Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
When embarking on a cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) project, it is important to recognize the history of the space, where it has grown from, and where it is headed. It is currently in a mature phase of its life cycle. This maturity is not a bell curve like traditional products, but an ever-growing platform of technology that can be leveraged over time to now extend from the traditional FP&A processes to the new concept of xP&A (Extended Planning & Analysis). This concept was introduced by Gartner in 2020. It defines the utility and growth of EPM use within organizations beyond traditional Finance organizations.
xP&A is a planning approach that takes the best financial planning and analysis (FP&A) capabilities – like continuous planning, forecasting, consolidation, advanced analytics, and performance monitoring – and extends them across the enterprise. Not only does xP&A give the power of FP&A to operational departments, it eliminates the traditional barriers between finance and operations and connects strategy.
In the adoption of any technology, especially cloud Enterprise Performance Management, adoption is rooted in identifying a process and optimizing that process. Optimization can create efficiencies for people, making their jobs more effective. The real advantage of adopting an EPM solution is the union of people, process, and platform.
The factor that is sometimes overlooked in software implementations is people. At Data41 we believe it starts with people. This personnel asset can assist in identifying the nuances in business that slow daily performance. Leveraging people and their collective experience to identify processes for evaluation and automation will support an optimal deployment.
All too often deployments start with just the data. Process is derived from access to data and the ability to understand how data is supporting people performing specific functions. With this in mind, outlining realizable goals when adopting a solution is critical. Having the ability to adapt to future requirements is also critical. Whether it is simply reporting, planning, or a phased approach that extends across an organization, selecting a scalable platform and a consulting partner that can develop your EPM roadmap is essential.
Vendor selection can be an arduous task. So many choices in a mature market can become overwhelming. Finding a point-based solution can be easier but finding a platform that can mature and grow as you adapt to changing business conditions is fundamental to running a business.
Here at Data41 we take a hybrid approach to cloud Enterprise Performance Management delivery. What does that mean? We have accumulated knowledge of FP&A best practices over many years about what companies need from an EPM system. We launched “EPM Foundation” to improve delivery and time-to-value in implementations. EPM Foundation is a pre-configured, yet modifiable model set that enables us to manage processes into the platform for optimal time-to-value. Additionally, it is scalable and adaptable to accommodate changing market conditions as businesses evolve.
When you adopt cloud Enterprise Performance Management, you unlock a new level of unity and synchronicity within your organization. When people, process, and platform work together in harmony, you’re left with an efficient, well-oiled machine driven by strategy that is operationalized then coupled with very specific cascading objectives throughout the organization.