Still planning with spreadsheets? Next Generation Business Planning is here. 

As we review the world of business planning, we see that most organizations are still stuck with planning using offline spreadsheets. The agility and connectedness needed to keep the alignment across the enterprise given the turbulent demand is a huge challenge in the static world of disjointed offline spreadsheets. So, how do we move past budgeting, planning, and forecasting being largely disjointed activities, and enable organizations to reforecast often with minimal effort. This is where next generation business planning in the cloud comes in.

As the ability to share plans and changes instantly to all will be key going forward, we need linked plans that automatically align with changes in upstream departmental plans. We also need this to happen in an in-memory planning environment in the cloud that facilitates this collaboration and coordination with Whatsapp like simplicity and predictive smarts. We simply cannot scale next gen business planning with the integration headaches and batch job heaviness associated with on-premise solutions of yesterday.  

Last generation business planning solution paradigms were far too static and cumbersome to adapt. Models that need skilled IT resources to enhance and in general heavy to manage. The heaviness in model maintenance impacts the planning process flexibility directly. It loses relevance fast as most planners give up trying to make the elephant dance for the enterprise and revert back to the comfort zone of their silos. The alignment of sales forecast with financial budget demands sales & marketing re-forecast as often as underlying assumptions change, not once a month. Next generation business planning solutions are needed to deliver the agility and ability to evolve in the moment. Supply chains can not manage that new product inventory efficiently if sales is not forecasting often in daily buckets for the near term in a demand sensing paradigm. The monthly sales or financial forecast with rule based disaggregation to daily buckets is just not going to cut it anymore. 

At GitaCloud, we focus on planners, not just supply chain planners. For us, planners could come from any of the functional silos: Operations, Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR, or IT. Our passion is to enable the next generation of Business Planning capabilities for the enterprise as a whole. We want enterprises to get away from the stand-alone nature of plans which are built with little or no inputs from other departments. In many ways, modern in-memory based cloud platforms are enabling Integrated Business Planning to become a source of exceptional value for early adopters. It's analogous to Apple Watch in the sense that it finally provides a modern and comprehensive health management platform that the earlier products like Nike Fuel-band or Fit-bit could never provide. This is a huge enabler in the next generation of Business Planning solutions. Connected, predictive, responsive, self-learning, intuitive. 

Organizations will need to be much more forward looking and coordinated across departments than ever before. We believe e-mail and spreadsheets based collaboration just does not scale this challenge. Planners need new collaboration paradigms which bring predictive, analytical and contextual capabilities to the collaboration platform like never before. Advanced planning capabilities are needed in terms of scenario planning, so planners have visibility to inherent trade-offs in different approaches. Planners need next generation predictive solutions which can sense trends before competition does. They need self-learning capabilities that learn from planner responses to these trends to propose and evaluate effectiveness of trade-offs in next-generation scenario planning. Spreadsheets are most challenged here as they cannot deal with multiple business dimensions simultaneously and can not scale past basic scenario planning. 

At GitaCloud, we are developing solutions that join unit-level operational plans with the financial plans and maintain alignment with budget. We strongly believe that sales, production, and headcount plans can ill-afford to be generated in silos. Organizations face product cycles lasting months, not years and excessive demand volatility is the norm, not the exception. We see most of our customers preferring to deploy planning in the cloud across sales, marketing, and supply chain functions. This trend will move next to an enterprise level business planning capability in the cloud where the most value is waiting to be unlocked in our opinion. Talk to us to understand the cloud platform capabilities as they relate to your business and what it takes to deliver the next generation business planning capabilities in your organization.