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Navigating the Future: 10 Crucial Decisions in Connected Planning for CFOs in 2024

In the rapidly evolving finance landscape, the Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) role has never been more critical. As we enter 2024, integrating technology and data-driven insights has become indispensable for effective financial management. Connected planning, a dynamic approach that combines financial and operational data in real time, is a game-changer for CFOs.

 

In this blog, we will explore 10 major decisions in connected planning that will shape the financial strategies of CFOs in 2024.

 

Adopting Cloud-Based Connected Planning Platforms:

●       The cloud is no longer a buzzword but a fundamental element of modern finance. CFOs must adopt cloud-based connected planning platforms to ensure accessibility, scalability, and collaboration across their organisations.

Enhancing Data Security Measures:

●       As the volume of sensitive financial data grows, so does the importance of robust cybersecurity. CFOs must make critical decisions regarding data security measures to safeguard against cyber threats and ensure compliance with evolving regulations.

Investing in Advanced Analytics:

●       In 2024, CFOs must prioritise investments in advanced analytics tools. Leveraging predictive and prescriptive analytics can provide valuable insights, aiding in better decision-making and strategic planning.

Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):

●       The strategic use of AI and ML in financial planning and analysis can automate routine tasks, identify patterns, and predict future trends. CFOs must decide on the extent of AI and ML integration to streamline processes and enhance forecasting accuracy.

Fostering Cross-Department Collaboration:

●       Connected planning is not confined to the finance department alone. CFOs should encourage collaboration across departments by integrating data from various sources. This decision facilitates a holistic approach to decision-making, aligning financial goals with broader organisational objectives.

Embracing Real-Time Reporting:

●       In the digital age, the importance of real-time data cannot be overstated. CFOs must decide on adopting technologies that enable real-time reporting, allowing for agile responses to market changes and immediate insights into financial performance.

Prioritising Scenario Planning:

●       The unpredictability of the business environment necessitates a focus on scenario planning. CFOs must decide on incorporating scenario modelling into their connected planning processes, enabling them to evaluate the potential impact of various economic, operational, and market scenarios.

Balancing Automation and Human Expertise:

●       Automation is crucial for efficiency, but human expertise remains irreplaceable. CFOs need to balance leveraging automation for routine tasks and preserving the strategic input of finance professionals in decision-making processes.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance:

●       Regulatory landscapes are continually evolving, requiring CFOs to make decisions on compliance measures within their connected planning frameworks. Staying abreast of regulatory changes and implementing necessary adjustments is paramount to avoid legal complications.

Investing in Employee Training:

●       Connected planning tools are only as effective as the people using them. CFOs should invest in comprehensive training programs to ensure that their finance teams are well-equipped to leverage the full potential of connected planning technologies.

 

As CFOs navigate the complex financial terrain of 2024, their decisions regarding connected planning will play a pivotal role in shaping the success and resilience of their organisations. From embracing cutting-edge technologies to fostering a culture of collaboration, each decision contributes to the agility and foresight required for sustainable financial management in the years to come.

 

Let’s understand it with an example with Anaplan: Optimising Supply Chain at ABC Manufacturing.

 

To bring the concept of connected planning into sharper focus, let’s examine a real-life example featuring Anaplan, a leading connected planning platform. In this scenario, ABC Manufacturing, a global player in the electronics industry, leveraged Anaplan to revolutionise its supply chain operations.

 

Decision 1: Cloud-Based Connected Planning Platform

ABC Manufacturing’s CFO, John Anderson, recognised the need for a unified planning platform to streamline the company’s supply chain processes. He decided to implement Anaplan, a cloud-based connected planning platform, to break down silos and enable real-time collaboration among different departments involved in the supply chain.

Outcome:

Implementing Anaplan facilitated seamless data sharing between ABC Manufacturing’s procurement, production, and distribution teams. With a centralised platform, the finance team could easily collaborate with operational counterparts, breaking down information barriers that previously hindered effective decision-making.

 

Decision 2: Real-Time Reporting Implementation

John Anderson and his team opted to utilise Anaplan’s real-time reporting capabilities. This decision allowed ABC Manufacturing to monitor key supply chain metrics in real-time, such as inventory levels, production efficiency, and delivery timelines.

Outcome:

Armed with up-to-the-minute data, the finance team could promptly identify bottlenecks and potential disruptions in the supply chain. This real-time visibility empowered ABC Manufacturing to make data-driven decisions, optimise inventory levels, and reduce lead times, ultimately improving overall operational efficiency.

 

Decision 3: Scenario Planning for Market Volatility

Given the volatility in global markets, John decided to implement scenario planning within Anaplan. This allowed ABC Manufacturing to model various supply chain scenarios, such as sudden changes in demand, supply chain disruptions, or shifts in raw material costs.

Outcome:

During a period of unexpected supply chain disruptions caused by geopolitical events, ABC Manufacturing used Anaplan to simulate the impact on production schedules and identify alternative sourcing strategies. The ability to run these scenarios in real-time enabled the company to proactively adjust its supply chain strategies, minimising the financial impact of external disruptions.

 

In summary, ABC Manufacturing’s strategic decision to adopt Anaplan for connected planning enhanced collaboration and real-time decision-making and fortified the company’s ability to navigate and adapt to the uncertainties inherent in the global supply chain landscape.

 

This example illustrates the transformative power of connected planning platforms like Anaplan in shaping the financial strategies of CFOs in today’s dynamic business environment.

Seeking more information? Let’s connect to discuss your connected planning for 2024 approach here: https://aksharconsulting.co.uk/service/connected-planning/

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