The CSPs or the cloud service providers choose to advertise based on their analytics rather than the planning when it comes to providing cloud-based financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solutions. It may be because of three simple reasons; first, it is easier to show analytics than the plan. Secondly, the analysis process is similar across customers when compared to the planning process, and thirdly, analysis is more likely to influence the customers than poor planning.
Let's look at why these analyses on excel sheets and traditional planning systems may not be fruitful sometimes and how cloud-based planning may be a handy tool for the advertisement.
The complex organizational planning process includes many forecasting tools like customer formulas, statistical models, visualizations, and unique KPIs, which are valuable tools that help forecast accuracy. But, there are some constraints as they are typically decentralized and lack proper documentation because they don't pass through much error-free handling and QA testing and are also difficult to extend or reuse. Whereas modern cloud-based planning systems are more centralized and provide more accurate information. They provide improved real-time calculation capabilities, batch data processing capabilities, cross-modal reporting, and vital statistical engines.
Occasional User Experience
Though most of the finance users are excel-savvy and loves to experience sophisticated planning solutions. They can leverage their expertise with formulas, VBA, and spreadsheet design. The easy copy and paste function help them to change and make the files in a new way. On the other hand, there are occasional users, known as weekly or monthly users, who are not so used to with spreadsheets and their functionality. They are mostly the executives and top-level managers who are involved in plan-making. For those occasional users, cloud-based planning software can be handy where they have an entirely separate dashboard display, and a workaround is created with an administrator collecting data from each user.
The majority of the planning professionals thrive on iteration, i.e., repetition of a process, and on-premise planning solutions make this a challenge. Every organization has its own way of working and, thus, a different strategy for forecast visioning, but, in general, the number of 'working versions' is limited. The cloud planning solution has a solution to all these problems of versioning, iteration, and versioning framework that closely works with the user's plans.
These ways show that it's the time to adopt cloud-based FP&A solutions and say goodbye to 'analytics-first' way of advertising Cloud planning applications offers several enormous developments for planning users and more closely line up with the ways organizations plan.