Global research and advisory firm Gartner recently released its 2018 Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions (CFP&AS) Magic Quadrant. As indicated by its authors, Christopher Iervolino and John E. Van Decker, “This Magic Quadrant is not designed to be the sole tool to use when creating a vendor shortlist. Use it as part of your due diligence, and in conjunction with discussions with Gartner analysts and the study of Gartner Peer Insights and the companion document, “Critical Capabilities for Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions.”
At Anaplan, we found this year’s Magic Quadrant to be as insightful as it was comprehensive. And although many findings within the report can help prospective customers identify the right cloud solution, here are five quick observations that I took away from the recent Magic Quadrant:
- More than just a new name, it elevates the role of performance reporting.
This year’s quadrant was renamed from the “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Strategic Corporate Performance Management (SCPM) Solutions” to the “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions (CFP&AS).” According to Gartner, it covers the same criteria as in 2017 with the addition of management reporting.
Gartner has dropped use of the term “corporate performance management.” Anaplan believes this creates a more logical, cohesive set of capabilities and underscores the important role of performance reporting to support the office of finance’s planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes.
- The quadrant evaluates a comprehensive range of FP&A focus areas.
Vendors in the CFP&AS Magic Quadrant are evaluated from a selection of distinct FP&A capabilities. The full list of components that on which vendors were evaluated and how each vendor performed is inside the report.
- For finance, cloud technology reigns supreme.
For FP&A solutions and customers, cloud technology remains king, which is something we also took away from last year’s Magic Quadrant release. There’s no surprise from us here: Cloud applications can help finance leaders largely reduce costs and trim lengthy implementations. Gartner authors report that all vendors included in the quadrant support cloud-based FP&A solutions.
- As always, customers know best.
Customers that participate in the quadrant represent a wide range of enterprises, from midsize and under 1,000 employees to global organizations with more than 10,000 employees. We believe that this broad gamut of customer needs further validates the finance capabilities provided by each vendor.
- Predictive analytics grows as finance matures.
According to the authors, “The office of finance requires embedded analytic capabilities within FP&A solutions. Survey respondents were asked, “Which of the following technologies are you looking to deploy in the finance organization to improve the business by 2020?” Fifty percent responded the number one answer given: predictive analytics. Fifteen percent responded that they planned to deploy data lakes. Although this is a relatively small percentage, it’s representative of what Gartner has discussed with organizations that have advanced analytic initiatives.”
To learn more about the findings in this year’s CFP&AS Magic Quadrant, its vendor evaluations, and the criteria Gartner uses to evaluate cloud FP&A solutions, download a complimentary copy of the research report.
Additionally, the companion paper to the 2018 CFP&AS Magic Quadrant, “Critical Capabilities for Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions,” can be found via the Gartner website.
Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions, Christopher Iervolino, John Van Decker, 24 July 2018.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.