My favourite time of year (for work) is from 8 pm on New Year’s Eve to 8 am January 2nd. This is the time when 2019 is put to bed and I can reflect on the year that was and consider what this new decade will mean to Prophix people, Finance professionals and the CPM market as a whole. I only see upside for customers and vendors alike! CPM is going to be faster, easier and more intuitive than ever before.
In 2019, we saw the emergence of exciting new technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, and more. These advancements have improved data security, decision-making speed and accuracy, and employee output and training (TechRepublic).
This year, I expect to see further developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, further expanding the capabilities available to finance professionals.
Without further ado, let’s review five predictions for 2020 and how they will affect your business.
Prediction #1: The CPM market will continue to see rapid growth
In the last decade, businesses have grown increasingly unsatisfied with the reporting tools available in their ERP solutions, and many finance departments are turning to Excel to gain the flexibility they desire. However, spreadsheets are a time-consuming and error-prone solution, making them less than ideal for growing organizations.
In the mid-market, many companies are adopting CPM tools, which are now offering the added benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). CPM software makes planning and reporting far easier for these organizations, while also remaining cheaper than traditional ERP solutions – reducing the pain felt by end-users.
As part of improvements in AI, Machine Learning (ML) capabilities will also enable quicker data analysis and allow finance professionals to focus on the strategic aspects of their business. Users can utilize their voice to have an interactive dialogue with their financial data, thanks to further advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and cloud.
Prediction #2: 2020 will be the year of the cloud
As mid-market organizations look to innovate their corporate finance structure, we will start to see a shift in the industry towards a broader view of the business that incorporates people, processes, and business objectives into new AI-powered CPM software in a cloud environment.
This shift mirrors the revolution that’s taking place in the FP&A space. Automated CPM software has shifted from a mature on-premise offering to a cloud solution. New solutions built or architected as cloud services are easier to use and maintain. They also offer the latest features when compared with previous generations of on-premise software.
Cloud software also offers unique advantages to an on-premise solution, such as not having to rely on the IT department to make changes, fixed vs. variable costs, the ability to easily scale the business (i.e., compute power and storage), as well as having access to the latest and greatest in technological improvements.
As mobile capabilities and AI adoption continue to evolve in enterprise management systems, including the Office of Finance, it only makes sense for mid-market organizations to transition directly to a cloud platform to experience these immense benefits.
Prediction #3: Artificial intelligence will be a game-changer for CPM
In the past decade, organizations have become inundated with data. Yet, many companies have not scaled their data analysis teams to match this influx. Those finance teams who can effectively and quickly crunch the most numbers will have a significant competitive advantage over their peers.
Artificial intelligence brings enormous promise to this need for increased data analysis. CPM users can expect:
- Time Savings – Through automation and analytics, finance professionals can do away with tedious and time-consuming tasks and can instead focus more on strategic projects that impact the bottom line.
- Trusted, Error-free Reports – With AI and Machine Learning capabilities, finance teams can rely on accurate data insights in a much quicker timeframe.
- Anomaly Detection – AI offers the ability to audit full reports and catch anomalies to speed up FP&A processes, such as year- or month-end close.
- Forecasting – Predictive analytics offer better returns, allowing companies to act quickly. Finance professionals can investigate the future and base decisions on probable outcomes.
Gartner Advisory Services forecasts that AI-derived business value will reach $3.9 trillion in 2022 (Source). This is an area where we are going to see continued growth as more organizations realize AI can bring enormous value to the Office of Finance.
Prediction #4: Existing business platforms will add Virtual Financial Analysts
The Virtual Office Assistant (VOA) market will grow to $25.63 billion USD by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. (Source).
Virtual Financial Assistants will help streamline new capabilities, with the addition of Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.
Prediction #5: Self-service training will be a huge advantage to CPM solutions
As we’ve already discussed, technological advancements are coming to the Office of Finance, and they will completely change how we build and monitor reports, expediting and expanding our information gathering capabilities.
Users of CPM software will need to understand how to get the most of these tools and how to best utilize Machine Learning algorithms and Artificial Intelligence technology to monitor data and gather insights.
As such, those users with access to comprehensive training and services will have a huge advantage. Giving companies the ability to self-serve and train their users will help to streamline business practices across the organization.
The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to plan where you want to take your business in the upcoming 12 months. Many of my predictions touched on the importance of AI in 2020. I expect companies will turn to AI-powered CPM software to:
- Automate tasks to free up their valuable analysts to do more strategic work.
- Simplify engagement to increase utilization of the CPM. The easier it is to use, the more you will use it, the more value the application will provide back to you a return on your investment.
- Machine learning enables the rapid processing of massive amounts of data to make better-informed decisions today, provide predictive insights for better outcomes tomorrow while reducing the risk associated with loss.
In summary, my 2020 predictions for the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) space are:
- The CPM market will continue to see rapid growth
- 2020 will be the year of the cloud
- Artificial intelligence will be a game-changer for CPM
- Existing business platforms will add Virtual Financial Assistants
- Self-service training will be a huge advantage to CPM solutions
What are your predictions for the CPM space in 2020?
Wishing you an amazing 2020!