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Strategy Execution In South Africa

South African companies are constantly looking for ways to improve performance, drive down costs, improve profitability and at the same time grow the business. This in an economy that is not performing. Simply put, companies plan strategies, but they cannot achieve strategy execution.

In 2014 South Africa’s growth continued to slow down, recording only 1.5%, the weakest performance since the global financial crisis. The nation’s economy was affected by its most protracted industrial action since 1994 and significantly weak demand from trading partners. Various infrastructure gaps, notably inadequate energy supply, weak domestic demand, high levels of public sector corruption and anemic investment rates also acted as a drag on growth

The result is that there is less spend in the market and competitors are looking at ways to lure clients away, through better offers, lower costs and or more benefit.

Companies are continually sifting through and changing information that should be the latest and greatest. This information is usually not easy to access and requires many hours of work by staff to consolidate and simplify the data, then providing it on spreadsheets.

Companies talk of business alignment and a shared vision, working towards a single and shared- vison and goal.

Companies talk of major problems with being able to do the above.

The problem is that while business wants to be more effective in planning, strategy and execution, a lot of South African companies have the same problem. They have great information, but it is stored across the company in many different silos or divisions on many different technologies/platforms that are not integrated, nor shared. How do they then plan and understand impact/performance issues if they cannot have all the relevant data available in a single view.

Companies want integration, easy access and sharing of information, being able to easily understand and view the factors that influence performance and results, a single version of the truth that all can understand and share. I believe that with a technology solution platforms like PPM, CPM, BI and more, we are moving to where technology needs to go.

The only thing is that these solutions don’t include is the single most important key element in achieving the above: Strategy Execution & Strategy alignment. Their focus is much more tactical and not on the overall picture.

Today technology companies still supply solutions that are focused on being great in one area or a couple of them.  We have been talking about business alignment and singular focus and sharing of information for many years, yet the reality is that it has still not become easier to do this. They want something that cannot only fill in the gaps but give an overall view relevant to the different responsibilities.

 I believe that companies require a solution platform that not only can build the business but run the business more effectively in one shared solution that is easy to use and easy to share. The other requirement is that it must allow for a shared single view of the truth which is once again one of the key issues raised.