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What a Maturing EPM Market Means for SMEs

The most recent Dresner Advisory Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Market Study shows evidence of increased market maturity for EPM software. First, overall adoption increased, with 55 percent of respondents using or evaluating EPM software. At the same time, deployments of EPM software in organizations of all sizes shifted from smaller departmental deployments to more enterprise-level implementations. Vendors of EPM software also now provide a wide range of functional capabilities that meet or exceed the priorities of most organizations.

This increased market maturity will impact small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). Vendors will shift more focus to SMEs, which report lower EPM software penetration than larger organizations.
However, the SME market segment is not homogenous. Some vendors and implementers may simply try to repeat their EPM successes with larger organizations in the SME space. We believe such an approach introduces risk to vendors and implementers and likely will neither deliver intended results nor serve the needs and interests of SMEs.

IT professionals in SMEs supporting EPM deployments need to ensure they thoughtfully navigate this maturing market, while vendors of EPM software need to ensure they build appropriate go-to-market strategies designed specifically to meet the needs of SMEs.

1. Year over year, SME EPM software adoption increased. Deployments shifted from smaller departmental implementations to more enterprise-level ones, mirroring the trend seen among larger organizations.
2. Small and mid-sized organizations have different perceptions about EPM. Small organizations tend to resist adopting EPM and have different functional priorities than mid-sized organizations. Adoption and functional priorities are more similar between mid-sized organizations and larger organizations.
3. SMEs consider cloud deployment less of a priority, indicating that EPM software vendors should move beyond simple cloud-focused messaging and positioning when targeting SMEs.

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