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Adoption of cloud computing to enhance project management processes and outcomes in South Africa in the private sector
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Project Management (PM) is defined as the application of tools and techniques to direct the use of diverse resources toward the accomplishment of a task within time, cost and quality constraints. In the information age, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has emerged as an enabling tool, resource and a facilitator of the PM practice. With ICT as a major enabler of efficiencies in PM, the adoption of new ICT systems and tools have improved processes and outcomes in PM. The main argument is that cloud computing has a great potential to improve efficiencies in PM. The problem at the time of writing however, was that it was not clear whether this innovation was understood and maximally exploited by the PM community of practice in South Africa. Efficiency of PM is critical to competitiveness and growth in all sectors. Thus, the objective of this study was to explore the adoption of ICT systems and tools particularly cloud computing, to advance the practical objectives PM in the private sector. Due to the socio-technical nature of the current study, the interpretivist approach together with a qualitative research method, as well as the purposive sampling technique were adopted for the study. In essence, 8 respondents consisting of 2 academic experts, 4 technology literate project managers and 2 client service providers of cloud computing were selected. Together with the Structuration Theory (ST) as an analytical framework and the content analysis technique was used to contextualise and to analyse data. Findings show an acceptable level of awareness of cloud computing in the private sector. Nevertheless, negative perceptions that may threaten the adoption of cloud computing in PM in the private sector also emerged in the findings. Otherwise, PM has gained popularity in the sector. As the findings further reflect however, standards have tended to be compromised by cynics in the discipline. Positive developments are that the project failure rate is on the decline, which is further enhanced by the adoption of new innovative technological tools and systems. Rigid organisational norms also re-enforce resistance to change. It is, thus, recommended for project managers to review cloud-computing benefits in accordance with their requirements. In conclusion then, resources have not only proved to be a significant matter in PM, but also instrumental in advancing PM efficiencies, leading to improved PM successes. In the light of emergent shortfalls however, executive managers and project managers should keep themselves informed and be open to changes that can advance the organisational course.