Work, like life, is difficult. But work is now being defined as an increasingly complex and convoluted process, only established and executed through massively interrelated processes, which are now increasingly digitised and subsequently compartmentalised into what the technology industry now likes to call workflows.
In something of an effort to match (and hopefully manage) this complexity, enterprise cloud company Workday has driven its finance and human resources platform forward with an extension to its Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT).
Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT)
Was that Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT) there? Well, yes, it is a technology term used to describe the company’s own modelling engine used to drive Workday Adaptive Planning – a sort of platform-within-a-platform offering the coalesces financial planning, workforce planning and operational planning into a set of AI & ML-infused functions to automate and streamline plans, budgets and forecasts. It also helps organisations align headcount, sales and operational plans – so it’s all about doing work rather than doing planning work to do work.
What does ‘complex’ planning entail then?
According to Workday, today’s economic uncertainty, market volatility and heightened competitive landscape mean planning teams must analyse and report on massive datasets while accounting for a vast number of scenarios.
In agreement with this proposition, Workday customers say that they now need to analyse exceptionally high volumes of data across, through and within multiple dimensions i.e. they need to assess the importance of operational data in different contexts, in relation to different goals and targets, through different data filters to extract key values and from within the requirements of an increasing number of applications. Oh, yes… and that’s all for a growing number of users (you could say ‘stakeholders’ if you want to stay within the confines of management-speak parlance) and all at an increasing speed, often in real-time. That’s complex planning, put simply.
Users report that Workday Elastic Hypercube Technology (or EHT) has helped them gain employee-level visibility and enabled them to simplify monthly plan-to-actuals (a financial forecasting term used to how a businesses measures predictions against real-world results) variance analysis, saving time and driving faster analysis decision-making.
The next generation EHT in Workday Adaptive Planning is enhanced with new embedded AI and performance improvements that calculate complex models by adding memory and compute power as needed, resulting in dynamic, automatic scaling. This new technology is designed to support even the most complex multi-dimensional planning requirements and a high level of concurrent users, without sacrificing speed or performance.
“We transitioned from hundreds of manual spreadsheets in favor of a more flexible configuration on Workday Adaptive Planning, effectively eliminating our reliance on datasets that were disconnected from each other, which came with extra costs to administrate,” said Jeremy McCann, manager of enterprise workforce planning, Boeing. “With the latest EHT innovations, we now feel more confident that we have the processes and visibility required to build the right workforce to execute on our long-term business strategy.”
With the next generation EHT, Workday Adaptive Planning customers will experience optimised speed and performance. Reports, dashboards, and sheets are designed to open quickly, without any performance degradation, including for very large, multi-dimensional views. Embedded AI in EHT will anticipate and compute calculations based on past behaviours and inspect the overall model to identify empty data cells where analysis is not required.
Let’s plan a planning plan
“For many organizations, the ability to quickly model and understand implications of business decisions and disruptions is more important than ever before,” said Dennis Yen, general manager of Workday Adaptive Planning, Workday. “With our continued EHT innovations – including adding to the solution’s existing AI and ML functionality – Workday Adaptive Planning is helping more than 6,000 companies take control and plan proactively for their futures by providing continuous planning, company-wide planning, deeper insights and the ability to adapt and perform at scale.”
Also here we find higher user concurrency support. With increased scalability, more users have access to the platform concurrently to accommodate the growing number of financial, human resources, and business users engaged with an organisation’s planning process.
Work is certainly getting more complex, but the complexity of our workforce workflow and work systems technology is also escalating to match (and hopefully serve) these increased challenges and goals.
Free image use: Wikimedia Commons