Building great software companies is hard work. But the end result – the satisfaction that comes from building something relevant and changing the way businesses use technology and access data – is what all of us in the software industry strive for.
There is no universal definition of “relevance” for a successful software technology company. We build our own definitions based on personal experience. And having had the opportunity to be a part of some incredibly successful and impactful technology companies during my career – from Rational Software, to Apptio, to Citrix – I’ve developed my own idea of what a relevant company looks like, and what it takes to build one.
I believe that uniquely relevant companies are founded on great products and amazing teams. Other elements of the business may change over time, but these two elements are essential to companies that have a lasting influence on customers, partners, employees, and investors. Such companies continually earn the right to exist by doing a superior job for all of their stakeholders. Leaders within these organizations know that exceptional financial performance, great returns, and high revenue are all byproducts of that superior performance. They understand that, ultimately, their long-term relevance will be measured by their importance, endurance, and level of customer success.
It’s about 8 pm and I just landed in Las Vegas to attend Eloqua’s Modern Marketing Conference. The lights are flashing, slot machine bells are ringing, and joyful screams are coming from the craps table. It dawns on me. Do not get distracted (very easy to do in Las Vegas) ! I rushed up to my suite and immediately sat down to figure out how I can get the most out of this conference.
Why? The data tidal wave is crashing upon us and the stakes are extremely high. Not only do I need to help Adaptive Insights surf the wave, my own career depends on it. I needed to understand how organizations are now adopting modern marketing practices. Finance professionals today are no doubt feeling this same sense of immediacy.
The purpose of corporate budgeting is to provide a foundation for the upcoming fiscal year, and as the year progresses, to track corporate performance against it. Simple, right? Unfortunately, traditional budgets are often unresponsive to market changes. That means targets are not consistently aligned to strategy, long-range plans don’t support overall objectives, and accountability is unclear.
That’s why integrated, driver-based financial planning is crucial to any thriving, agile business. The goal is to translate what your organization does into numbers, make it easy to collaborate with others during the forecasting process, and ultimately produce business plans focused on metrics most responsible for organizational success.
Ascertaining those business drivers can be tough when individuals and departments have varying definitions of those drivers. But if you use the five steps below to model business goals through performance numbers, it’s much easier to create a single, cross-departmental definition of your business’ most meaningful performance drivers.
Guest Blog by Daniel Caringi, Strategy & Business Development Solutions, BDO Canada.
Over the last several months, Canadian companies have experienced added pressure when it comes to managing financial and operational processes. A sharp drop in the dollar and a decline in oil prices has hit regions across Canada differently, putting uncertainty back into the economy. Being able to quickly model one’s business to reflect the ongoing fluctuations in the market and understand how it impacts the bottom line is a constant and absolute imperative during times of instability.
Business efficiency is a journey, not a destination. Deeper analysis and scenario planning is required in order to bounce back from the unpredictability of market variations. Understanding what we can control and recognizing advancements in technology is a real differentiator today. Both can give us access to information faster and more accurately than manual-based processes. There is never a perfect time to invest in systems, however forward-thinking companies are looking to technology to be better prepared in times of change, and to better position themselves for business growth and scalability for when markets pick up.
The sports writing opportunities on the Addicted to Adaptive blog are few and far between, but I’ve had this NCAA basketball tournament circled on my blogging calendar for quite some time. Not since Tom Peff asked finance departments to choose a World Cup team that best represented their own professional style has a sporting event lent itself so perfectly to the finance world. Breaking down the numbers, looking at the most important analytics, and using performance data to predict winners. It’s too perfect.
Unfortunately I did none of the above when picking teams. As Stephen Dubner would say, I failed to put away my moral compass and put on my objectivity hat. The result?
March turned my bracket into madness before I even finished my morning coffee on Day 1 of the tournament. And as of today I sit in last place within our office pool, regrettably behind even our official Adaptive Insights Fantasy Football Commissioner.
Yes, mine is a cautionary tale. Three major flaws busted my bracket long before N.C. State slayed Villanova in the round of 32 (some would say there were more than three), all of which made me realize I’m not quite ready to be a CFO.
The Wizard Bar at Adaptive Live is one of many exclusive benefits for customers who attend our annual worldwide user conference. By registering for the event and then reserving a 30-minute, 1:1 session with an Adaptive Insights Wizard (technology expert), you’ll be able to ask and get answers to questions about your specific Adaptive model.
One of our Adaptive Live 2015 Wizards is Senior Staff Solution Architect Juan Maldonado, who has some valuable advice on how to prepare for a Wizard Bar session in this exclusive Q&A.
We’ve made the case for years: There’s a huge opportunity and need for CFOs to become more strategic to their organizations.
We all agree that financial data should heavily influence future decisions within any business eyeing long-term success. But the cumbersome effort required to gather and analyze historical performance data and project future outcomes has hindered many finance leaders’ ability to spend less time managing data and more time acting as a strategic partner to the organization.
Finance needs the right FP&A tools and processes to drive a fundamental shift in responsibilities. I’m talking about a complete transition from number cruncher to strategic decision-maker – from reporting on historical performance, to driving future decisions.