Connected Planning: How To Future-Proof Your Business

Synchronize to Synergize: Data Consolidation and Connection for Operational Efficiency

The State of Connected Planning

Deloitte’s latest findings suggest that although ‘organizations are aware of Connected Planning and the benefits it might bring into their planning process’, the level of adoption is ‘relatively limited compared to other planning methodologies’. Only 31% of organizations have adopted Connected Planning across three or more of their business functions.

The study looks at the following business functions: Operations, Workforce, Supply Chain, Finance, Marketing, and Sales. While the Finance function is reported to be leading the way in connectivity, Sales follows close behind in its wake. 

What does this mean? This means that the finance department of the companies that have invested in Connected Planning solutions is the department with the highest level of connectivity to other departments. This shows that organizations are looking toward Connected Planning to facilitate and streamline their financial planning and analysis initiatives.

Although businesses can benefit from leveraging Connected Planning solutions for numerous financial planning tasks like financial data consolidation and strategic financial planning and analysis - needless to say - businesses can also benefit from greater connectivity across all other functions.

Legacy Planning Software vs. Connected Planning

Legacy planning software systems and spreadsheets often involve overly rigid and manual processes. They tend to hinder rather than help efficient business and organizational growth.

What’s more? Outdated planning platforms offer limited connectivity across functions. This leads to siloed work and the repetition of redundant tasks.

To top it off, legacy planning software systems offer little to no opportunity for future-focused decision making. Plans built on these systems are often out of date by the time they are built due to the time consuming processes involved in creating them coupled with the rate of industry change.

The solution? Connected Planning.


What is Connected Planning?

According to Anaplan, ‘Connected Planning joins together people, data, and plans to help accelerate better business performance.’

Connected Planning involves the migration of all your organizational data from legacy planning systems and spreadsheets to a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) tool.

Once all your organizational data is migrated to and consolidated in a Connected Planning solution, it acts as a single source for your companywide information which all your employees can access and see real-time data updates. This single source of information serves to integrate your Supply Chain, Finance, Sales, Operations, Marketing and HR functions.

This level of cross-functional integration provides a seamless and streamlined collaborative approach to all your organizational tasks including planning, budgeting, forecasting and other planning activities.

Connected Planning - synonymous with integrated business planning - fast tracks one of the most tedious and time consuming processes associated with planning: data consolidation. It shifts the entire organization’s attention from gathering data and arriving at a consensus on what happened in the past, to analysing the data in a bid to identify how to boost future performance.


What are the Benefits of Connected Planning?

  1. Single Source of Truth: In organizations still stuck in the dark age of legacy planning software systems and spreadsheets, each team function usually creates their own plan and forecast. Each plan is based on the limited organizational data relevant to their specific function. This means, managers receive forecasts from each function. Each forecast presents a different version of the organization’s data. Consequently, managers are presented with different versions of the truth and are left to untangle the web of complexity weaved. The data limitations and uncertainty makes it hard for managers and other higher ups to make concrete decisions that navigate the organization toward future growth. 

    However, with Connected Planning, you can now consolidate all your company or organizational data into a single source of truth. This would give each team function real-time access to companywide information. All planning and forecasts would then factor in data from other functions, providing decision-makers with the certainty they need to decide which course of action is the best course of action for the future.
  1. Agile Decision Making: The cloud based nature of Connected Planning platforms provides all employees with real time access to company data and insights, across functions. This allows organizations to remain nimble and highly responsive to industry change.

    The real time updates also means that no time will be wasted on share requests across your business functions. This provides an optimised workflow and ensures that integrated business planning tasks are carried out efficiently.

    It also supports on-the-go decision making, injecting a sense of agility and vigour into your business’ decision making process.
  1. Collaborate with Ease: By adopting a single source of truth through Connected Planning solutions, you’ll be able to eliminate organizational silos within your company and boost connectivity across business functions like Sales, Finance, Marketing, HR, Operations, and Supply Chain.

    This new culture of companywide connectedness holds a promise of fuelling organizational innovation at scale and speed. The removal of communication barriers and implementation of seamless and streamlined communication pathways would allow teams to collaborate with ease.
  1. Highly Customizable and Adjustable Plans: With Connected Planning software solutions you can adjust and build your plans on the go, incorporating changing organizational data to facilitate quick analysis and guide you on the path to operational excellence.

Key Takeaway 

Connected Planning - the future of business and organizational planning - facilitates on-the-go and agile decision making capabilities. It enables organization-wide cross-functional collaboration through a single source of truth that ultimately leads to optimized operations, organizational certainty, and consensus. Get in touch to learn how our data science company can help boost your organizational success through Connected Planning!


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