Specialised software planning systems have been available since the late 1960s. Back then, computer power and the applications that ran on them were expensive and were not widely used. However, as computer technology advanced, computer time-sharing bureaus appeared that were able to offer sophisticated solutions (at the time) that were relatively inexpensive to rent and fairly simple to set up. The software was maintained and hosted by a service bureau, with the companies accessing and using the programs from a computer terminal via a dial-up telephone link—nothing else was needed. (Today’s cloud-based solutions are nothing new. It is just that the technology has become faster, more reliable, more powerful, and cheaper.)

During the 1970s and 1980s, the cost of computing continued to drop, which allowed organisations to develop their own internal information technology (IT) capabilities that were often cheaper than the cost of using a bureau. As a consequence, organisations started to purchase software and hardware in order to bring those bureau-based applications in-house. To meet this new demand, many of the existing planning and reporting products were converted to run on-premise, first on mainframes, then mini computers, and then onto networked micros. The continued fall in price of hardware and software along with the awareness of the new planning technologies greatly ...

Get Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning In Uncertain Times now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.