The CIO's role in rethinking the scope of EPM for competitive advantage

Ronald Seymore, Managing Director, Enterprise Performance Management Global Center of Excellence, KPMG
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Ronald Seymore, Managing Director, Enterprise Performance Management Global Center of Excellence, KPMG

Once viewed simply as a siloed initiative relegated to the finance organization, EnterprisePerformance Management (EPM) is making a big strides in the marketplace. In today’s fast-moving business and regulatory environment, EPM is a CEO-level issue that can help enable business leaders to holistically align their strategies with plans and actions that significantly impact the entire organization’s performance—resulting in a competitive advantage.

In a recent global KPMG Internationalsurvey “The View from the Top”, improved enterprise performance and profitable growth were identified as one of the top three priorities of the CEO, and they’re increasingly look to their CFOs for help.

Enhanced Planning and Analytics can help CFOs drive profits and strategy:

♦ Leveraging financial data to achieve profitable growth is the greatest strategic value a CFO can bring to an organization

♦ CEOs expecting their CFOs to take the initiative to apply financial data analysis to explore new products, markets and channels while also strengthening the alignment between financial planning and corporate strategy

♦ Leveraging IT, such as cloud-enabled ERP systems, should be the main focus of CFOs in the future, according to the CEOs surveyed

Source: 2015 KPMG Global CEO Survey “The View from the Top”

To be successful, EPM must have clear business objectives and be results-oriented to ensure its value is sustained across the organization. EPM should be business-led and enabled by technology— with the appropriate amount of collaboration among numerous stakeholders,none more important than the CFO and CIO partnership.

The CIO will need to play a critical role in any EPM initiative. To ensure enablement across enterprise, CIOsneed to focus on the shift to business technology applications, business partnering with the CFO and Operations, leveraging cloud-based solutions to improve speed and access – all while delivering with digital and mobile technology to ensure critical information is accessible to the right business partners to make key decisions in real-time.

In the KPMG survey, CEOs noted that technology will be “make-or-break” when trying to enable organizational performance in the future. Asthe technology landscape continues to rapidly change, CIOsand CFOs will need tounderstand some of the key contributing factorsto consider as organizations shift towards fact-based – and real-time – decision-making:

1. Disruptive technologiesare forcing a change in the enablement of EPM.
2. New entrants/changes in technology are lowering the cost of ownership.
3. Technology enhancements are providing new analytical capability.
4. Companies are increasingly investing in technology as infrastructure becomes more robust and cheaper.
5. Big data is providing organizations an increased ability to understand their customers/ competitors.
6. Applications are becoming easier to configure/manage.
7. Cloud-enabled EPM services are providing structured upgrade paths,assisting in avoiding costly point in time major upgrades.

As EPM has become a critical component in dynamically managing and executing business strategy and performance, CIOsand CFOs will need to act as a collaborative business partners, focusing on business applications and critical business decisions with nimble cloud solutions—while owning the digital agenda and technology enablement to help achieve a competitive advantage.

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