People talk about having your head in the clouds like it’s a bad thing. But that inclination to dream big is what lets companies grow.

As an old boss used to tell me: “Perspiration can drive you forward, but it’s aspiration that shows you where to go.”

Companies looking to expand, add employees, get remote access, utilize mobile collaboration, and use a secure platform seemingly want it all – have their head in the clouds. Which is exactly where it should be; cloud-based solutions can provide the benefits of big-business infrastructure without the demands of implementation or management.

Image: IBM’s 5 reasons businesses use the cloud,


Results on the ground

To put it simply, cloud-based computing gives you the agility to expand with unprecedented speed. And it’s not like these tools are rarities. Whenever you use a Hotmail or Live account you are utilizing a cloud-based tool.

The draw of these services are self-evident the moment you use them: quick access from anywhere, no commitment of management, extreme reliability.

With Cloud-based solutions there are no servers in your office to maintain, it’s someone else’s IT department managing updates and issues, and the ability to add services comes with the click of a button.

Want to add a user, work on something while flying across the country, or monitor how a project is being managed from a mobile device? Good because these are the windfalls of cloud-computing.

As Microsoft explains, cloud computing can benefit companies in a number of ways, depending on their size, scale, sector, and strategic goals. Their top advantages include:

Lowered capital expenditure: Being able to call upon IT services with an on-demand basis frees up operational expenditure. Large-scale projects do not balloon under the costs of services or software licences.
Simple maintenance: As cloud-computer vendors will have teams dedicated to maintain the network, IT resources within your company can focus on work on other projects.
Agility: Work from anywhere on any device. Files, data, IT tools are at your fingertips no matter where you are.
Secure and Reliable: With transparent operations, cloud-providing companies promote impeccable online operations. As an example, Microsoft offers transparent operations, a promised 99.9% uptime, and built in security.


Getting to the cloud

At Arbutus Solutions we’ve help companies – big and small, private and public – find the best solutions for their project and portfolio management needs. Most recently these solutions have been through Microsoft’s Cloud-based tool, Project Online.

With the same power as locally hosted solutions, Project Online offers the means to organize, deliver, and improve projects. The online solution allows for implementation without the infrastructure cost, an option to get started quickly with a web-based environment made to fit your needs, and can fit into the tools you already use (like Outlook).

Through Project Online users can modify, discuss, and collaborate on projects. Governance of workflows becomes simple. The management of resources can be visualized.

Best yet, these tools are readily made available through Partner-led trials. In fact, through our partnership with Microsoft we offer a 3 month Proof of Concept (POC) that will allow up to 20 users to test drive the benefits of Project Online. That way you can see how well the intended business values work.

And that way you don’t have to worry about having your head up in the clouds.


To learn more about Cloud-based Project Portfolio Management, take a gander here.