(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
This is Jason Westland’s guest post. Some links may be affiliate links.
Three predictions were made for the future online software at the end of 2013. This is one area in project management that is changing at a rapid rate, and I wanted the opportunity to highlight the trends I was seeing.
It is no secret that project management skills are in high demand. PMI predicts that there will be 1.57 million new jobs in project management every year through 2020. I was initially assuming that senior executives recognized the importance of mature project management practices for organizational results when I saw that number. Although they might be aware of this fact, they don’t see it often enough to see the benefits. I was shocked to discover that only 56% strategic initiatives are successful.
While the industry has its challenges, what is the outlook for project management software in the future? Although I didn’t have a clear picture of the future, my predictions were based on my knowledge of the software and project management industries. Let’s see if my predictions came true.
Prediction #1: Mobility will increase
I was certain that we would see more project management tools with apps and mobile-friendly sites. However, the rate of mobile device adoption is still staggering. While trends in mobile usage are still being studied, I was confident. ProjectManager.com already offered apps for Apple and Android devices, but we updated our website this year to make it more mobile-friendly. We also added easy redirects to the apps so that users have more options.
Gartner’s 2015 technology trends research [link removed — no more available] also supports this. Gartner predicts that mobile device usage will continue to grow, making it more important to meet the needs of different situations. They also reported that the traditional on-premises deployment model for software will shrink from 34 percent to 18 percent by 2017, [link removed — not longer available]. This, along with the analyst’s view that smartphones will make up nine of ten phones by 2018, points to the fact that mobile solutions are increasing [link removed — not available].
Project managers must be able to access their tasks and schedules from anywhere, including at home, work, and even on the road. This is often difficult for those with limited internet access. ProjectManager.com has made several improvements to our software to make it more accessible from anywhere.
Verdict: Mobile usage has increased and will continue to be a major focus in the coming year.
Prediction #2: Security will be more important
I had predicted that there would be more emphasis placed on protecting customer and project data. But I was not able to predict the high-profile data breaches that have made headlines this year. Over the past 12 months, security has been a hot topic. According to PwC, the number of security incidents that were reported in their Global State of Information Security (r) study soared to 42.8 millions this year, an increase of 48% over 2013.
They also reported that security solutions are being invested in by companies, particularly in the mobile space. More than half of respondents have implemented a mobile-security strategy, an increase of around 12% over last year. Project stakeholders must be reassured that their project records are secure online.

Verdict: Project stakeholders will continue to demand security in project management as a top priority, despite increased media attention on data security. ProjectManager.com uses bank-level encryption software. In the next year, we expect to see more companies adopt transparent security models that increase customer confidence.
Prediction #3: Greater interoperability
I predicted more interoperability, tools that can interact with one another or interfaces that allow access.