The purpose of business planning is not simply to create a plan — it is to make better decisions. Planning and budgeting software should make the process faster, more agile, less burdensome and more intelligent so that managers can make better decisions more consistently. Since the early 2000s, Ventana Research has advocated using a dedicated application to increase the business value of planning and budgeting. In 2008, we first articulated a new vision of using a planning software platform to improve the business value of corporate budgeting. This approach allows business units to plan the way that best serves their needs while enabling the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) group to integrate their plans to construct a unified operating plan and budget. This idea has since been widely embraced by software vendors and increasingly adopted by organizations. Our Value Index methodology assesses the ability of specific applications to achieve this vision.