Every company creates financial budgets and forecasts. The main factors that vary in relation to planning and forecasting from company to company are the frequency, the level of detail (focus), and the business model itself. Based on my 16 years experience, I will make the following bold statement – “Every company starts budgeting and forecasting on a spreadsheet before considering a cloud-based alternative application.”
So where do companies go when they realise they need to progress off of Excel for their corporate budgeting? The simple answer is “to an application”. Now this is easier said than done when considering the large number of options available in the market place today. Let’s take a look at the evolution of these products.
First came the on-premise solutions that took advantage of OLAP/Cube technology and revolutionised the aggregation of models, budgets, and forecasts. These were referred to as Cubes, OLAPS, or multi-dimensional databases. They were initially raw databases with very few user interfaces. Applications were then built on top of these technologies to enhance the user experience. Initially, the customers achieved some success by buying into these solutions. Forecasts were completed more quickly and budgets were communicated with ease. These software vendors were then purchased by other software vendors, and soon the license, implementation, and maintenance costs increased beyond the reach of the SME customers.
This increase in cost and the advent of the cloud and SaaS gave rise to a new breed of budgeting and forecasting software that lowered the total cost of ownership and provided all the features and functions of the on-premise solutions at a fraction of the cost. This new breed is now taking over market share and gaining ground on the legacy on-premise solution providers.
Adaptive Planning is the largest, most successful, and most highly rated among EPM and CPM software business customers for customer satisfaction. Every company looking to progress to an application-based budgeting and forecasting solution, or upgrade their existing on-premise solution, must include Adaptive Planning in their evaluation.
Matthew Grove is a director at GK Horizons, which provides agile and affordable solutions for mid-size companies to large enterprises, across a variety of industry types.