Ease of Use the #1 Driver of BPM Software Success, Survey Finds
June 17, 2020
According to a recent survey from advisory firm BPM Partners, finance teams rank usability as the most important aspect of a business performance management solution.
The 2020 Pulse of Performance Management Survey—which polled 336 finance professionals and executives this year—examines the trends and technologies that are shaping the BPM software market. Synonymous with corporate performance management (CPM) and enterprise performance management (EPM), BPM solutions are defined in the survey as tools that “enable an organization to plan, monitor and execute on its strategy.” Modern BPM solutions encompass the full suite of FP&A processes, including budgeting, forecasting, reporting and financial consolidation.
When asked to rank key software features for FP&A on a five-point scale, “ease of use” topped the list with an average ranking of 4.57. Additionally, when asked to identify the pain points with their current budgeting systems, the top three responses were “labor-intensive,” “takes too long” and “not easy to administrate.”
Ease of use was identified as the most sought-after feature for financial consolidation too, with an average survey ranking of 4.41 out of five. The next two responses in that category were “finance ownership” (4.26) and “integration with ERP/GL” (4.14)—both of which are also reflective of a BPM solution’s usability.
As more organizations make the shift toward integrated, finance-led business planning, stakeholders need real-time access to financial insights from every business function. BPM solutions provide that holistic view because they can consolidate company-wide data automatically—ultimately empowering key stakeholders with the information they need to plan for the future and make agile, well-informed business decisions.
However, agile finance-led business planning is very hard to achieve with solutions that are difficult to operate.If financial data is stuck in disconnected source systems that cross-functional leaders can’t access or understand, they won’t be able to participate in key planning processes—such as budgeting, forecasting and reporting—alongside their finance teams. This creates planning siloes, inefficiencies and data integrity problems across the business, making it tough for FP&A leaders to plan confidently for today and tomorrow.
That’s why BPM software vendors work hard to prioritize usability.Vena Solutions, for example, is recognized as one of BPM Partners’ Core Vendors for 2020 with ease of use, flexibility and quick implementations listed as strengths. Vena earned an overall satisfaction rating of 4.62 out of five in this year’s survey, placing it among BPM’s top five vendors overall.
Vena’s key usability differentiator is its native Excel interface, which allows both finance and non-finance stakeholders to leverage a solution that's already familiar. This feature—along with Vena’s central database, collaborative workflows and seamless source system integrations—makes business planning easier and drives teamwork across the enterprise.
As integrated, finance-led business planning evolves into standard practice, the need for easy-to-use BPM solutions is only going to increase. With user-friendly tools and the agile processes in place, finance teams can plan smarter and lead their companies forward with confidence—while also ensuring the right stakeholders are always engaged in the process.