Free «Challenges Facing IT Project Management» Essay Paper
IT projects always require maximum concentration and constant work on issues. This is compounded by the fact that problems tend to change constantly, which is caused by the rapid development of informational technologies. In addition, every organization or single IT project is unique, which complicates the process of solving issues and the search for optimal solutions. Despite this, the managers of IT projects have to adapt their organizations to constantly changing conditions, as well as to respond to emerging issues. This paper describes the main challenges that may pose a risk for the realization of an IT project.
As already mentioned, the development of technology has its negative consequences for the development of projects. Today, IT develops so rapidly that many companies simply do not have time to follow these innovations and implement them in the day-to-day activities. Moreover, the introduction of any innovative technology entails additional burdens on staff, management, and even competitors (Clark, 2014). In addition, upgrading technology requires a considerable amount of time, as it is necessary to test new hardware, software, etc. Development of IT is connected to the emergence of new technologies that may not always be useful for a particular organization or IT project. In other words, project managers need to organize the work of the staff in such a way as to get the most accurate data about a particular IT element. This will determine the degree of appropriateness of new technology for a certain project. As a consequence, it will also change the strategic objectives, as new technologies (such as cloud computing, big data, and so on) should be adapted to the needs of organizations. In order to minimize the problematic side of new technology, it is necessary to conduct a detailed analysis of the technology in question, as well as assess the impact that its implementation would cause. IT project managers must learn and determine how technology can help the organization fulfill its goals.
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The next problem, which can cause inconvenience, is social networks. Almost every IT project requires close collaboration between the staff and direct contact with customers. Social networks are an excellent platform for this. However, the problem is that today’s social networks are often updated, which may cause some inconvenience in use. In addition, social networking needs to be conducted with careful monitoring from the marketing department to improve the quality of service and feedback (University Alliance, 2012). Social media require additional financial and human resources that may be difficult for some companies. However, ignoring social networks can have negative consequences. To solve this problem, it is necessary to ensure the company’s presence on social networks, focusing on the actual needs of the market and customers’ needs. It is very important to organize the work of staff, so that clients receive the most accurate answers in time. Moreover, it is essential that the company’s presence on social networks had a negative impact on its image. Due to the fact that the promotion on social networks is not expensive and prestigious, many of today’s big brands do not consider social media the best guide. In addition, the target audience of social networks is too differentiated, which further complicates the marketing strategy. Therefore, many issues need to be addressed before promoting IT projects via social networks.
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Cloud storage can also be a problem for IT projects. Today, many companies do not develop their cloud software, preferring to store the data using their own servers to manage information. However, cloud applications provide excellent opportunities for the development of IT project, speeding up the transfer of information and providing excellent opportunities for data storage. The problem is that the implementation of cloud computing requires financial and labor expenses. It is also fairly time-consuming (Reisinger, 2016). As already mentioned, many companies still have not implemented the cloud in their IT projects because of the reasons listed above. In order to simplify storage, analysis, and processing of information during the implementation of an IT project, a manager must create portable applications as soon as possible, so as not to impede the development of the project in the future. In addition, it is important to introduce cloud applications with an open architecture, so that staff can work on any platform or using any database (ibid). The hardware and software architecture of IT projects should focus on the simplest and most convenient storages of the information.
The next challenge for IT project managers is to determine the price policy. Almost every IT project is aimed at making a profit, and a properly organized system of monetization is key to the successful implementation of that. It is important to note that the right monetization system is also key to the successful development of the project in the future, as the funds raised will enable reinvestment. For this reason, the creation of value is an important factor in the development, and neglect of it will create a number of problems for the management (Harrin, 2013). Preventing this problem is possible by observing several rules. First, it is necessary to organize the work of staff, as this will avoid unnecessary financial and time waste. Second, setting clear goals and objectives for a project is an important factor for its successful monetization. Third, it should be remembered that an IT project could lead to monetization in multiple ways, each of which has its own specific advantages and disadvantages for the user and the company (ibid). Therefore, it is important to select the most optimal method of monetization so that the company’s customers have the opportunity to pay for a product or service quickly and easily, and the company has the easiest way to withdraw funds.
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Modern IT projects use a large amount of data that is constantly growing against the general trend. Moreover, approximately 80% of these are often unstructured data (Reisinger, 2016). This means that the data may change the format and destination. Therefore, IT project managers must pay attention to the quality of the data, which are involved in the project, as unstructured data can be difficult if the project is designed for long-term performance. Moreover, traditional forms of data become less effective as the ever-increasing volumes of information cause a heavy load on the software, servers, and staff. The introduction of new technologies in data processing, high-speed internet, and solid-state drives will help to solve this problem.
Compatibility plays an important role in the promotion of IT projects. As mentioned above, in most cases, IT projects are focused on customers, who are becoming more and more demanding every day. Due to the emergence of new devices with new features (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and so on), IT project managers have to constantly change the characteristics of the project, adjusting to changing market conditions (Harrin, 2013). In particular, it affects the issue of device compatibility, since the project may require the work of various gadgets. Therefore, the project should be adaptive to a user or an employee can easily operate it using any gadget. The solution to this problem is simple. At the beginning of the project, developers should use an open architecture and framework only. It will facilitate data exchange between different kinds of devices.
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Virtualization is a consequence of the rapid development of information technology. A variety of virtualization techniques lead to new applications, from desktop computers to firewalls. The introduction of virtualization will simplify the exchange of data, increasing control of both of the devices and the staff. However, it can also cause some difficulties in terms of financial embezzlement (Rouse, 2014). Virtualization will improve the infrastructure of almost any IT project, but, at the same time, it will require the introduction of high-end servers, new software, and licenses. An additional challenge is the correct integration of virtualized data centers. It requires the participation of highly qualified specialists, as well as solving many related management tasks. To minimize these problems, the Distributed Management Task Group (DMTG) has set up a standard, which is intended to simplify the virtualization process and its implementation (ibid). The standard provides guidance on the best use of virtualization as well as its management. It should be noted that this solution is universal, and almost every IT project will be able to use the standard to improve its infrastructure and minimize the negative effects of the implementation of virtualization.
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Individual devices can cause problems not only because of the compatibility between systems, but also because of the applications that are installed there. These issues called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps) may also cause problems (Wyk, 2014). Each user chooses the software that they like and are comfortable with. There is a variety of office editors, antiviruses, applications for photo and video, instant messengers, and so forth. Each of these applications can cause a conflict between a device and an IT project. All this is compounded by the fact that it is impossible to control the applications that users install on their devices. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider the compatibility of an IT project not only with different gadgets, but also various applications. The solution is to increase the level of safety of project servers. This will reduce the risk of hacker attacks, getting malicious software, viruses, and so on. In addition, one solution would be locating all the data through the cloud, but not by applications. This will allow users to access data using any gadget.
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Today, the shadow IT is relevant as never before, and it causes serious problems for any IT project. Pirated and counterfeit software, hacker attacks and break-ins, stealing user data and administration data reduce the profitability of projects, their image and reputation. Moreover, history has a large number of IT projects that have been stopped due to hacker attacks (e.g., Sony PlayStation) and counterfeit software (Anthony, 2011). Therefore, in order to avoid this problem, IT project managers must allocate more resources to prevent hacker attacks and improve cybersecurity. It is important to have high quality and reliable protection, licensing software, and qualified personnel. The issue of plagiarism also applies to shadow IT. In many countries, companies are negligent to intellectual property rights and copy the designs of other projects. To avoid this problem, it is necessary to have employees that will uphold the reputation of their organization in the information technology market.
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User systems develop very rapidly in our time. Largely, they depend on the classification of the device. However, another problem for managers of IT project is that modern gadgets rapidly replace each other. Laptops are gradually replacing notebooks, smart watches replacing conventional ones, and so on. Modern devices perform tasks that previously seemed impossible (Harrin, 2013). It is possible that in the near future, humanity will forget what a desktop computer or a laptop is. In addition, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between many modern devices, and it can be very difficult for any IT project. Therefore, to avoid negative consequences, IT projects should aim for the maximum device interface and functionality to the user’s device. Again, adaptive design and open architecture of the project should be a top priority during its lifetime.
Like any other managers, managers of IT projects may encounter difficulties with the staff. A bad atmosphere within the organization, weak organizational culture and unfavorable organizational climate can have quite a negative impact on the implementation of projects (Clark, 2014). This is especially true of staff of IT departments. Disagreements, conflicts, misunderstandings, quarrels will stir programmers to do their jobs inefficiently and inaccurately. It should be noted that the poor work in other departments (e.g., marketing departments, accounting, sales department and so on) also cause a chain reaction and lead to a decrease in the productivity of IT development, as each organization acts as a totality of several elements (University Alliance, 2012). Therefore, in order to improve the efficiency of IT projects, it is necessary to create a favorable environment within the organization. This is an extremely difficult task, but negligent attitude could put an end to the work of the organization. In order to improve the psychological climate of an IT project, it is necessary to take into account the psychological compatibility of employees, to avoid interpersonal conflicts, to conduct socio-psychological training, business games, and so on. In addition, it is necessary to rely on the most respected members of the staff.
Energy efficiency of the project may also represent a great danger for the successful implementation. Considering the ever-growing popularity of green energy (renewable energy), IT project managers must keep up with the times and implement highly innovative technology in the power sector. This gives many advantages to the management and enhances the image of the IT project. First and foremost, renewable sources can produce energy which is much cheaper than the standard one. Even small changes in electricity consumption will save significant funds for IT projects. Second, the use of green energy will enhance the reputation and image of the project. Today, many well-known IT companies (e.g., Apple) implement innovative methods of renewable energy, relying on eco-friendliness (Fedow, 2016). However, the introduction of such sources is quite expensive and can cause many troubles for the management. For example, employing engineers and electricians, as well as expenses on calculation of all required data can cause not only financial waste, but also take a lot of time and effort, so that the staff will feel the toll. Nevertheless, the use of green energy is an excellent method of increasing popularity and profitability of the project.
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To summarize, it should be said that today an IT project can face a considerable number of challenges. In many ways, it depends on the degree of innovation in the project, the security costs, staff training, data storage, and so on. The prevention of each of the challenges described above will enhance the reputation of the project, as well as positively affect its profitability. Many of these problems have a tendency to change their properties, so the organization of IT projects should be flexible and effective at the same time. Some problems will disappear on their own in a short time, but other ones can only become more dangerous. IT project managers should focus on the current trends in the field of information technology and should be able to determine the factors influencing the development. This paper described the major IT project challenges. A comprehensive work on minimizing the risks will help to achieve the expected goals.