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Oliver Wight Blog

IBP predictions for 2019

19 December 2018

With 2018 drawing to a close, here at Oliver Wight we have taken on board the challenges faced by companies globally over the past 12 months. After a turbulent year worldwide, we don’t doubt that next year will also throw a few surprises. With this in mind our Partners in Asia Pacific offer their Integrated Business Planning (IBP) predictions for 2019 and insights into how businesses’ can transform themselves in the case of any eventuality.

Uncertainty covered!
Companies that have robust IBP processes, that enable effective scenario planning, will be more agile in responding to uncertainty in the global trading environment (Brexit, sanctions and trade wars).

People and behaviours are fundamental
Successful implementation of IBP will still require a strong emphasis on people and behaviours, despite the temptation to install tools as the key solution. Needless to say, tools will continue to improve offering tremendous opportunities, but the fundamentals of data integrity, knowledgeable, engaged people and processes remain essential if the value that tools offer is to be realised.

Emphasis on process sustainability
Organisations that have not invested in the sustainability of their IBP process through the application of policies, procedures, education, role descriptions, ongoing communication plans, process critiques and robust appraisal methodology will find senior management turnover negatively impacting the IBP process and overall business performance. For more on Process Sustainability read our white paper here.

Influence of new technology
Advanced technology, such as use of machine learning, will begin to reshape decision making processes. The future will be a world where business analysts in control towers work with alerts, models and drive decision making at an executive level. This will require new approaches to IBP. Leading organisations will begin to transition to this technology supported by Enterprise Business Planning (EBP), but will need to ensure that their existing IBP process is sufficiently robust first.

Functional integration
People plans will become increasingly integrated with other functional plans across many organisations. For example, HR will play an increasing role in the IBP process. The accelerating adoption of technology for workforce planning, and Learning Management Systems (LMS) has the potential to make ‘people plans’ more accessible, enabling any lack of integration with the IBP plan to be more easily detected.

Data for decision making
Organisations will increasingly seek to use data received from transactional systems, available from their supply chain partners, and that can be obtained from IoT, to support decision making through their IBP process. The most successful companies will move from a focus on “doing” data analytics using “data lakes” to a focus on having a clear understanding on the strategic questions they need to answer. This will also include the ideas they want to test, ensuring that decision makers in the business understand the information being derived from data analytics.

Inexperienced consultancies
As IBP adoption continues to grow, more consulting companies, with low understanding and practical experience of implementing and using IBP, will try to cash in on the increasing market. Be careful who you work with!

Contributors: Stuart Harman, Don Harding, Rod Hozack & Mike Reed