Analyst Report

Dresner Advisory - Enterprise Planning Market Study 2018

Wisdom of Crowds® Enterprise Performance Management

The Wisdom of Crowds® Enterprise Planning Market Study provides a wealth of information and analysis—offering value to both consumers and producers of enterprise planning technology and services. Dresner analyzed vendor responses related to the functional and architectural capabilities of their products, assessing the following capabilities:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Operational Planning
  • Planning & Budgeting Process Support
  • Planning & Modeling Capabilities
  • Technical Architecture


Using their trademark 33-criteria vendor performance measurement system, the research provides key insights into enterprise software supplier performance to:

  • Enable comparisons of current vendor performance to industry norms
  • Assist with the Identification and selection of new vendors


Those criteria cover several capabilities and performances, such as:

  • Sales/Acquisition Experience (e.g. product knowledge; follow-up after the sales; etc.)
  • Value for Price Paid
  • Quality and Usefulness of Product (e.g. completeness of functionality; scalability; etc.)
  • Quality of Technical Support (e.g. responsiveness; time to resolve problems; etc.)
  • Quality and Value of Consulting Services (experience, continuity, etc.)
  • Whether the vendor is recommended
  • Vendor Integrity


According to Dresner Advisory Services,

In its first year of inclusion, Board International’s scores are generally above the overall sample, and it is an Overall Leader in both Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility Models. It has a perfect recommend score.”

Scope of the research

The 2018 survey base provides a cross-section of data across geographies, functions, organization sizes, and vertical industries. 75% percent of respondents work at North America-based organizations, EMEA accounts for about 18% of respondents, and the remainder are distributed across Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Finance is the function most represented among respondents, with 36% of the sample. Executive Management follows with 23%, while IT drops to 19% percent (down from 29% in the 2017 study). The BI Competency Centers, R&D, Operations (which includes manufacturing, supply chain, and services), Sales & Marketing and Strategic Planning are the next most represented.

Participation in the sample base is balanced across organizations of different sizes, from small to large organizations (>1,000 employees).

Main results

Compared to previous years, the 2018 study shows a significant increase in organizations that currently use enterprise planning software. The percentage of respondents currently evaluating enterprise planning software continues to increase steadily. End-user organizations need to focus on implementing enterprise planning best practices and expanding user adoption.

Respondents that report into the Finance function clearly have greater involvement in an organization’s use of enterprise planning. This data confirms that the Finance function is the key driver of enterprise planning initiatives. However, Dresner research also shows that enterprise planning is very much on the radar of Executive Management and Operations (which includes manufacturing, supply chain, and services). Consequently, there is a risk that IT staff may underestimate the importance of enterprise planning in their organization based on their own perceptions rather than those of Finance, Executive Management, and other business leaders.

Organizations deploying enterprise planning software should, therefore, ensure that the Finance function plays a key role in any such initiative, but should be encouraged to work with line-of-business leaders from other functions that also use these solutions. This will help prevent a siloed and fragmented approach to enterprise planning.

Among the most important Enterprise Planning Initiatives, annual financial budgets remain at the top of the list. However, respondents also view rolling forecasts as important. The study data indicates that many organizations currently use rolling forecasts to augment rather than replace annual financial budgets. Furthermore, Dresner recognized two new initiatives: driver-based budgeting/planning and zero-based budgeting

Finally, a major shift occurred in the 2018 study with SaaS becoming the most important deployment option overall for enterprise planning software.


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