Cloud Financial Planning

Cloud Financial Planning and analysis solutions are the need of the hour with the role of financing shifting from traditional stewardship functions such as closing books and reporting on past performance to a more strategic role. The finance function is becoming more forward looking, focusing on guidance, risk assessment and evaluating opportunities for growth. Organizations are looking to automate their processes to drive down costs and to drive greater speed, agility and foresight to help their businesses remain competitive.

The Financial Planning and Analysis solutions are also known as FP&A makes it possible for enterprises to adopt a continuous planning approach and transform previously disjointed processes into connected and integrated planning. By applying the right Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis solutions – the FP&A group can spend less time on the mechanics of planning and more time on thoughtful analysis and guidance.

The FP&A market has over the years shifted from the mature on-premises offering to cloud solutions as the financial application users are demanding Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions in order to reduce their application support costs, increase application flexibility and shorten time to value. The emergence of cloud based financial planning and analysis solutions is the result of their ease in usage and maintenance when compared with previous generation on-premise offerings.

As per the recent Magic quadrant from Gartner – the Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) solutions combine the advantages of collaboration analytics and performance reporting capabilities to support an enterprise’s budgeting, planning and forecasting activities. The global market of FP&A is moving fast towards cloud solutions in order to reduce costs, increase application flexibility and faster time loads.

This cloud based FP&A solutions are much easier to use and maintain than the previous on-premise offering and as such vendors are eliminating the on-premise options from their sales funnel thereby replacing them with cloud based FP&A solutions.

Few Cloud Planning and Analysis Solutions

Few of the cloud service providers that made to the list of inclusion criteria of Gartner Magic Quadrant included the following vendors such as –

  • Anaplan – This vendor is a cloud only vendor with its headquarters in San Francisco California – U.S. that is providing SaaS business model and planning platform for finance and other business functions. The strengths of Anaplan lie in its Completeness of Vision that reflects in its innovation and market understanding and its ability of executing the product.
  • Oracle – Oracle is another renowned FP&A Solutions provider and as a vendor in now exclusively is selling its cloud offerings in the market. Its niche products include Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services (PBCS), Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) with both of these products supporting budgeting, forecasting, dashboard, modeling and analytics. Oracle, cloud financial planning and analysis solutions run on Oracle’s cloud platform. 
  • SAP – SAP is well recognized for its SAP Analytics Cloud solution and SAP Digital Boardroom by the Magic Quadrant Survey. The SAP Analytics Cloud brings with it finance and other functions together for collaborative enterprise planning on a single platform for better business outcomes. Embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud – its users or customers can leverage on its intelligent financial management suite for planning, analysis and execution.
  • Jedox – Jedox has emerged as the niche player in offering both on-premises and cloud based solutions in arena of financial planning and analysis solutions through its integrated BI and FP&A solutions supporting budgeting, planning and forecasting.Over the last four years, Jedox has constantly evolved its offering for global enterprises by bringing in new innovative functionalities in the form of driver based planning, predictive modeling and pre-built business content to enterprise planning and performance management. Its cost effective modeling solutions are highly compatible with Microsoft Excel.

Finally, it can be concluded that the days of cloud based financial planning and analysis solutions are here to stay over in place of on-premise FP&A solutions.

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