Gartner Predicts 3 Digital Business Impacts on PPM

It is time to elevate digital business capabilities across program and portfolio management offices.

If your team or organization has the mindset that continuing with the historical, predigital status quo will be enough to keep operations going, think again. The time to elevate enterprise-level support and coordination across emerging product, program and portfolio management (PPM) capabilities for digital business is now.

Many PPM leaders are facing a digital business reality check

“Frankly, many PPM leaders are facing a digital business reality check,” says Joanne Kopcho, VP Analyst at Gartner. “Large, historical investments in PPM practices and technologies lack the new automation, efficiency and adaptive approaches required to support digital business.”

Gartner Program & Portfolio Management Summit 2020

Digital impacts are real. See how other PPM leaders are meeting the challenge.


Kopcho outlines three key predictions to consider when it comes to digital business demands.

By 2023, technology providers focused on AI, VR and digital platforms will disrupt, and elicit a marked response by, the traditional providers within the PPM market.

Much of the software architecture in the PPM market is stuck in hallmarks of the past, including browser-based user interfaces and archaic database technologies. But these stalwarts are stagnating in the digital age.

“Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual reality (VR) will not be realized for at least the next four years for PPM practitioners,” says Kopcho. “This lack of urgency is directly associated with the lack of digital-friendly solutions offered by PPM technology providers, but we’re expecting the newer generation of PPM end users and startup providers to begin applying pressure based on the limitations of today’s PPM tools.”

PPM leaders and software users will remain skeptical of the promises of AI in PPM technology until they experience firsthand how AI can make their lives easier and reduce the amount of administrative work they are required to perform.

Read more: Gartner Predicts the Future of AI Technologies

By 2023, agile PPM will replace project management as the dominant approach for effective enterprise change and outcomes.

Adopting agile work practices will enable organizations to prioritize customer needs and deliver faster results. As the shift from project to product management takes place, there is more emphasis on ongoing product transformation and, in turn, increased user satisfaction.

“PPM leaders should support transformation initiatives by proactively demonstrating an understanding of agile and product management, how the existing way of operating must change, and, most importantly, embracing new roles across digital products in an agile world,” says Kopcho.

Read more: Transform Your Portfolio With 2 Key Project Management Practices

By 2023, 80% of organizations will have an enterprise program management office (EPMO) focused on integrating digital products and programs.

Digital business is altering the role of existing program management offices (PMOs) from operational to strategic, requiring PPM leaders to be effective enablers of strategic execution for the enterprise.

The EPMO will provide collaboration, coordination, and facilitation across product lines, products, programs and portfolios for success. With such qualities within the EPMO, the organization can help orchestrate and achieve continued insight into outcomes, strategic objectives and cross-organizational changes.

“PPM leaders must reinvent PMO processes, embrace new ideas and enhance skill sets to support the digital direction of the CIO and CxOs, or risk being left behind,” says Kopcho.

Gartner clients can read more in “Predicts 2019: PPM Leaders Must Do a Digital Business Reality Check” by Joanne Kopcho, et al. More predictions for all aspects of the IT industry can be found in the Gartner Trend Insight Report, “Predicts 2019: Leadership Means Expanding Options, Not Limiting Them,” a collection of research aimed at helping CIOs and IT leaders focus on how the landscape is shifting for individuals, businesses and IT organizations.

Get Smarter

Follow #Gartner

Attend a Gartner event

Explore Gartner Conferences

Gartner IT Roadmap for Cybersecurity: A Resilient Strategy

Gartner IT roadmap for cybersecurity based on unbiased research and...

Learn More


Get actionable advice in 60 minutes from the world's most respected experts. Keep pace with the latest issues that impact business.

Start Watching