The Need Greater Planning Performance Scalability

Organizations, especially large ones, need a planning platform that can handle big, complex models without compromising user experience. Learn how Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT)—Workday’s next-generation, in-memory architectural engine for Workday Adaptive Planning—is making that possible.

With economic volatility, evolving consumer behavior, and an unsteady market, business has never been more unpredictable than it is today. The better that companies can anticipate and plan for change, the faster they can stay ahead of the competition. 

Forward-thinking finance leaders know that agility results from better planning. But outdated financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes keep organizations from achieving their full potential. Decisions take days. Silos hamper collaboration. Tedious manual tasks drain productivity. Within most companies, the planning function simply can’t keep up with today’s pace of business. 

In contrast, modern cloud planning solutions have evolved to become a strategic success lever, empowering the entire enterprise to respond to change as it happens. These solutions unlock the ability for organizations to rapidly read the environment and quickly change course—even throughout radical instability and disruption.

Not all modern planning solutions are alike, however, but one thing is certain: Businesses, especially sizable ones, require a planning platform that can handle big, multidimensional models without compromising speed of analytics and support a large number of users companywide. 

Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT)—Workday’s next-generation, in-memory architectural engine for Workday Adaptive Planning—does just that. EHT was designed from the ground up to address the growing demands on businesses as they model more complicated scenarios and support greater input from functional areas across their organization.

Large, Complex Models

To gain enhanced insight into revenue, workforce forecasts, and scenarios, many organizations are using more dimensionality in their planning models, including products, channels, regions, target buyers, skill sets, locations, and more. At the same time, greater volumes of operational data from across the organization, as well as external benchmarks, are becoming even more important for driving accurate plans. Cross-operational data (human resources, sales, marketing, project, labor, student enrollment, and other data) has become critical to ascertain the impact of plans, forecasts, and scenario analyses.

For example, consider a large, multinational organization that adjusts its product unit plan for a specific scenario due to expected market volatility. If so, then other operational data is required to understand not only the impact on revenue across different factors but also on inventory, sales workforce capacity, marketing programs, regional office demands, and other variables.     

Meanwhile, with a higher focus on utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to drive more accurate forecasts, finance departments are increasingly using new types of external datasets, such as weather data, labor statistics, marketing data, etc. 

Scale When You Need It

Collectively, these factors have made for significantly more detailed and larger planning templates and reports. Where EHT boosts value is by automatically adding memory and computing power when users need it. This enables fast response times for analytics, calculations, and data updates, ensuring planning stakeholders companywide have the information they require. It also provides for virtually unlimited dimensions and versions to drive more complex planning as well as scenario analytics.

Armed with the right planning technology, FP&A, HR, and operational teams are uniquely positioned to help their organization plan with greater multidimensional insight.

In addition, EHT allows a high number of users to access and analyze data concurrently during critical times of the year, while also providing the data and dimensional security required by individual planners. This requirement is now even more urgent as stakeholders throughout an organization have become more actively involved in enterprise planning. Take workforce planning, for example, which brings human resources (HR), finance, operations, and IT together to create workforce plans that keep pace with change.

As an added benefit for organizations that deploy the full Workday cloud platform, users can access detailed operational, transactional, and cube data (policy claims, buyer demographics, employee attributes, project detail, etc.) from Workday Accounting Center, Workday Financial Management, or Workday Human Capital Management (HCM). By doing so, users can create even more dimensions and drivers, enabling new planning possibilities and even greater ML insights and intelligent planning opportunities. 

Powerful Planning That’s Fast and Easy

As noted above, EHT is the in-memory engine for Workday Adaptive Planning. Our modern planning platform delivers a number of complementary capabilities for surviving in an ever-changing, complex environment, including:

  • Embedded ML. Automatically surface anomalies so you can make adjustments to your plan when things change.

  • Automated data integration. Easily connect to enterprise resource planning (ERP), HCM, customer relationship management (CRM), and other data sources for fast, reliable, and accurate business planning.

  • Intuitive interface and visual dashboards. Budget managers companywide can generate reports using the latest data and improve decision-making across the business.

  • World-class security. Top-tier encryption and compliance, as well as a proven multi-tenant environment, ensure that your data is always secure.

Now Is the Time to Act

Armed with the right planning technology, FP&A, HR, and operational teams are uniquely positioned to help their organization plan with greater multidimensional insight, use more effective operational data, and collaborate with more stakeholders to ensure that the business forecast is the most optimized.

A modern planning solution that supports optimized performance and scalability, with modeling intelligence and an architectural foundation for future capabilities such as AI and ML, will ensure success for all the planning complexities that any organization encounters.

Simply put, the gap separating today’s top-performing businesses from those getting left behind is growing wider—as the enterprises that plan for change accelerate and those that only react, stall.

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