5 IT megatrends that are changing the project management profession

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Server Consolidation and Virtualization
Server consolidation within the datacenter could easily be described as a “project with a thousand parts”. High powered servers must be identified. Servers of lesser power, but with significant expansion potential, need to be identified and upgraded. Application software needs to be categorized both for usage and movability. Weaker and older servers need to be classified as low potential and marked for removal. Then with all this information in place, which is a large project in itself, a project plan must be created, approved, executed, monitored, and completed. This activity, as you may surmise, will require experienced project management skills, thus expanding the role of Project Managers within the datacenter.

Social Media
The introduction of content-based marketing and social medial analytics is bringing together internal business functions that have historically not had much interaction. The poster child for this phenomenon is the new-found relationship between Marketing and IT. Historically, the only two places IT and Marketing would really interact would be due to Marketing’s need for high end PCs (or Macs) and printing capabilities to create marketing material. Today, IT and Marketing are virtually connected at the hip on items such as website design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), press release distribution, blog posting and distribution, automated Twitter postings. These activities, as you may expect, require intense coordination between groups with real shared history and in many cases don’t understand what each other does. This is the perfect environment for social media savvy IT knowledgeable Project Managers to step in and maximize the effectiveness of these new business processes.

Big Data
Big data is still very much in its infancy and its uses are continuing to expand.
• Software development efforts are now being moved to Hadoop-based technologies.
• GPS data is being collected and analyzed like never before.
• Textual based data, such as Tweets and LinkedIn Discussion Boards, are being analyzed for consumer trends, political leanings, company competitive advantage, and countless other uses.
• The current and expanded uses are endless.

These activities, like social media, are not only bringing IT and Marketing closer together, they are also creating new job types, such as the role of Data Scientist. From a project management perspective, these big data initiatives require multi-discipline coordination, the implementation of new technologies, the creation of new processes and business relationships, and in many ways are as much a science project as a new business initiative. Who better to move these types of projects forward than a professional project manager.

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