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The CIO's Role in Rethinking the Scope of EPM for Competitive Advantage

By 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, Enterprise Performance 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 International survey “The View from the Top,” improved enterprise performance and profitable growth were identified as one of the top three priorities of the CEO.  

Enhanced Planning and Analytics will drive profits and strategy by:

• 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
• Strengthening the alignment between financial planning and corporate strategy will be one of the CFOs Top 5 priorities going forward

 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 CIO. 

The CIO will need to play a critical role in any EPM initiative. To ensure enablement across enterprise, CIOs need 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 commented that technology will be ‘make-or-break’ when trying to enable organizational performance in the future. As the technology landscape continues to rapidly change, CIOs will need to understand some of the key contributing factors to consider as organizations shift towards fact-based – and real time – decision-making:

1. Disruptive technologies are 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 and competitors

6. Applications are becoming easier to configure and 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, CIOs will need to improve as a collaborative business partner, focus on business applications and decisions with nimble cloud solutions—while owning the digital agenda and technology enablement to help achieve a competitive advantage.

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