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Pedal to the Metal: The Need to Drive Better Planning

Our business planning cloud gathers all the power and ease of use people know from our finance planning and analytics solutions and delivers it to everybody in an organization, and at enterprise scale.

For a while now we have operated in a world where companies understand that change is a constant. But that thinking seems almost quaint now. The operative phrase today is “change is accelerating.” Change is now a persistent variable with an escalating impact on operations and outcomes.

I’m not the only one thinking so—not by a long shot. McKinsey & Co. recently published an excellent missive on what it takes to succeed in the age of urgency.

For instance, when it comes to taking action and making business decisions, McKinsey offers some straightforward advice: “Floor it.”

The point is that, unless today’s businesses are willing to let the market or their competitors overtake and overwhelm them, they have no time to waste. They must, McKinsey accurately observes, “create adaptive, fast-moving organizations that can respond quickly and flexibly to new opportunities as they arise.” McKinsey says decision-making and insights, still calcified at the top of too many organizations, must be pushed to the edges—to the people who run the business on a day-to-day basis.

As I shared last week, we at Adaptive Insights realized this long ago. And we realized that the DNA of an agile company in large part grows out of its ability to create a plan that itself is agile and its willingness to embrace the truth: in business, everybody plans. Now more than ever, organizations that cling to slow and disjointed planning processes are only amplifying the headwinds they already face in the marketplace. By mooring themselves to old habits and rearview perspectives, they simply can’t move forward with the velocity they need if they hope to win.

Tomorrow, this will be even truer than it is today, and the next day it will be truer still. Because change is accelerating.

A new way for everyone to plan

It’s into this roiling age of urgency that we are launching the Adaptive Insights  business planning cloud. We’ve designed it to give businesses of all sizes precisely what McKinsey and others know is needed: greater agility in a world that moves fast. Our business planning cloud gathers all the power and ease of use people know from our finance planning and analytics solutions and delivers it to everybody in an organization, and at enterprise scale.

With our business planning cloud, we enable departments and functions to quickly and easily model any part of a business—a powerful capability that, along with analytics on data and metrics from across the organization, helps people make more informed decisions and understand what is happening with the business.

And, as we have done from our inception, we do all this in the cloud, which is fast becoming the enterprise software platform of choice.

Look closely at the business planning cloud and you’ll see how it makes it easy for everyone in the business to engage in planning at their own cadence. You’ll see that it encompasses the entire planning process so individual plans created throughout the business are tightly integrated with and linked to the finance-managed corporate plan. The plan moves with the business. It’s the only way planning can keep up in the age of urgency.

We’re taking planning beyond finance

People know Adaptive Insights for our heritage of providing solutions that are built for finance. But in fully embracing the reality that “everybody plans,” we designed our business planning cloud to support an entire suite of domain-specific solutions for sales, marketing, HR, and operations. Today, we announced the first of these—Adaptive Insights for Sales.

Sales operations and sales management teams will find this solution vastly simplifies and automates the most time-consuming and data-intensive aspects of sales planning, which in most organizations is still conducted on spreadsheets. Sales managers and their finance support teams can now save hours, days, even weeks while they optimize sales capacity and sales territory assignment plans, measure and tune the productivity of their sales teams, respond quickly to changes and growth, and accurately anticipate what’s next.

From a CEO’s perspective, this is about doing a better job managing the top line, which is crucial because revenue is the oxygen of a business. This is why it was so important for us to do for sales planning what we’ve done for finance planning.

Our customers report that this sales solution is a game changer. I can see why. Earlier in my career, I’d set a goal to increase revenue by, say, 30%. Then everyone in our organization would go off and figure out how we would get there. Sales in particular would plan intensely. But when the plan was finalized, all I really had immediate access to were the rolled-up numbers. I couldn’t see what decisions, assumptions, and models fed those totals.

Extending our business planning cloud with Adaptive Insights for Sales changes all that. Now I can see virtually everything that informed our plan. I can review the what-if scenarios, examine the potential routes we might take to reach our goal, and understand fully the path forward that we created together, with everyone planning. And best of all, that revenue growth plan automatically becomes part of our overall corporate plan.

Agility at enterprise scale

It’s clear that for companies to succeed and win, they can’t settle for a few pockets of agility. Agile planning has to go enterprise-wide, which means the business planning environment has to be enterprise class. Our new business planning cloud can handle complex multidimensional models with millions of trillions (1018) of cells, so it can handle very complex models. It also incorporates the interoperability and other critical elements required to earn its place alongside CRM, ERP, HCM, and other systems in the enterprise business stack. True companywide business planning demands nothing less.

With change accelerating and imposing new pressures on decision-makers, the time has never been better to modernize business planning into something everyone does collaboratively, continuously, and comprehensively. After all, they’re planning already. Now, finally, at the moment it’s needed most, there’s a way to capture all that effort, energy, and intelligence from across the organization—and turn it into insights that make for a more agile and successful business.

It’s called the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud.

Learn more about the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud.

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