business intelligence

Hybrid Planning Delivers Faster, More Reliable Business Intelligence

The digital economy is all about being agile and having the business intelligence you need to respond quickly to changing business conditions. To do that, you’ll need to dramatically increase user adoption and penetration of analytics into your business, empowering business users to make better, insight-driven decisions.

In a recent report from Forrester Consulting, they recommended that businesses desiring to achieve greater maturity in their analytics and business intelligence strategies need to focus on three key initiatives:

  • Adopting more powerful and accessible analytics-BI capabilities that are easy to implement and offer architecture flexibility while supporting high security and governance standards – a hybrid cloud.
  • Improving analytics-BI by investing in new technologies(the cloud) and exploring greater use cases – choosing what provides the highest business value at the lowest cost, effort and risk.
  • Getting buy-in across the whole organization, ideally from the top down, to drive analytics-BI investments and improvements.

However, analytics and business intelligence are not just about retrieving data; they are also enablers of change, which means they must include planning capabilities that allow you to update your projections of future results.

This is where hybrid planning comes in.

The vision for hybrid planning is to create a seamless experience for business users, so that they don’t need to worry about where data or content resides. Combining both on-premise and cloud solutions, hybrid planning connects users, applications and data so they can be shared across both platforms.

Better yet, hybrid data management allows authorized users from various lines of business to securely access relevant data from practically any location – which makes it possible for them to respond more quickly to new opportunities and challenges.

hybrid planning diagram

SAP Strategic Direction for Hybrid Planning

A few years ago SAP introduced SAP Analytics Cloud, a next-generation, best-in-class SaaS planning and analytics platform. They are now taking it to the next level by integrating it with SAP S/4HANA Cloud – creating one financial management system that combines transactions, risk management, analytics and planning. There is currently no other vendor that provides the depth and breadth of these capabilities in one integrated, fully cloud-based solution.

But, you may ask, where does SAP BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation) fit into the equation? SAP plans to integrate SAP Analytics Cloud directly with the on-premise version of SAP S/4HANA for both reporting and planning (with replication) – and you will be able to connect SAP BPC models with SAP Analytics Cloud for real-time planning to extend your business capabilities.

If you have questions about the future of SAP BPC, you can rest easy. It continues to be a key part of the SAP Analytics portfolio; specifically for those requiring an on-premise solution. If you are currently running SAP BPC (even BPC 10.x), it is still supported by SAP and can be extended using SAP Analytics Cloud – you’re not required to rebuild or re-implement in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Benefits of Adopting Hybrid Planning

Hybrid planning allows your business to take advantage of the best of both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, and can deliver significant performance gains:

  • Better business agility due to the cloud’s flexibility and self-service analytics/BI capabilities.
  • Optimized business performance thanks to rising user adoption of the tools.
  • Greater accessibility of analytical tools and reports across departments.
  • Predictive modeling within SAP Analytics Cloud can suggest a starting point for a forecast or budget.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into hybrid planning, read our Expert Brief, Delivering Faster, More Reliable Results with Hybrid Planning.

Jim Link
Jim Link
Design Consultant

Jim brings 10+ years of SAP experience to NTT DATA Business Solutions, with exposure to BPC, SEM-BCS, SEM-BPS, BW and FI/CO. Jim’s industry experience includes real estate, banking, power and utilities, and food products and he has acted in many different roles ranging from business subject matter expert to lead solution architect. A CPA by trade, Jim’s background also includes 6 years as an auditor with PwC and in financial reporting departments. Jim is active in the SAP community as an ASUG Volunteer, specifically the ASUG Enterprise Performance Management SIG Chair, BPC Influence Council Chair, and Business Process Architecture SIG Program Chair.

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