Continuing our discussion on Integrated Business planning from the previous blog Part 3 in the IBP for high tech series – Integrating Financial planning with Sales & Operations planning , let’s now examine the technical capabilities required to support the business requirements for IBP.
Technology advancements are driving evolution of IBP like what we experienced in the past as industry matured from MRP to ERP to Advanced Planning. Integrated Business Planning is continuation of the trend. Having said that, old technology won’t be able to support the required capabilities. As you will find below, it requires next generation technology platform like HANA to deliver these capabilities.
Integration from Strategy to Execution: IBP is expanding the scope of the integration within and beyond the enterprise. IBP integrates strategy and execution. Upstream it integrates strategy with the tactical planning by integrating finance plan, product portfolio planning, supply chain strategic plans etc. On the downstream side it connects tactical planning with response and execution to build the foundation for a real-time enterprise. Just moving to a faster and better planning systems alone, disconnected from monitoring and execution will constrain high tech organizations in dealing with the volatility in the market place.
Real-time: IBP enables companies to run business in real-time. It requires ability to monitor business performance in real-time, get insight with analytics and predictive analytics in real-time. Ability to run what-if analysis, simulations and compare scenarios to respond to the changes on the fly is critical. Mobility has added another dimension to real time. With Mobility world has not only moved to information availability anywhere but also anytime.
Internal and External Collaboration: Ability to collaborate easily has been a constraint in the adoption of the traditional S&OP. Main purpose of IBP is to support decisions-making process to balance conflicting objectives collaboratively internally and in the extended enterprise. Thus, it’s very critical to have consumer grade collaboration capabilities like Facebook to increase the adoption and effectiveness of IBP. With the increasing complexity of the suppliers and partner network batch-oriented point-to-point communication is not enough. Business network provides intelligent and real-time collaboration platform to orchestrate response and operations in the extended enterprise.
Predictive Analytics: Responsiveness to changes in the market conditions is the key to win in highly volatile market. It means making better decisions faster. It requires ability to analyze trends and predict the future in the short-term. Traditional forecasting models are not enough. High Tech companies need ability to predict and sense demand at a location, not one month in advance but next week or next day.
High Performance: IBP requires massive data crunching on-demand and in real-time. High performance computing platform is not the requirement but the driver of IBP.
Consumer Grade User Interface: Finally, it’s all comes down to the adoption of the technology. IBP has broad user-base from non-technical senior executives to planners to operations folks. Having intuitive and familiar user interface is prerequisite for all users – dashboards and drill-down analytics for senior executives, Excel for planners, Facebook like collaboration, alerts, notifications and mobile applications.
In the next part of our continuing series on IBP, we will talk about roadmap considerations for IBP!
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