for many companies. In these cases, only users with suitable authority and credentials should have access. Yet, some organizations were sharing project controls and data without appropriate safeguards.

What’s the answer?

Over 70% of those surveyed said the ideal solution would be a single cloud platform with access to all their project management controls. A fully managed vendor-agnostic cloud platform providing secure access, with enhanced application performance and support with a 15/30 minute response time, would be of great interest to them. Conclusion? LoadSpring’s project platform is the answer!

Read more about the survey and response details here.

Contact us today to improve your cloud-based project controls with LoadSpring, in all the areas above and more.

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