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2017 predictions in financial and corporate performance management

It's that time of year again! Finance teams are putting the finishing touches on next year's corporate budgets and teams are likely looking back on 2016 to see what to change or improve in the year ahead.

Here at Vena, we're making our annual predictions in finance and corporate performance management for 2017. We pulled the predictions after countless conversations with customers, partners, industry analysts and more. Buckle your seatbelts, I'm sure 2017 will be a wild ride!

1. Spreadsheets Get Sexy Again
Accountants have been using spreadsheets -- in their purest form -- for literally hundreds of years. The first computerized spreadsheet for business accounting was born in the 1960s, and today Excel reigns as the undisputed king of business software.

Recent years have brought with them cries of Excel's demise, but they couldn't be more unfounded. In fact, more than 90 percent of finance departments will rely heavily on Excel for mission-critical functions, from automated budgeting to account reconciliations in 2017 - and that includes small/mid-sized organizations through to global enterprises.

Even vendors who have spent the last decade disparaging Excel are reversing course to embrace the world's most intuitive, powerful and popular spreadsheet software.

Long live Excel!

2. Mega-Vendors Lose More Market Share to Innovative, Quick Time-to-Value (Cloud) Vendors
The benefits of cloud computing - security, scalability, accessibility, etc. - have been proven beyond a doubt. It's not surprising that the cloud has become a mainstay in finance, IT and operational departments worldwide. Indeed, 93 percent of businesses are already using cloud technology in some form today.

While Oracle, SAP and other mega-vendors continue their slow migration to cloud software delivery, their customers remain months or quarters away from being able to implement or migrate to cloud solutions.

In 2017, forward-thinking finance departments will increasingly look to more nimble technology innovators to replace or complement their mega-vendor solutions.

Remember the days when you couldn't get fired for hiring IBM? Neither do today's most innovative finance leaders.

3. Finance Teams Own Their Technology (Not Beholden to IT)
Until recently, finance leaders have had to rely on IT teams for even the simplest financial queries or reporting changes. 2017 will see finance leaders seeking to own their software completely, no longer relying on IT for everything from initial installation to customization.

Given the ease in deploying cloud solutions that work today, it's easier than ever to circumvent IT in picking the right solutions for your business. Going forward, finance applications will be increasingly built for business users; not IT administrators.

What are your predictions? I'd love to hear from you, please add your thoughts in the comments below.

More Stories By Don Mal

As Chief Executive Officer, Don Mal executes Vena Solutions's global growth strategy, manages customer relationships and secures long-term revenue. Prior to co-founding Vena, he led the North American sales teams for Clarity Systems, an IBM Company. He then led global sales for Cognos FSR at IBM before co-founding Vena. Don holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and a Master's Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business.

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