Most SMEs Are Missing Out on EPM Benefits

Enterprise performance management (EPM) systems include strategic, operational, and financial-planning capabilities, along with financial reporting and analytics. In these times of continuing economic uncertainty, EPM systems can provide business leaders with rapid insights into how the business is performing and identify appropriate courses of action. However, our data show many data leaders in small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) view EPM systems as complex and appropriate only for large organizations.

To date, only 40 percent of SMEs have adopted EPM, and adoption appears to have stalled in recent years. SMEs that have not yet adopted EPM do not view it as a priority and either are deferring its deployment or ignoring it all together. Yet SMEs that implement EPM systems report good success levels that broadly look similar to the levels achieved by peers in larger organizations. This success by SMEs shows that EPM is not just for large organizations; by ignoring it, most SMEs miss the benefits that EPM delivers.

Data leaders in SMEs should not consign EPM to the “too complex, not relevant to us” bucket. Instead, they should emulate the success of SMEs that have deployed EPM. SMEs should focus on the core EPM capabilities identified in this research to avoid functional bloat. They also should leverage cloud deployments to keep technical footprints lightweight. Data leaders should work with their Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICCs) and key users in the finance function to develop focused, low-risk EPM projects.

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