Transformation is a journey, not a destination



The platform for orchestrating performance.

Embracing modern finance is a perpetual process that demands agility. Finance leaders need an approach that allows them to adopt, modernize, and transform at a personalized pace, keeping an eye on the ever-evolving needs of the business.

It is a turbulent time in the world. Businesses quickly find themselves struggling to fulfil the expectations of their customers, adjust to marketplace dynamics, and stay ahead of their competition. Competitive advantage will erode without transformation from the slow, disparate legacy finance planning system to modernized Connected Finance that enables you to easily pivot with persistent business and market changes.

The challenge with disconnected planning

You’re no stranger to the myriad challenges that come your way. From inflationary pressures

and economic downturns to disruptions in global supply chains and persistent talent shortages, the landscape you operate in is rife with volatility and complexity. Moreover, the rapid pace of transformation in the finance function, driven by advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior, makes your role increasingly critical to enterprise success.  

Navigating uncertainty demands a high degree of adaptability and agility to determine when to hold steady and when to pivot in response to emerging challenges and opportunities. But despite your best efforts, there’s obstacles hindering your ability to effectively forecast and make informed decisions to positively impact your business.  

What’s preventing finance leaders from creating an agile, modern finance organization and leading with confidence? The survey reveals that a massive 84% of finance leaders are making critical business decisions based on incomplete information and inaccurate forecasts. This results in business and revenue forecasts frequently become outdated, creating misalignment of the overarching strategies, operations, and ultimately negatively impact the bottom line.

Though finance executives acknowledge the critical importance of real-time forecasting, a mere 7% of survey participants said they currently achieve it.  Our survey shows that 80% of finance leaders find it difficult to generate organization-wide insights due to silos and 98% hit roadblocks when trying to access data from other departments for forecasting purposes. For 45%, it was staff upskilling in emerging technologies and AI that stands in the way of a more connected approach.

Organizations wishing to maintain a strategic and competitive advantage must adopt a modern, connected approach to financial and operational planning. Modern planning is not just a nice to have, it is critical in the current environment as complexity accelerates. Moving from traditional ways of driving planning, budgeting, and forecasting to extended planning and analysis (xP&A) allows finance leaders to access previously inaccessible levels of data transparency, insights, and collaboration for informed decision-making.   

Transformation takes time, and that’s fine  

It’s undeniable: historical processes are hard to undo. The legacy system is known and understood by all parties, and breaking from the norm can be intimidating, difficult, and time-consuming. Because finance traditionally owns the entire financial planning process, there is significant opportunity for a transformational finance leader to shift thinking in the finance function.

Adding active stakeholders is difficult, and so is asking other departments to take on new responsibilities or participate in processes not previously part of their roles. They have their own daily responsibilities outside of planning and asking departments to find more time for extra work can be met with strong pushback. Even when new parties are in the mix, more data can mean more struggles. For instance, understanding variances and course correcting is complicated, and developing scenarios for possible avenues is arduous, and can sometimes feel impossible.  

This brings us to the most difficult challenge of all: changing mindsets, including your own. “The way we’ve always done it” is a common refrain in organizations around the world, simply because old patterns are comfortable and easy to predict. Getting individuals to open themselves to change can feel strenuous, even in the executive suite. Buy-in from C-suite leaders is absolutely critical for connected finance to take hold, but they’re busy, focused, and trusting in the processes working in the moment.  

Anaplan meets you where you are in your journey  

As you embark on your modernization path, Anaplan can support you in uncovering and quickly delivering some quick wins with demonstrable impact and results. When these wins are supported by testimonials, metrics, and amplification, mindsets start to shift and the real, hands-on work can begin. As more stakeholders see more results, additional needs and pain points are uncovered and the journey gains buy-in and momentum.  

Once executive leadership and stakeholders see outcomes, you can move on to the next stage in the journey to Connected Finance by modernizing the processes in place. You can start by building out the value chain and identifying the biggest pain points roadblocks to eliminating legacy thinking and moving into your financial and operational planning future.   

With processes modernized, you’re in position to transform your approach to planning as a whole. Here is where the mindset shift makes the most difference. With the new vision, it will be easier to bring on new processes, stakeholders, products, KPIs, and more. By aligning people, data, and technology, and creating an agile environment that is resilient and future-ready, you are preparing the whole organization to navigate future disruption, uncertainty, and complexity.  

Instead of traditional silos, poor collaboration, and cultural inertia, finance and other functional teams need to agree to align for maximum success across the organization. With everyone on board, the agility for quick analysis and necessary pivots becomes second nature. The business will also benefit from the flexibility to adjust when the business itself, the marketplace, or the consumer demands adjustments.   

For more insights or to download the full report: The modernization imperative for today’s finance leader, please visit: