What is Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud Planning?

Published on: 2 March 2022
Written by: Tridant

As we’ve outlined in our recent blog, What is EPM? And Which EPM Software Solution is Best?, EPM, or enterprise performance management, refers to the processes, practices, and tools that help businesses implement and achieve their financial goals. It provides business users with access to deeper data, with better ways to analyze and present this data, enabling improved understanding and reporting business-wide.

EPM achieves this by helping the business gather the right data, from the right sources, and consolidating it all into one central location. The business gets one source of truth for financial and operational data, enabling improved decision-making and faster consolidation across the board.

Here’s what you need to know to truly take advantage of EPM planning and automation.

Understanding the EPM cycle

EPM planning enables businesses to improve decision-making, optimize management processes, and adapt quickly to changes. To leverage the full benefits of EPM planning, you need to understand the EPM cycle first.

A good EPM planning platform provides businesses with a way to more accurately monitor financial and operational results in real-time. The business can then measure these against business goals and forecasts, analyze the situation, identify key trends, and then use this to model and predict outcomes. From this, the business can then start planning for these outcomes. Once planned and initiated, the business then monitors and assesses the results… and the cycle begins again.

EPM enables businesses to actively drive an agile business, providing users with a way to understand their data more comprehensively and convert data to information. When utilized correctly, it facilitates a clear and trackable way to link business strategy with action plans and practical execution. 

The key is having this data readily available, accessible, and shareable in a format in which it is best digested. This is where EPM cloud planning comes into play.

What is EPM cloud planning?

EPM cloud planning is the evolution of EPM. Much like the shift from pencils and paper to Excel and spreadsheets, EPM cloud planning is changing how things operate.

With EPM cloud planning, the business-governing processes are transferred from a desktop-based program to a browser-based platform, such as Anaplan, BlackLine, or Workday Adaptive Planning. Cloud EPM is a SaaS approach for EPM, where users can access their EPM software from anywhere in the world—all their business data and information stored and secured in the cloud.

When data is readily available for decision making, it’s easier for businesses to move fast and roll with the punches in uncertain times. EPM enables more collaborative planning and better strategic decision making, with improved transparency.

The benefits of EPM cloud planning

Deploy a unified solution

EPM cloud planning platforms untether your business' process management from slow and siloed spreadsheets, and empower your users to access critical business’ information from anywhere. You’re able to share information easily with the right people, at the right time, using a centralised data source that acts as a single point of truth.

By deploying an EPM cloud planning platform, you’re enabling your business to leverage truly connected planning. With EPM businesses will be able to clearly and accurately communicate business goals, strategies, and plans between teams, at any level.

Automate your processes

One big benefit of EPM cloud planning is EPM automation, the ability to eliminate those time-consuming, manual tasks that eat into your day, and reduce bottlenecks. By automating specific areas of your workflow, you’ll streamline your reporting and consolidation processes, reducing human error and delivering more accurate, trustworthy data.

For finance and accounting functions, this allows you to improve your account reconciliation and optimise your financial close by delivering faster, more comprehensive reporting.

Drive business profitability through better decisions

Improving the depth and quality of the data your business can access allows you to gain better insight when making important decisions. For example, it may help you improve workflows and efficiencies in specific areas, uncovering ways to optimise the use of limited resources. 

By automating the management process, you can accelerate the time it takes to make decisions, allowing you to move faster, and react to changes quicker, while ensuring all functional areas are working in alignment.

An easier way to manage your business reporting

EPM software enriches your reporting by providing better connections between the data you need, your business processes, and your reporting platforms. This allows you to improve the quality of your data available and the level of insight gained from it. And when every user is accessing the same information, you’re able to avoid disconnected and incomplete planning and forecasting, providing more holistic reporting capabilities that cover all your business needs.

Reduce your reliance on IT infrastructure—and save money at the same time

Single-point, desktop-based EPM typically costs more to own and operate: there are up-front license fees, the cost of specific hardware on which to use it, the technical team required to operate the systems, and you’re paying for on-site data storage capabilities. While you’re likely going to pay for more EPM platform user licenses, when migrating to an EPM cloud planning platform, you will ultimately reduce your reliance on your IT infrastructure and the associated costs such as resource and hardware costs. 

Migrating to EPM cloud planning software means you reduce your reliance on in-house storage. All your data is stored securely , in the cloud. You typically pay a per user or subscription fee. And your users can access it from their own devices.

Are you ready to take advantage of EPM cloud planning?

Tridant’s EPM consulting specialists can help you determine which EPM software is the right choice for your organisation. Contact us today to discuss your business’ planning requirements, and we can organise a meeting to talk through the EPM automation software that’s going to take your planning to the cloud. 

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