In this blog I am covering latest trends in the business performance management (BPM) market. BPM solutions in this context include software applications for business management related reporting including consolidated results, all aspects of planning (strategic, operational, driver based, zero based budgeting, etc.) and forecasting.
The empirical data used as basis for this post is based on the “Pulse Survey 2020” that was kindly authorized for usage by BPM Partners a leading, independent research specialist for BPM solutions. For the full survey results, vendors reviews, and other analyst services please contact BPM Partners: https://www.bpmpartners.com/
The overall BPM market has again seen very significant growth rates (in case of Acterys again around 400% compared to 2019), these according to the survey results, have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 situation. This also reflects the feedback that I got from 100+ client projects this year in which more clarity about future outcomes and the ability to easily simulate scenarios in particular around cash flow forecasting haven been the key motivating factors:
The survey results here show a high priority on improving management reporting followed by more effective planning processes and general decision support.
My experience confirms this as well with a very high numbers of customers still looking to replace manual spreadsheet-based processes. The very the interesting trend that I see here is, that for the majority of cases (~80%) customers prefer to move to completely new platforms e.g. self-service analytics ecosystems like Power BI rather than automating spreadsheet-based processes (despite the availability of the same core feature set in Excel in our case) particularly around automated source system integration and report updates.
The leading choice for a BI platform integration is with a 20 percentage point margin Power BI:
The reasons to integrate BPM with an analytics platform that our customers conveyed to us were:
Not too surprisingly planning is the key focus but interestingly financial reporting remains a key focus:
This is one of the most surprising outcomes of the BPM survey: Key factor for vendor selection is flexibility followed by scalability:
This exactly coincides with our experiences: the option for business users to customize the application to their process requirements and integrate it with other tools (office productivity but also more and more visualization tools and process automation platforms is becoming imperative.
The survey clearly demonstrates that BPM has again risen to one of the top priorities for senior finance and IT executives. This seems to be driven by general economic factors in particular uncertainty following a global pandemic but also technological changes like the move to cloud deployments, the dramatic rise of self-service analysis tools as well as a general focus on streamlining processes.
In a dramatic change from historic behavior, we also see IT departments taking a more prominent role focused on replacing a variety of hard to maintain disparate legacy applications (hard to maintain and integrate silo data stores) with unified solutions that utilize a single data platform.
To address these challenges, we -as always- recommend to actively compare different approaches in real life scenarios and not just rely on glossy marketing materials and promises from sales reps. Get the vendors to provide you with working prototypes and prove they can be adapted to changing requirements without the reliance on expensive external consultants and integrate swiftly with your key data sources, productivity tools and processes.