At no time has agility been more vital for organizations everywhere as businesses are trying to find a foothold amid the global disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key to this effort is modern planning, which has become a business imperative because of what it offers: the ability to build multiple scenarios and select the best course of action; the analytics needed to make decisions grounded in insight rather than instinct; and the resilience necessary to act as rapidly as conditions change.
It is against this historic backdrop that Gartner has positioned Workday in the Leaders quadrant of the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions. In our opinion, this respected analyst firm acknowledged, for the fourth year in a row*, the unique expertise of Workday Adaptive Planning, especially at such a pivotal moment for businesses and economies.
Planning for a new, more agile normal
This latest Gartner Magic Quadrant arrives as companies chart their recovery and adjust to a new, unpredictable normal. And the focus on cloud FP&A solutions could not be more timely. At Workday, we’ve been working closely with our customers to help put them on a more agile path during this pandemic.
It’s hard to imagine a better example of this than ChristianaCare. In the midst of the turbulence caused by COVID-19, this leading mid-Atlantic healthcare provider relied on Workday Adaptive Planning to transform its annual budget process into a far more responsive monthly forecasting cycle. And it managed to make the switch in just four days.
Once companies see what’s possible from modern planning, planning itself rapidly ascends as a mission-critical function within their organization. In fact, 72% of CFOs tell PwC that they believe the current disruption will actually help them become more agile and resilient.
More scale, resilience, and flexibility
We believe one of the strengths that helped set Workday apart is the increased scalability and performance capabilities our Elastic Hypercube Technology has brought to Workday Adaptive Planning. I had the privilege of heading the team that developed this breakthrough, which has made Workday Adaptive Planning an ideal fit for larger enterprises by delivering greater scale and resilience in more complex planning environments.
More than 600 large enterprises are currently developing plans, budgets, forecasts, what-if scenarios, and more with Workday Adaptive Planning. They include brands such as American Family Insurance, Denny’s, IBM, and South Shore Health.
We also believe that our recognition/position as a Leader is bolstered by the unique flexibility of Workday Adaptive Planning: We offer a best-in-class planning solution for customers who want to do company-wide planning across finance, sales, workforce, or other operational planning areas.
For customers who want to take advantage of additional Workday enterprise cloud applications, a seamless user experience on a world-class, unified platform awaits. Some 20% of our more than 5,200 planning customers can plan, execute, and analyze on one application platform. This helps them achieve true business agility.
Innovations score with customers
Customers all over the world have responded positively to innovations we’ve introduced, such as:
- Active dashboards, which allow users to enter data onto a sheet and immediately see the results of that change graphically on the same dashboard
- Granular access rules, which make it easier to extend planning to more users by controlling access to accounts and dimensions
- Anomaly detection, a machine learning-powered breakthrough that allows planners to easily identify and detect errors in their planning data
- Federated planning, which allows separate functional teams to plan individually using their own models, which then come together into a holistic corporate plan
Company-wide planning requires software that’s easy to use, a real advantage at a time when more employees are collaborating remotely. This is one of the strengths our customers note frequently and consistently. And since ease of use drives adoption, Workday Adaptive Planning makes it easy for our partners such as Deloitte, Accenture, McKinsey & Company, and PwC to help large enterprises get the most from their deployments.
Planning is evolving to solve advanced problems
Today’s organizations are facing increasingly complex challenges, and they need advanced planning solutions. This was true before the pandemic, and that reality has only intensified since. Planning has evolved from an annual, episodic, largely manual, and siloed process to one that’s continuous, comprehensive, and collaborative. It has advanced from high-level, top-line views to detailed functional and departmental plans that are fully integrated with the corporate plan. It has matured from basic spreadsheet planning into an intelligent, agile, and highly visual environment powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that automatically scours data to detect potential outliers that could lead to errant predictions—and that accelerates insight by instantly visualizing data so anyone can identify important trends and patterns.
That’s modern planning. And it’s the foundation not just for recovering from this current disruption, but for preparing for disruptions to come. That is the view from Workday customers like ChristianaCare, where Director of Financial Planning and Operational Analysis Kevin Kain is facing the future with confidence. His outlook says it all: “We’re ready for what’s next.”
Read report: 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions, Greg Leiter, Robert Anderson, John Van Decker, 6 October 2020
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
*Adaptive Insights was acquired by Workday in 2018.