In the early days of CPM there arose innovative, focused solutions aimed at helping finance and augmented by many, many spreadsheets (on Lotus 123 back then!).
25+ years later and how different is the market?
Many of these companies were bought and consolidated under a mega-software company roof. Data and meta-data integration tools were built to connect the applications and the term “CPM Suite” is pervasive. Even now, there are new cloud-only startups that are again following this same path - developing separate products for each process.
This causes serious issues for the CFO. The data in the financial processes are intrinsically tied – budgets, forecasts and planning are derived off of financial consolidation of actuals. Scenario building to model change in structure or M&A activity need access to all the data. Ultimately it is all unified at ‘the last mile of finance’. You need to produce your management, regulatory and external reports which require this information and additional commentary around it. Having multiple products that are ‘connected’ introduces data redundancy, slows things down, costs more to maintain, and worst of all - leads to errors.
The real solution is a single platform that can handle all your processes. One financial performance platform that houses all the data needed for the Office of Finance to carry out its processes. This is the only pragmatic way to improve operational efficiencies, and provide strategic insight into your business.
It’s 2014 – the time for “Suites” is over.
What are your thoughts?