CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

The top 10 trends shaping budgeting, planning and forecasting in 2021

By Contributor
Fri 5 Mar 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Board International country manager for A/NZ Nic Dennis.
 

The core business processes of budgeting, planning, and forecasting (BP&F) have come under intense pressure during the recent spate of virus-related lockdowns.

Methods that worked well when staff were in the office have had to be rapidly rethought to function in a new world where remote working is the norm. Organisations that had been relying predominantly on manual, paper-based and even verbal processes have found the changes particularly challenging to achieve.

For those still grappling with getting their BP&F processes operating efficiently and effectively, ten key trends need to be considered. 

The growing power of instant scenario management

The global health and economic crisis has resulted in unprecedented market changes. In response, many organisations need the ability to explore the impact of various possible scenarios on their operations.

Senior managers need to be able to model various potential outcomes according to different hypotheses about what future impact the pandemic will have and what this means for the market. Those that succeed will be the ones that have tools in place that support the decision-making process.

The increasing rate of global change

To thrive in a post-COVID-19 environment, organisations will need to reshape their planning and forecasting processes by using new technologies that support better use of data for planning and analysis.

In a business environment awash with uncertainty and rapid change, the critical feature is speed. The bottom line is that business-as-usual approaches will need to be reinvented to reduce decision-making times across all organisational departments.

Rebuilding the budgeting process

The global pandemic and resulting market uncertainty have highlighted the need for greater cost control. People in charge of BP&F processes are being challenged to drive their organisations forward while keeping a close eye on financial expenditure.

Traditional budgeting approaches are no longer good enough. Relying only on historical spending and performance data to determine future activities is not appropriate in a changing world with new risks and new opportunities. Companies need to apply a fresh approach to budgeting that combines human and artificial intelligence with driver-based planning and predictive analytics.

Embrace the platform

The concept of platforms is common among the world’s most disruptive and successful companies, which will continue during 2021. Platforms create value by integrating technologies, thereby eliminating inefficiencies.

This is also true when it comes to BP&F processes. The growing need for more flexible, end-user driven business planning and forecasting capabilities, able to offer more precise and accurate simulation, requires a next-generation approach to business thinking.

Become an insights-driven organisation

Increasing numbers of companies are making substantial changes to their BP&F processes to generate better insights. Senior executives are watching this evolution since it is a fundamental way to make transformational changes across the business.

Integrating business intelligence tools with planning and predictive analytics processes can allow an organisation to promote insightful planning and reveal unexpected pathways that lead to better business performance.

Strive for standardisation and automation

Standardisation and automation are two of the fundamental cornerstones on which organisations will place their technology efforts, and BP&F processes are at the centre of this trend.

Standardising and automating even simple tasks has proven to be a good place to start improving productivity, and this trend will continue in the coming years, involving more complex tasks.

The rise of the algorithm

The more that the computational capabilities of machines increase and AI evolves, the more the interaction between people and technological solutions becomes natural and immediate.

On the one hand, machine learning helps decision-makers minimise the substantial amount of bias that is usually introduced into the forecasting processes by gut feelings or innate preferences. On the other, AI solutions revolutionise how any business user engages with systems, making analysis and reporting more like a human interaction.

Strive for a single point of data access

Data is the lifeblood of all modern organisations, and continuous monitoring and analysis of performance, with real-time feedback into plans, is key to creating and maintaining accuracy throughout the BP&F processes.

Unfortunately, many organisations are sitting on a goldmine of data generated by numerous systems and processes but fail to release its potential because of the disparate way in which it is stored. To drive better decision-making, companies need to create a single point of access for all data that delivers a 360-degree view of the entire operation.  

At the same time, confidence in the data will be propelled by users spending the data and not worrying if it is polluted and needs filtering/scrubbing/cleaning — if there is one central, controlled, proven source of data that everyone trusts, then it removes a whole lot of barriers to confidence and progress.

Intelligence for all

Senior executives and top managers are making self-service analysis and reporting a priority within BP&F functions. As a result, when employees become accustomed to using self-service analytics tools, they become more comfortable digging into data to test hypotheses. 

Self-service analytics and reporting, natural language search, and other cognitive technologies are expected to transform how business users interact with systems.

Planning shifts to the cloud

Like many areas of business, analytics and planning is moving into the cloud at a rapid rate. Advantages include economies of scale, savings, scalability, elasticity, and faster time to value.

To gain these advantages, organisations need to evaluate whether the various technologies fit with their business rather than the other way around. 

By taking note of these trends, organisations will be best placed to improve their BP&F processes during 2021. This will ensure they are best placed to enjoy growth once operating conditions return to normal.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Remote Working
RDP attacks on the rise, Kaspersky experts offer advice
"Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
MarTech
Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation
In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy.
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
Gartner
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
New Relic
How to tackle the great brain drain in the tech industry
Attracting and retaining tech talent in Australia and New Zealand is becoming increasingly challenging, with the 2022 Hays Salary Guide showing a startling 91% of employers facing a skills shortage.
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Low-code
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.
The Access Group
Increasing headcount isn't always the best way to grow. A good financial strategy can help solve many issues, and The Access Group shares the secret to success.
Link image
Story image
Microsoft
TO THE NEW unveils A/NZ Managed Services for Microsoft Azure
TO THE NEW has released Managed Services for Microsoft Azure to meet the growing demand in the A/NZ market and globally.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Data ownership
Brands must reclaim trust by empowering data ownership
According to Twilio's new State of Personalisation Report 2022, 62% of consumers expect personalisation from brands, and yet only 40% trust brands to use their data responsibly and keep it safe.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
The Access Group
Struggling to understand which transformative technologies will help your business? The Access Group provides a look into key opportunities and impacts for finance.
Link image
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Human Resources / HR
Honeywell launch third RAP in support of Reconciliation Australia
"RAPs provide a framework to leverage their structures and diverse spheres of influence to support the national reconciliation movement."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
MSP
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Salesforce announces latest generation of MuleSoft
Salesforce has introduced the next generation of MuleSoft, a unified solution for automation, integration and APIs to automate any workflow.
The Access Group
Health and social care organisations are currently under significant financial pressure. Find out how financial transformation can help provide an effective route forward.
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
Stax and Consegna partner to accelerate modernisation
According to a statement, the new alliance will help both companies expand their reach across the region and realise joint goals.
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
Manufacturing
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.