A Comparison of Xirocco & EA Tools

Few IT Strategy stories can be told without inclusion of some details on mission critical applications and IT infrastructure, especially those of interest to Management Boards due to their link to the four R’s - Revenue, Reputation, Regulation and Right to play. Applications and infrastructure architecture are mainstays of Enterprise Architecture and that respect, Xirocco has a small overlap with EA tools.

While EA tools offer in-depth design, planning and business-as-usual management and maintenance of technology solutions, Xirocco focuses more on creation, presentation and continuous management of a comprehensive, articulate and interconnected IT Strategy that goes beyond technology and includes all aspects of strategy, tailored to how Management Board and executive business leaders digest such information.

If you are in the market for an EA tool and have come across Xirocco, this comparison page may be helpful in determining if Xirocco is right for you. Depending on the complexity of your technology estate, Xirocco offers a set of foundational EA features that could meet your requirements. If you have existing and significant investments in EA tools, then Xirocco can connect to them via APIs to serve as a communication and presentation layer.

EA TOOLS

EA tools help planning and managing complex IT estates through conceptual and logical diagrams of business processes, systems and information and data and their interdependencies. They perform detailed analysis, design, and implementation of IT infrastructure components and business systems. EA tools conform to one or many of the industry standard EA frameworks such as TOGAF, Zachman and ArchiMate and focus on delivering blueprints for robust and maintainable systems, application and infrastructure architectures, data architectures & data flow visualisation. Architects use EA tools to enforce principles of Systems Interoperability, Reusability, Extensibility, Encapsulation, Loose Coupling and Agility.

XIROCCO

Xirocco helps CIOs and IT leadership teams capture, link, and communicate a holistic, business-linked IT Strategy - collaborating with Business leadership and external advisories. Because strategy impacts and draws from much more than just technology and projects, Xirocco has a wider scope than EA tools. Xirocco primarily focuses on helping companies articulate an integrated Business and IT Strategy a best-practice IT Strategy Framework, interactive dashboards and auto-updating narratives that enable IT Leadership teams to address any query from the Board on IT intentions, alignment, enablement, investment modelling, suppliers, organisation and talent. Xirocco is the digital glue between the Board, CIO, IT Leadership teams and CIO Advisories.

KEY OUTCOMES OF EA TOOLS

KEY OUTCOMES OF XIROCCO

  • Lower software development, support, and maintenance costs (TCO)
  • Increase portability of applications
  • Improve interoperability and easier system and network management
  • Reduced complexity in IT infrastructure
  • Improved ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues Easier upgrade and exchange of system components
  • Enable flexibility to make, buy, or out-source IT solutions
  • Reduced risk overall in new investment
  • Deliver a business-linked IT Strategy 10x faster
  • Collaborate to cocreate strategy with the Business and external advisories
  • Drive IT Strategy jointly and continuously with the Business
  • Achieve better overall IT Strategy quality and rigor
  • Improve alignment between Business and IT and between Group IT and BU IT
  • Drive better IT funding decisions
  • Monitor strategy realisation and course-correct
  • Visualise the value and impact of IT on the Business

More detailed comparison -


EA TOOLSXIROCCO
OrientationEnterprise Architecture.IT Strategy.
Target DepartmentTechnology & Architecture.Strategy Realisation Office, Office of the CIO.
Target AudienceCTO, Enterprise Architect, Domain and Solution Architects, Application Portfolio Managers, Business Analysts.Primary: CIO, Head of IT Strategy, Board, Business & IT Leadership, Office of the CIO (OCIO), Strategy Realization Office (SRO), IT Sourcing, IT Finance, and IT HR. Will also benefit IT Business Partners and Delivery Heads.
OutcomeDetailed architecture and technology landscape planning and execution, for use by specialists and practitioners of EA discipline.Rich, highly visual and interactive tool to generate a holistic, business-linked IT Strategy in real-time and communicate to Management Board.
Scope of ToolBusiness and technology architecture (conceptual, logical etc.).All components of IT Strategy at Board level, including IT diagnostics, business strategy, threat analysis, alignment, technology strategy, portfolio analysis, IT operating model, investment modelling, cost analysis, sourcing analysis and strategy, HR, etc.
Presentation to BoardGraphical outputs are not presentable to Boards/Senior Management, must be wholly recreated in PowerPoint to higher look/feel specification.Board-ready out-of-the-box, no need to recreate outputs in PowerPoints. Users can create custom, audience-specific presentations (called narratives) with rich visuals and drill through capabilities. Admins have full control over the dissemination of information directly from tool, with the capability to publish, retract, edit and republish narratives and be notified when a narrative is viewed. When launched, these narratives will draw on the most up-to-date underlying data to present current and relevant IT Strategy.
One-Page StrategyFeature does not exist.Xirocco is the only tool that features a customisable, interactive One-Page Strategy (acknowledged by leading CIO advisories).
CollaborationNot available in in all EA tools.Xirocco allows internal and external collaboration. Your incumbent CIO advisor can participate in real-time to cocreate your strategy or passively observe and proactively intervene at specific trigger events.
IT DiagnosticsMostly technology health assessments.Holistic IT health diagnostic across multiple dimensions including technology, capability, maturity, finance, suppliers, people etc. Includes both quantitative and qualitative methods given Boards prefer narrative and explanatory style of issues and consequences, that can be reviewed at own pace and inferences made ahead of meetings.
Group vs. Business Unit StrategyFeature does not exist.Xirocco allows creation of multiple IT Strategies per Business Unit, with individual Admins responsible for managing their own Strategies while staying in alignment with Group and other BUs. Strategy created in Group can be wholly or partially disseminated (forced) into Business Unit strategies.
Horizon ScanningFeature does not exist.Xirocco allows strategists to perform horizon scanning, assess the findings, import relevant ones directly into the IT Strategy and assign ownership and response. Our roadmap seeks to apply AI in this space.
Strategic Artefact DiagrammingShapes (mostly rectangles) aligned to a predefined grid with connecting arrows, useful for detailed conceptual and logical diagrams depicting information flows and systems dependencies.Liberal, freehand canvases with rich collections of images, icons and shapes that allow creation of rich diagrams that bring strategy to life. User creativity rules, not system constraints. Elements from diagrams can be interlinked to create visual drill-throughs.
Feedback LoopFeature does not exist.Xirocco allows CIOs to demonstrate how their IT Strategy actually addresses the current issues at hand through a “loopback” feature.
Cost OptimisationYes – detailed TCO management of IT Infrastructure and Applications.Xirocco helps eliminate waste by better aligning Business and IT, Group and BUs.
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