Companies increasingly recognize they need a central, easy-to use environment for all forms of company planning, not just financial planning. Dedicated planning applications provide that environment. One technology trend that supports this environment is cloud computing, which makes it easier for people to participate and remain connected to planning processes regardless of where they are. In-memory processing isn’t really new, but software vendors are making increasing use of it to enable more interactive and immediate planning. Vendors also recognize the need to provide companies with easier-to-use advanced analytics such as predictive analytics built into their planning applications. For example, companies can use predictive analytics to help identify customers who are likely to defect or machinery that’s about to break so that problems can be prevented or negative impacts limited. We also expect to see more built-in optimization so that companies can quickly figure out the best way to balance trade-offs in their plans. Examples might be trading short-term profitability for longer- term market share gains or assessing how best to allocate their marketing spend. Mobile devices are entrenched in day-to-day business now, but we see the start of what we expect to be an ongoing increase in their use because they make it easier to foster participation and collaboration. They also enhance the accessibility of data to support business conversations.
© Ventana Research 2015 Ventana Research: Q&A: Strategic Financial Planning and Management