By Malcolm Brock, Managing Director of Brovanture, Platinum level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork and NetSuite Partner
Since the financial crises of 2008, the term "unprecedented period of uncertainty" may have been somewhat overused. Since then, the finance world has continued to experience turbulent times and it is looking like "uncertainty" is the new normal.
Since the UK referendum result, markets across the world have moved sharply and with dramatic speed. With the Brexit deal not done, and any deal likely to take time to negotiate, it looks like there will be many more ups and downs to come. Add to this the recent election results in the UK, a vote in Germany this year, and of course new administrations in the United States and France.
With this level of global uncertainty, organizations need the ability to immediately change course if they are to mitigate risk and take advantage of new opportunities that may well arise.
Changing course begins with a new plan, setting out where to go and how to get there. This is the reason best practice planning is even more important today than it has ever been in the past. The unexpected will happen along the way, so this is where the ability to quickly re-forecast and act becomes important.
So what should organizations do? What constitutes best practice planning and forecasting in 2017? Here are my suggestions:
By now you might be thinking, "This is all very well, but I don’t have an enterprise-wide planning and forecasting system—and I can’t afford to wait until we get one in place." Traditionally, enterprise-wide planning systems could take 6-12 months (or even longer) to implement. But today, with the cloud, there are many examples of organizations implementing a cloud-based enterprise planning system in 6-12 weeks. Two examples include Redballoon and Western Alliance Bancorporation.
This means that if you act today, you could have a new enterprise-grade planning and forecasting system in place and operational, ready to use as soon as the nature of the Brexit deal (hard or soft) becomes clearer. No matter which way it goes, you will be ready!