Do you know what the new top competition to airline companies such as American Airlines, British Airways or Singapore Airlines is? If your guess is some other airline company – think again.

These companies are facing considerable competition from collaboration software like WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype and so on.

New technology has forever changed business conditions. They’ve enabled executives to opt into cost-effective collaboration tools rather than spending the time and money to physically shift human resources from one place to another in order to execute business transactions. In short, the business dynamics are changing.

As estimated by Forrester research, the market for project and portfolio management software has grown over $2.8 billion in 2011. But to really observe the changing dynamics in this space, you have to start by looking at the top trends observed in project management software and also check membership management software.

1. New Collaboration Demands

Companies are realizing the importance of collaboration. It extends beyond the core team to include your partners, vendors, customers, and in each instance, as your network grows, both parties can see the benefits. The project management tools that enable collaboration are gaining vital importance.

2. Expanded Project Management Roles

If you are a seasoned project manager, you will certainly realize this difference. Gone are the days when project management software was the exclusive territory of project managers. The new generation of project management tools are designed for team usage, and you get much better results when your entire team actively engages in the project’s progress.

3. The Social Media Effect

Many of us are using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The influence of these sites has changed what users expect from software as well. Though software has to be simple to get started (and intuitive, to continue to be relied upon), new project management software is expected to be more engaging than ever. So don’t get surprised if you see an activities feed in your project management tool.

4. Desktop vs. Online

Desktop-based applications are being replaced by web-based solutions. Web-based solutions founded upon cloud technology don’t require installation, administration or maintenance. All you need to use an online project management tool is a reliable internet connection – which you can access from anywhere these days.

5. Mobile Application

To date more than 25 billion mobile apps are downloaded from the App Store and more than 9 billion mobile apps are downloaded from Android Market. Today’s project management tools also offer apps, so it’s not surprising to see senior management and project team members using smart phones and tablets to update and keep tabs on projects.

6. Paid Licenses vs. Monthly Subscriptions

You have the option of using cloud-based applications, which offer lower monthly subscription fees versus legacy software that requires paid in advance licenses. On-demand cloud based applications have already gained popularity simply because of the cost benefit.

7. Integrated Tools

Working with different systems for project planning, document management, issue/ticket tracking, risk management and timesheet tracking has been tedious. Businesses are realizing the benefit of using one integrated software and umbrella solution instead of individual systems that fracture your progress by requiring users to tap into different software to manage one project.

8. Cross Domain Integration

Many project management software vendors are offering integration with Google Documents, Dropbox and other similar storage services. Some PM tools integrate with invoicing and accounting solutions.

9. Use of Open Source Tools and Technologies

The open source movement gained momentum because the tools and technologies (like Apache, Tomcat, Jboss, Hadoop) created by the open source community have significantly saved the cost of building software applications. These technologies have also enhanced performance and scalability.