Transitioning to the cloud may be quicker than you think

Gary Simon

Chief Executive

The cloud is widely considered to be a faster environment in which to implement budgeting, planning, and forecasting applications than historically complex on-premise CPM suites from the so called global ‘mega vendors’. It’s an aspect of cloud computing that few organizations can afford to ignore, since in highly changeable markets, the race is on to get dependable decision making capability into the hands of as many people as possible in as short a timescale as is feasible.

In the past, unwieldy CPM suites rapidly assembled by acquisition created significant IT complexity, reflected in lengthy software installations as each product was loaded separately, followed by the set-up of over-arching meta-data management capabilities simply to overcome inconsistency in data definitions between applications of different origins and design. By contrast, unified CPM applications in the cloud unburdened business users by providing a coherent set of applications designed to the same development standards while shifting all of the ‘heavy-lifting’, for example, installation, provision and maintenance of infrastructure to the software vendor.

There is no doubt that the cloud approach is paying off. A 2014 study by the Aberdeen Group1 shows that when large enterprises leverage analytics in the cloud they realise the benefits in a shorter timescale and the implementations are more pervasive. Indeed, 69% of cloud enterprises have pervasive analytics in their finance departments compared to 51% for all other large enterprises. As a result, Aberdeen says, “Financial decision makers in the cloud can swiftly cull large volumes of historical financial data to put present performance in context and drive more accurate forecasts.”

Looking to the future the gap between those organizations leveraging the cloud and those which are not is likely to widen. The benefits of cloud platforms are extending into community developed models which can be shared through applications such as Anaplan’s App HUB, accelerating speed to development in the cloud compared to the old on-premise world. Perhaps that’s why 23% of large enterprises (over $1 billion in annual revenue) have a cloud analytics solution currently implemented and an additional 26% have plans to implement a cloud solution in the future.

[1] Cloud Analytics For The Large Enterprise; Aberdeen Group, Peter Krensky, June 2014