A credible, Business-linked IT Strategy and supporting IT Operating Model are vital for all companies at scale, and internal research by Accenture found that an effective IT Strategy can boost an enterprise’s bottomline by as much as 5%.
“We’ve noticed a significant increase in organizations establishing what Gartner calls a ‘Strategy Realization Office’. This should further drive the clear value case that, if it is worth setting up a dedicated group of people to assure strategic efforts are on point, then it might also be worth providing them with the right tools.” Gartner
However, the only tools used today are Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Strategy formulation needs to happen across multiple dimensions – intentions, initiatives, applications, infrastructure, suppliers, talent, and money. Each of these dimensions currently has its own distinct toolsets aimed at practitioners, which makes these tools deep in functionality, complex to configure and laborious to execute as they struggle to handle an ever-increasing ocean of use cases. This reality makes them less amenable to produce the type of insights and views that Management Boards expect to help make important strategic decisions. The result? Information from these disparate tools is manually extracted and recreated in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to achieve the finesse expected in the Boardroom.
“While Gartner anticipates a surge in the demand for strategy consulting in the near term, organizations will only gain the long-term benefit of a unique capability if they learn to do it themselves.” Gartner
Xirocco is purpose-built toolset for the Strategy Realisation Office.
Xirocco is Board-orientated by default. It enables and empowers OCIO (Office of the CIO) and SRO (Strategy Realisation Office) functions across all key areas of strategy formulation and realisation with out-of-the-box Board-friendly visuals that make “a day in the life of an strategy manager” significantly more efficient and productive.
The below table outlines why Xirocco is better for Strategy:
|Generic toolset with no strategy design capabilities PowerPoint, Word, and Excel are generic, all-purpose information capture and replay tools. They create static documents that are repositories of point-in-time data. The “thinking” and “content” originate 100% in the author and 0% in the tool. MS Office does not help, intervene, or guide users on creating or managing a strategy.||Xirocco is purpose-built tool for strategy Xirocco is a purpose-built, Board-focused business & IT strategy creation tool developed by subject matter experts, with radically innovative features such as “Layer Cake” and “Narratives”. The tool incorporates an industry-first Strategy Framework, workflows, best practices, templates, and accelerator content.|
|Rigid, point-in-time strategy that quickly becomes obsolete Organisations often use Excel for data analysis, copying graphs and tables as static images into a PowerPoint deck for presentation. Various versions of the deck are then created for different audiences. Over time, content in these decks evolves as recipients edit them in isolation. Every time a document is shared via email, a new copy is created. Eventually, there is no “master copy” of the strategy. As a result, when underlying data or strategic priorities change, updating the strategy becomes impossible for time-starved staff as there is no “truth” anymore.||Strategy-as-a-Service, always relevant Xirocco introduces innovative Story-Narrative publishing where “narratives” with audience-specific content are created centrally by Admins and published to respective audiences. When core content and data change, all the narratives automatically update to reflect the latest. No more “master deck” with dozens of copies floating around, multiple versions with questionable integrity, and hearing the dreaded question “Am I looking at the latest version of this?”|
|The frankenstrategy that takes forever to create PowerPoint and Word are not collaboration tools; various SMEs create ‘bits’ of the strategy independently over several months, and a coordinator stitches it all together in the end, the final output resembling a frankenstrategy – disjoint and ambiguous.||Collaborate to create a great strategy, 10x faster Xirocco is a multi-player application, unlimited users can login and concurrently create a strategy. The built-in strategy framework automatically assures coherence and cohesion by consistently inter-linking outcomes across modules.|
|Static display with no interactivity PowerPoint and Word are not designed to be interactive; content cannot be easily linked or mapped to other content, nor drilled into. Any such features that exist are extremely rudimentary and difficult to configure.||Rich strategy with cause-effect links, drilldowns, and analytics Xirocco is a rich enterprise application, meaning all data elements are defined once and accessed across many modules. Any data entity can be linked or mapped to another data entity in daisy chain, enabling click-throughs, drilldowns, and analytics.|
|The data gathering nightmare and effort wastage Excel is used for data gathering, but only one user can edit a file at a time. This massively slows down the process and is often resolved by using one file per data owner with a coordinator for collation. However, data owners provide data in various formats and have no access to coordinator’s master file when their data changes. Also, over time this master file loses relevancy as there is no process to keep it updated.||Gather data 50% faster and keep updated easily Xirocco features a best practice data schema with minimal mandatory data to get started with. As more data becomes available, the schema can be enriched in iterations. Data upload is through standard templates and APIs, thus shifting onus of accuracy, completeness, relevancy, and timeliness to data owners.|
|Strategy is completely person dependent Your strategy is only as good as the last SME and varies thereafter person-to-person.||Xirocco greatly reduces person dependency The built-in strategy framework, modules, formats, schema, narratives etc. dramatically reduce person dependency.|
|Output = Input Strategies created in PowerPoint and Word are only as good as the artistry and quality of content inputted – if poor thinking and content goes in, then the resulting output is poor as well and vice versa.||Xirocco output is rich and exec-orientated Xirocco understands what Boards and top leadership look for in an IT Strategy. It guides users to input data in benchmarked, best practice formats and sequences that have been developed through decades of experience and automatically ensures the output is Board orientated. Tell a great, end-to-end Strategy story in a few screens, coexist with PPT by uploading and inserting any slide or image to Xirocco Narratives.|