How Cloud Computing Has Driven the Growth of Corporate Performance Management Software

Submitted By Jeff Nevil July 25, 2014

There was a time when the complex needs of a global multinational would be assessed and analyst through incredibly powerful but demanding bespoke software that would cost a small fortune to run. Teams of on site developers would be forever working on these intricate and resource hungry corporate performance management (CPM) systems to get everything working as it should whilst senior management kept on ploughing the budget into its upkeep. Why were they doing this? Because a properly implemented CPM software solution can be an incredibly powerful tool indeed.

Of course when you’re Coca Cola or American Express justifying the phenomenal expense and resources required by such a system boils down to whether it can save or even make you money in the longer term. And in many instances, the software would do just that. For all its demands on an organization’s resources (be they human or capital) the outcome was that its clever number crunching ultimately found insights that would never otherwise have been so clearly identifiable. Such insight shaving just 1% off the annual expenses of a major international conglomerate is very valuable insight indeed, and the CPM software implementation would therefore have earned its place in the company hierarchy and in the hearts of the shareholders whose pockets it had helped to further line.

Fast forward to today and the wide ranging abilities of corporate performance management software, such as those provided by Adaptive Insights, have become more accessible to businesses lower down the food chain. Where once such powerful tools were restricted to only the biggest players in an industry, the explosion in recent years in cloud computing capabilities and the rise of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has seen CPM software become a more readily available solution for more modestly sized enterprises.

Utilizing Cloud Power

One of the most commonly cited advantages to moving software into the cloud is the dedicated processing power that can be shared with users. With big data comes big demands and often the biggest restriction placed upon a company’s usage of powerful analytical software is the lack of necessary computing power in house. Digging through the volumes of data necessary to thoroughly analyze and assess the required information can be incredibly resource intensive, and requires significantly more processing power than your average desktop PC.

When you’re utilizing dedicated hardware offsite to process your complex analytical tasks you’re saving on the costs of purchasing and maintaining your own hardware for the job. Depending on an organization’s needs, often times such hardware can be underutilized, making its high cost more difficult to justify. By using software in the cloud you get to use the high powered high capacity hardware of your software provider as and when you need it.

Round the Clock Access from Anywhere

Another major benefit to cloud based software, of all varieties, is the ease of access, anytime, anywhere. We’ve become accustomed to being able to log in to all manner of online accounts no matter where we may be at the time, from email to online banking, and it is generally accepted that being away from your desk is no barrier to accessing all your data. However it’s important to remember this wasn’t always the way of the world and it is a relatively recent phenomenon that at-your-fingertips access to the multitude of accounts and profiles we use daily has become the norm. So whilst it might not seem particularly out of the ordinary being able to monitor any number of key data streams from your organization whilst you’re sunning yourself on a beach in a faraway exotic land, it should not be overlooked as a major factor in the success of cloud based CPM software.

The Rise of the SaaS Model

Software as a Service has grown rapidly as a model for delivery of software to businesses and home users alike, and it is currently estimated to be worth over $20 billion to the software industry according to a report by PwC. As demand for SaaS applications increases year on year more and more businesses are finding their access to high end corporate software systems has become a reality. Instead of forking out for a complex bespoke software implementation that would be beyond the reach of most small to medium sized businesses, Software as a Service has enabled organizations to pick and choose the precise modules they can utilize and benefit from, without paying for anything extraneous on top.

Because every business is different, what works for one company won’t necessarily work for the next and that’s why there is a need to allow organizations to select the precise metrics and data streams that will provide insight to them. So whilst a global logistics operator may require feeds on cargo figures, capacity and timescales, a retail chain may be more concerned with analyzing data based on sales figures, revenue forecasts and HR records. By giving a company the flexibility to take the exact data that’s useful and relevant to them, the cost can be reduced, which in turn makes it more accessible to smaller companies with big ideas.

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Jeff Nevil

Jeff Nevil

Content Writer, Interested in Saving money, Traveling, Current Affairs, Rising Technology & Improving B2B Business
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