Connected planning: breaking down the silos

Dec 05, 2022
  • finance

“How can we link our financial plan to supply chain planning?”, “Can you help us make planning more agile?” or “How can we get access to real-time data from across the enterprise?”. These must be the most common questions our finance experts receive these days. It’s crystal clear: as a CFO,  you need more data and forecasts, as well as the ability to change course quickly. Excel will no longer do, but what’s the alternative?

Gartner is confident: by 2024, 70% of new financial planning projects will no longer be restricted to finance but extend into other areas of enterprise planning. Moreover, planning will be continuous instead of monthly or quarterly and will anticipate rather than react to change. 

70% of financial planning projects will extend into other areas of enterprise planning by 2024 
Gartner, strategic roadmap for cloud financial planning and analysis solutions

Vulnerabilities in traditional planning, budgeting, and forecasting

“For decades, business planning was done in silos. Sales, production, HR, marketing: they all created their own plans, which finance then consolidated periodically,” explains Mathieu van de Poel, Finance and Performance Management Lead. “That worked until the pandemic hit. All of a sudden, finance had to develop what-if scenarios and models and constantly update these in order to advise the management team on the best course of action. 

The existing Excel-based planning approach became unworkable. Moreover, finance lacked real-time data from other departments and external sources. With the world still in turmoil today, that need for deep insight, agility and proactivity is here to stay, urging finance to rethink their way of working.”  

The need for connected enterprise planning

To increase visibility and insight into how the company is performing, breaking down silos between financial and operational planning is a must. Technology can help. 

“For the finance office to become a strategic business partner, they need a platform that allows them to access the right data and the right insights at the right time. That is, basically, what we call connected or extended planning. It allows finance teams to collaborate with counterparts inside and outside the company and easily build the scenarios, models and strategies they need to improve business insights and make better decisions,” Mathieu explains.

for finance to become a strategic business partner, they need a platform that allows them to access the right data and the right insights at the right time
Mathieu Van De Poel, Finance & Performance Management Lead

Extended or connected planning?

Gartner calls it ‘Extended Planning and Analysis: xP&A’, others use the term ‘connected planning’. At any rate, the concept is the same: it involves breaking down the silos between financial and operational planning processes, and combining them on one coherent platform.  

What platform you need? Let delaware help

There are many solutions available to help you bring planning to the next level. delaware can help you decide what platform best matches your needs.

For decades, we at delaware have been combining our experience in finance with deep technological expertise. Quite recently, we’ve been strengthening our team with several finance professionals, like Mathieu, who bring many years of management consulting experience to the table. By complementing our joint know-how with the pragmatic approach that has been our calling card for years, we can provide valuable advice and then implement the platform that best meets your needs.  

Ready to bring finance planning to the next level? Connect with Mathieu via LinkedIn or send him an email to discuss what delaware can do for your company.

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