How Connected Planning benefits the financial services industry


Henri Wajsblat

Head of Financial Services Solutions

This article was originally published via Banken.NL

In this article, Henri Wajsblat is interviewed by Banken.NL about the Anaplan platform, its unique and powerful planning capabilities, and how Connected Planning can reshape processes and improve best practices across the financial services industry.

What does Connected Planning offer financial institutions?

In constantly changing business environments, companies need to adapt and act quickly. Bridging strategy and execution, planning is a key enabler of faster and more informed decision-making. Paradoxically, while data is everywhere and available in large volumes, many companies don’t get the business value they expect from their planning process. Why?  It’s not dynamic enough to adapt to changes, not collaborative enough, and could be based on error-prone legacy solutions that do not leverage the power of data in a comprehensive manner.

Anaplan offers a dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent platform to help companies make quicker and more informed decisions, which drives faster, more effective planning across the enterprise. We call this Connected Planning and it joins people together with data and plans to accelerate business value.

With the Anaplan platform, financial institutions can plan continuously and make decisions in real time. Its cloud architecture eases collaboration across the enterprise to streamline the planning process. Finally, Anaplan leverages the input of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies to facilitate rapid, ongoing planning while factoring in signals and drivers from both inside and outside of the company.

What is the Anaplan platform?

The Anaplan platform is built on a proprietary calculation and modeling engine called Hyperblock™ . It was invented by founder Michael Gould, a mathematician and graduate of Oxford University, as well as a veteran of the business intelligence and corporate performance management industries.

The Anaplan platform was designed with clear intention—namely, it was built in the cloud for the cloud, and designed for maximum simplicity of use by business people. Involvement from a customer’s IT department is typically limited to data integration with core source systems and security evaluations, although we’ve seen increasing use of the platform within IT for resource and investment planning.

Security is always a key priority for Anaplan and the company maintains stringent levels of security accreditation. We further offer businesses our App Hub, an online marketplace where Anaplan and its community of partners provide customers with ready-to-use applications for solving specific use cases.

How can the Anaplan platform benefit financial companies such as banks or insurance companies?

The financial services industry is currently dealing with several major challenges:

  • The weight of applicable regulations is very heavy and they continue to increase. Executives face the question: How can banks, insurers, and other financial services firms drive business value out of their compliance process?
  • Digital disruption is impacting different parts of the industry, translating into both risks and opportunities for the established financial institutions. In this environment, how can institutions drive a profitable growth agenda?
  • Data is everywhere, increasingly voluminous, and has become a key driver for company growth strategies. This summons the question: How can organizations leverage the power of data to drive better insights and make faster decisions?

In the regulation realm, Anaplan’s platform for Connected Planning provides scenario modeling and forward-looking reporting functionalities that allow companies and institutions to drive value beyond compliance for use cases such as balance sheet forecasting and stress testing in banking, or IFRS17 in insurance.

The Anaplan platform also facilitates digital transformation initiatives of banks and insurers that are geared towards the simplification of architecture, increased integration and collaboration, and more agile performance management.

As financial institutions embrace new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Anaplan offers a planning environment that leverages AI and machine-learning initiatives to support more accurate forecasts and accelerate decision making.

Which types of financial companies benefit from Anaplan the most and why?

Anaplan’s Connected Planning platform brings value to companies of all sizes. In large enterprises, organizatons have historically grown their technology architectures in silos and have experienced significant time inefficiencies from collecting data across the different parts of the business for management-level decision making. These enterprises will highly benefit from the functionalities of a Connected Planning platform.

Companies on a hypergrowth path, such as fintech or insurtech companies, need to constantly adapt their business models to their increasing size, will find in Anaplan a very scalable and agile platform to support their development. All companies that work across a broader ecosystem will find value in a platform that provides a single source of truth.

Which processes within the financial industry can be reshaped the most by Anaplan?

Anaplan’s platform helps financial institutions solve planning, forecasting, and reporting challenges in many different areas of the business—whether it’s related to finance, risk, actuary, operations, HR, distribution, or marketing. More than just the redesign of a particular process, the most significant benefits provided by the platform reside in the business synergies achieved by connecting the models across lines of business to improve (actionable) business insights and make faster decisions.

How do compliance and regulatory developments in general affect the way Anaplan’s products and services work?

The data in a model on the Anaplan platform is owned by the customer, and this facilitates efficient changes to the models when changes need to be made, such as regulatory changes. The forward-looking capabilities of the platform even allow financial institutions to run scenarios that anticipate the introduction of a new regulation or the change of an existing one.

How can financial institutions achieve growth and profitability in a world transformed by digitization and regulation?