Project management systems have become cornerstone tools for organisations in APAC to navigate the fast pace of business changes. Whether it’s a cloud migration or a system implementation, IT teams in particular desperately need PM systems to get things done.

APAC-headquartered Celoxis is one project portfolio management software firm that is seeing this change. Head of Customer Success at Celoxis Ratnakar Gore said project management is dealing with challenges that include more complex projects, remote working teams and a shift to agile working.

He said project management systems like Celoxis are changing with these developments through measures like integrating team collaboration tools and social media and supporting operations with resource planning visualisation or improvement of interoperability with other systems.

What challenges are the project management discipline facing?

The project management discipline has changed since Celoxis launched in the late 90s. Gore said that initially, the firm was established due to a perceived need among organisations for more flexibility and scalability to address project management and collaboration challenges across workforces. Since then, the firm has grown out of India and into global markets.

VIDEO: Watch our introduction to Celoxis’ project management capabilities

APAC has also seen the birth of other project management software vendors like Australia’s Atlassian, and a new influx of cloud vendors like and ClickUp are making their presence known in the market.

Gore said project management is facing a number of challenges and opportunities.

The increasing complexity of portfolios and projects

Projects have become larger and interconnected across geographies. “This is something all organisations are dealing with. The interconnected global markets, advancements in technology, and diverse project requirements make large-scale initiatives challenging.”

The rise of remote and hybrid work and collaboration

Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic have caused an increasing shift towards remote and hybrid work, including in APAC. Gore said, “This has added challenges for team collaboration, interpersonal communication, and team dynamics” to facilitate remote project management.

Efficient allocation and management of resources

Recent tighter economic conditions have meant a focus on efficient allocation and management of resources, including human and non-human assets. “Amid stringent budget constraints this is a critical challenge. Project success is a function of optimising resource utilisation,” Gore said.

Moving from waterfall to agile project management

There is a growing preference for iterative agile project management methodologies over traditional waterfall-style project management, with Gore saying a number of businesses see this as a way to achieve “enhanced adaptability and responsiveness.”

However, the transition, which has been embraced in markets in APAC like Australia, requires a “thought-process shift.” He added, “A number of organisations struggle with the aspects related to change management associated with adopting agile implementation frameworks.”

Aligning project portfolios with business strategy

There is a general move to ensure project portfolios contribute to overall business objectives, which Gore said is “always challenging.” He said, “Maintaining a clear link between projects and strategic goals require effective communication and alignment across all levels of the organization.”

Implementing project management tools and processes

These changes have required organisations to implement new project management tools and processes, which has its own challenges. “Traditionally, there is resistance to change, and most companies work towards managing this resistance to ensure a smooth transition,” Gore said.

How are project management software vendors responding?

Project management software providers are continuing to evolve products to account for new challenges. Gore said that as the business environment shifts and technologies like AI take off, IT managers will witness a number of changes in technologies in the APAC market.

The expansion of systems to include managerial roles

In the past, software project management was handled by an IT project manager or an overall project manager with operational and project responsibilities. Gore said competition is driving software to incorporate more diverse roles and functions from an organisation’s workforce.

SEE: Top 10 best project management software and tools in 2024

Organisations are now seeing “departments or teams with no traditional and active engagement in project management software solutions” invited into the user ecosystem, he said, as organisations seek to align stakeholders with the aims and goals of the organisation.

The prioritisation of resource management visibility

Project management tools offer resource management features with centralised scheduling. “This is enabling a team view of the pending work and available capacity. Data-driven decision-making is able to enhance project portfolios and resource allocations,” Gore said.

The incorporation and utilisation of AI and automation

The AI boom is impacting the project management software market. Gore said there is a growing trend towards incorporating AI and automation features “to streamline repetitive tasks, optimise resource allocation, and provide intelligent project performance insights.”

Enhancement of the user interface and user experience

Systems that are difficult and unattractive to use are less effective in projects, and system skills sometimes need to be acquired fast. Gore said intuitive UI and UX are “gaining a lot of emphasis, with a greater focus on catering to users with varying levels of technical expertise.”

The foundations of data security and compliance

Project management vendors are prioritising data security and compliance. “As more sensitive data gets stored and managed within the various project management tools, there is a greater focus on data security and compliance with regulations such as GDPR,” Gore said.

DOWNLOAD: This GDPR Security Pack from TechRepublic Premium

Project management tools are getting more social

Social media platforms have pervaded the lives of workforces in the consumer market, and this is also influencing project management tools. Gore said that, though this is a developing area, “social media platforms will play a part in project management software in some form or shape.”

The centralisation of team collaboration for projects

The requirement for teams to collaborate across locations, particularly with more remote work across APAC, is requiring more in-the-moment collaboration and team communication within project platforms. This is driving demand for the likes of real-time messaging functionality.

SEE: TechRepublic’s review of Celoxis features, pricing and alternatives

The move to cloud project management software tools

There has been a notable rise in cloud-native SaaS project management solutions. Gore said that “current market trends indicate the rise of more project management software providers making their systems available on the cloud to support collaboration and scheduling.”

The requirement for more integration and compatibility

Silos are the enemy of good project management. Systems are trying to expand integration capabilities, including into new business domains. “There is a focus on seamless integration with other business applications, for a connected business operations scenario,” Gore said.

How is Celoxis responding to the changing market?

Celoxis offers an “all-in-one” portfolio and project management software solution. It includes advanced scheduling, gantt charts, risk management, time tracking, Kanban project planning, issue tracking, a reporting and dashboard engine and an innovative client portal.

Celoxis offers a fully featured portfolio and project management option.
Celoxis offers a fully featured portfolio and project management option. Image: Celoxis

Gore said market trends and opportunities are seeing the firm focus on ensuring integration and compatibility with other platforms and devices, building in real-time messaging to facilitate collaboration, improving user experiences and enhancing data security and compliance.

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Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources. From project scheduling software to project planning apps, stay up to date with the latest in project management tools. Delivered Wednesdays