Planning for the future in any facet of life can be tough. After all, there can be so many variables that even the most well-developed aims effectively descend into guesswork.
However, the key to gaining a competitive advantage over any other enterprise has been found to be thorough, long-term strategic planning by Gartner.
The business insights firm maintained that 95 per cent of organisations who plan for the future on along a timeline of five years or longer are far more likely to be successful and outperform any companies that aren't doing similarly.
Long-term strategic planning
The findings come courtesy of Gartner's CEO and senior business executive survey, which collated information from 400 stakeholders working for companies with annual revenue of more than US$1 billion.
"Long-term strategic planning can lead to benefits. In the case of the outperforming companies, over 80 percent carried out planning that was very long term, and they looked even further ahead – a mean of 22 years," explained Vice President and Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice.
Consequently, getting things right in the enterprise world of today is, of course, intrinsically linked to short-term success. However, companies that wish to establish themselves going forward must be willing to address the future along timelines stretching far ahead of their current positions.
Leveraging data into the future
So, how can enterprises plan for the long-term?
Well, while the answer itself may remain a little unclear, any processes are likely to be driven by business intelligence and the leveraging of a growing pool of organisational information.
In fact, enterprise data management is now so imperative that it is a market in its own right, and one which is set to expand at an 8 per cent compound annual growth rate through to 2018, according to research collated by ReportsnReports.
While companies cannot lose sight of their objectives in the current market, those that are ready to pour insights back into business strategy on longer timelines will not only experience success in their own right, but also beat out their competition too.