One of the UK's largest construction companies, Taylor Wimpey (TW), has opted for a cloud-based tool to fulfil its long-term financial planning requirements.

TW selected Anaplan, a cloud based financial planning tool, which it implemented during a major IT infrastructure refresh the company was carrying out at the same time.

Anaplan is used by the group to carry out its annual budget forecast, which takes place every year in October over a six to 8 week period, and allows financial directors to assess TW's key performance metrics for the next four year period.

Prior to using the software-as-a-service tool, TW was using a complex mesh of spreadsheets that were dispersed across twenty UK business units, which accounted for the equivalent of 80,000 stock keeping units (each stock unit being a physical house the company is planning to build).

Computerworld UK spoke to David Nicholson, Taylor Wimpey's business systems manager, about why the company chose the cloud instead of on-premise.

"When we appraised the separate vendor offerings we tried to keep it very much on a functionality footing - how close a fit was the functionality to our business requirements?" he said.

"What we found was that there wasn't a huge difference between all the parties on this basis. So, as a team we though started to consider some of the non-functional aspects, such as deployment times, ongoing cost of ownership, support, ease of change etc."

He added: "It was when we started bringing these considerations to the front that we favoured Anaplan. When you start to look at on-premise the costs start to rise - particularly in terms of having to buy the hardware to host it."

For an in-depth analysis on Taylor Wimpey's implementation and the challenges that faced Nicholson and his team, click here.