Leaders face many challenges in making the right decisions quickly, especially when the unpredictable becomes a reality. The first challenge is everything is constantly changing. Strategic and operational plans are out of date as soon as they are created. It is difficult to keep pace with the volatility and uncertainty in the business and global environment. In addition to managing change, another challenge in decision-making is the reality that there is never enough time. Leaders encounter ever-shortening business cycles and reduced windows of time between planning and action. Everyone is being asked to do more with less and it can be difficult to involve the right people, at the right time, and in the right ways to make the best decisions. In the past, organizations may not have had reliable sources of data to evaluate when making decisions. Now, business leaders must sort through the vast amounts of available data. Leaders can find it challenging to make sense of it all. Data is coming from everywhere and in great quantities. It can be difficult to know which data to trust and how to use the information to make the best decisions. An organization's business strategy has been clearly defined. Leadership knows the direction the organization is headed. Strategy answers, "Where are we going?" The organization has invested in operational execution. The business functions know the day-to-day tasks and actions to take. Execution answers, "What actions do we take?" How can you connect the actions with the strategic direction? Planning bridges the gap between execution and strategy. Planning helps determine how the organization can best get to where they want to go. Planning answers, "How do we get there?" Traditional, or legacy, planning approaches haven't changed much over the past 30 years, and are not sufficient to meet the demands of modern business. Traditional planning processes can't keep pace with the rate of change that is happening. Planning activities may be done infrequently and involve hours of manual labor to complete. Another issue with traditional planning approaches is that they often do not involve the right people. Organizational planning may only involve select experts with specialized skills, which limits widespread participation with all stakeholders. Traditional planning processes are reliant on historic, and even flawed, data from piles of spreadsheets or single-point solution software - technology that is insufficient, error-prone, and insecure. Legacy software used for planning technology also has not changed much in the last 30 years, other than being moved from on-premise technology to cloud-based hosting. Organizations using these out-of-date technology solutions may have: costly maintenance for server and storage hardware and software licenses; continued dependence on there IT departments for maintaining, upgrades, enhancements, and versions; lack of speed-to-value with the technology implementation involving multiple-year deployments or costly investments; and limited connectivity with siloed point solutions or spreadsheets. There must be a better way! The ideal state of planning has three major characteristics. It is dynamic, which means that planning can be done all the time and is made easy by leveraging the latest technologies. It is collaborative. It is designed for ease-of-use and widespread involvement. You do not need to be a coder or a trained planner to use it. The learning curve is low and the accessibility is high. It is Intelligent. It leverages the latest predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies. It accommodates both historic data and real-time information. By infusing technology-aided predictions, users can focus on higher-value tasks and rest assured that the data is continually synced, up-to-date, and secure. Errors become a thing of the past and insights grow exponentially. Connected Planning is dynamic. This means decisions can be made in near real-time. Planning can be responsive to market changes, or even anticipate the changes. Connected Planning allows business leaders to be flexible and move faster than ever before. It is dynamic and reduces the time spent for planning, analysis, and reporting. Connected Planning is collaborative. Using a Connected Planning platform, planning is networked, inclusive, distributed, and accessible. Planning can be done at a granular level, or scale up decisions across an enterprise, or even the business ecosystem. Connected Planning is intelligent. This means it facilitates solutions that are self-learning, insightful, and predictive. Intelligent planning moves an organization beyond spreadsheets, error-prone version management, and out-of-date data. Connected Planning applies predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to an organization's data to create both a current- and future-vision. The vision of Connected Planning is a network that supports all planning for all people. Business today is connected by its very nature, but plans all too often are not connected. Why? Many organizations do not have the foundations they need to be efficient and effective in connecting all those people, plans, and data. Connected Planning means joining together people, plans and data. It can be connecting within a particular use case, within a line of business, across business functions, across an enterprise, or even across an ecosystem. The more connected an organization becomes, the more value they gain. That value is realized as people across the organization use the Connected Planning solution to move from strategy to execution with dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent plans.