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How Will Budgeting & Planning Software Work in the Cloud?

Answers

Doug Neeper
Title: FP&A - making better decisions
Company: DFN Consulting
(FP&A - making better decisions, DFN Consulting) |

In the 'typical' excel driven budget, you create a template, distribute the template, business units / departments fill out the template and send the templates back to corporate, you consolidate the templates to produce financials.

If you use a budget system resident on your own servers, the budget process can be very excel-like.

If your using a budget system, again, resident on your own server, but 'web-based', you develop a 'template' to collect the data, publish the template to your intranet, business units / departments access and populate the template, push the 'upload' button and the 'template' is 'sucked' into your server and consolidated with other submissions. You use this data collection means for creating consolidated financials.

Budget software in the 'cloud' works exactly the same as the budget software on your own server, its just the data resides off company premises in the 'server farm' of someone offering cloud / budgeting services. I understand concerns about keeping your data off company premises, but cloud / SaaS budget service providers have more than adequate protections in place to guard again evil doers.

Steve Player
Title: Program Director
Company: Beyond Budgeting Round Table
(Program Director, Beyond Budgeting Round Table) |

The answer to your question is it works very well in the cloud when you use a cloud based planning vendor. Proformative has featured many of these including Adaptive Planning and Host Analytics. You can view past events or go directly to their websites for demos. They are ready and waiting for your questions on security and keeping your data safe as they get them all the time.

We are aware of at least five other cloud based planning vendors that have also launched so your choices are expanding.

David Monroe
Title: Managing Consultant
Company: NextStage Consultants, LLC
(Managing Consultant, NextStage Consultants, LLC) |

Both Doug and Steve hit on the same points -- basically, web-based budgeting software is here to stay, and if Adaptive Planning is any indication, they are robust, user-friendly, economical and efficient, and are constantly adding more management-decision making features. The primary differences between a corporate server based budgeting system and one hosted on the cloud is: 1) You are renting the systems with low annual fees vs a one-time large expenditure to own the software, and 2) you get seamless and constant updates when using the cloud-based system whereas you would have to implement each update on your server-based system which could be disruptive, time-consuming, and potentially causing unwanted impacts to the budgets already on the system. So, you need to analyze the annual rental costs and automatic updates versus the cost of acquiring and maintaining your own software.

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