PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, May 21st, 2019
The Business Application Research Center (BARC) publishes The Planning Survey 19, the results of its fifth annual worldwide survey of nearly 1,400 planning users, consultants and vendors.
Among the many interesting results uncovered by The Planning Survey 19, it is revealed that the main reason companies use cloud-based planning products is the desire for greater flexibility and elasticity (56%, see Figure 1).
“The level of use of planning and CPM systems is subject to strong seasonal variation. During budgeting and forecasting periods there is a high usage pattern, while the tools are used significantly less frequently at other times of the year,” explained Christian Fuchs, senior analyst at BARC and author of The Planning Survey 19.
Other compelling reasons for choosing a cloud-based planning product over an on-premises solution include ‘reduction of maintenance efforts for hardware and software’ (45%), ‘costs’ (32%) and ‘speed of implementation’ (26%).
Figure 1: What are the main reasons for using or wanting to use a cloud-based planning solution? (n=425)
Predictive planning an important trend
For nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed (64%), predictive planning and forecasting have high to very high relevance.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive technologies are major trends in almost all areas of the IT market right now,” said Fuchs. “So companies are naturally keen to exploit the potential of predictive functions in the area of planning and budgeting.”
Figure 2: How important or relevant are predictive planning and forecasting for your company? (n=1,133)
Benefits of specialist planning tools
‘Increased planning frequency’, ‘improved integration of different sub-budgets’, ‘improved integration of planning with reporting/analysis’, ‘better quality of planning results’ and ‘more precise/detailed planning’ are the benefits companies achieve most frequently through the use of their planning products (see Figure 3).
In contrast to the main benefits, ‘saved headcount’, ‘increased competitive advantage’ and ‘reduced costs’ are seen as relatively minor benefits for planners. “This is understandable. Even with the best planning products, planning requires a lot of effort for any company and the software can only support the process, not entirely automate it,” said Fuchs. “However, planning tools save a lot of time compared to other approaches, and the hours previously invested in manual efforts can be used for more value-adding activities. Planning products can bring about competitive advantage by offering deeper insights into data and being more agile, enabling companies to react to current and future developments in their businesses. It will be interesting to see how current trends such as artificial intelligence and predictive planning can help to automate budgeting and forecasting processes and free planners from repetitive routine tasks in the future.”
Figure 3: To what level have you achieved the following benefits with your product? (n=881)
About the study
The Planning Survey 19 is the fifth edition of BARC’s major annual study into the selection and use of planning tools. The findings are based on a worldwide survey of 1,367 planning users, consultants and vendors, which was conducted from November 2018 to February 2019. It features analysis and comparison of 22 leading planning products based on user feedback, as well as current data on market trends and the selection and use of planning tools. The survey raised €1,500 in aid of UNICEF as part of BARC’s pledge to give €1 per survey completion to charity.
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BARC (Business Application Research Center) is an enterprise software analyst and consulting firm with a focus on Analytics/Business Intelligence (BI), Data Management, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). With experts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, BARC supports clients in their software selection and strategy through specialist consulting, leading-edge research and a program of conferences and highly-focused seminars.
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