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Strategic Cloud Finance Planning and Sophisticated Business Intelligence Applications Take Center Stage in 2012

Leading SaaS CPM Company Host Analytics Offers Predictions for Finance (January 04, 2012)

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/04/12 -- A new year brings new opportunities for businesses to excel, as long as they have the right tools to do so. One of the longstanding barriers to business success, however, is dealing with increasingly unpredictable economic conditions. Some companies have begun to turn to financial planning to combat the uncertainty and enable better business success.

In fact, a recent survey by Dimensional Research explored the correlation between strategic financial planning and business success, with 72 percent of businesses surveyed reporting better business results through financial planning. However, the survey also found that sophisticated financial planning capabilities that can drive business results are still lacking in many organizations.

Financial planning will play an important role for businesses in the new year, as well as many other factors. The following is a list of the top predictions for businesses around financial initiatives in 2012, compiled by Host Analytics, the leading provider of SaaS corporate performance management (CPM) solutions.

Top Predictions and Themes for Finance in 2012

1. The Cloud CFO: A modern breed of CFO to bring finance to the cloud for larger and mid-size enterprises.

The role of CFO will become more strategic than ever before through the adoption of cloud computing. Finance departments from the world's largest global organizations will reap the benefits as they catch up with mid-market businesses and enterprises already integrating the cloud into their strategic financial processes.

Next year's business climate will push corporate finance and CFOs to take on more important responsibilities in planning and decision support for potential risks and opportunities. This trend has already begun. Sixty-four percent of businesses revealed that the CFO is more likely to be involved in strategy discussions now versus five years ago, according to Dimensional Research.

Organizations, large and small, will struggle to deliver business advantage if they are not enabled with the tools and processes to conduct strategic financial planning and analysis.

2. Financial Landmines: Financial missteps to have greater consequences.

Economic uncertainty and the clock speed of business will continue to accelerate in 2012. The penalties associated with the risks of missteps will increase greatly, leading to a constant struggle for companies to keep up with their accelerated pace.

Planning for the future and anticipating alternate decisions depending on the potential business drivers in the economy will not only be a necessary evil, it will be a main driver for all companies. The most successful companies will blend self-reflection of internal operations with external benchmarks and economic indicators to better anticipate the volatile swings in the economy and use advanced planning techniques to monetize those risks and rewards.

3. Business Introspection: More business self-reflection with business intelligence applications.

As businesses begin to realize the necessity to plan for future/alternate decisions based on business drivers, the need for business applications that shed light on their inner workings will greatly increase. Interest in and innovation around finance and business intelligence technologies will surge, especially as more vendors offer their solutions via the cloud.

Business users will be more comfortable consuming applications as services, if one of the main drivers is business agility -- because the cloud means data and applications are always available and up to date. Cloud finance and business intelligence applications will significantly increase the performance of organizations.

Relevant Links
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About Host Analytics
The Host Analytics Decision Platform™ reveals the full implications of decisions -- both risk and reward. As the industry's first cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) suite, Host Analytics improves budgeting, forecasting, financial consolidations, dashboarding, scorecarding, reporting and analysis to drive fact-based decisions for finance executives. Host Analytics serves midsize to large customer organizations including AT&T, NexTag, Crocs, Thule, Otis Spunkmeyer, Schumacher and Red Roof Inn. Founded in 2000, Host Analytics has received industry recognition including JMP Securities' Hot 100: The Best Privately Held Software Companies, AlwaysOn OnDemand 100, AlwaysOn Global 250, the Ventana Research Leadership Award, the Editors' Choice Award From TechWeb's Intelligent Enterprise and the Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Startup Award.

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Dave Struzzi
Kulesa Faul for Host Analytics
(212) 228-7972
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