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Digital Transformation Requires Dual-Track Approach


Focusing on enterprise-wide transformation alone is not enough, but instead a dual-track approach – which also addresses rapid-cycle innovation across business unit workflows – is critical to driving lasting digital transformation success.

This is according to a new report from Quick Base, a low-code platform for operational agility. The research, Drive Business Success with a Dual-Track Approach to Transformation, conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, is based on a poll of 445 IT leaders and CIOs representing a variety of industries including technology, with roles spanning middle management to senior executives, board members and the C-suite.

Two tracks, lasting digital transformation

According to the report, only 22% of executives surveyed rated their transformation strategies as “very effective” and 39% of said that a lack of a cohesive enterprise-wide transformation strategy is a key factor when organizational transformation goals are not met. Additionally, 92% of respondents said that success requires an approach that combines innovation at both the enterprise and critical business-process levels, identifying the need for a dual-track approach:

• The first track — an enterprise-wide orientation — focuses on identifying and implementing new digital technology throughout an organization, while simultaneously attempting to change cultures and business workflows impacted by digitization.
• The second, parallel track focuses on areas often overlooked in grand-scale transformation strategies: their business’s ability to rapidly connect and modernize the hundreds of essential processes that cross business workflows and workgroups.

This is achieved by enabling rapid-cycle innovation, which empowers business professionals outside of IT to propose and create new applications for modernizing existing workflow processes, with goals of achieving quick wins for the business and supporting long-term transformation. In fact, 48% of survey respondents say that distributed innovation is important for speeding responses to competitive pressures.

“The pace and scale of innovation now is like nothing we’ve ever seen before – businesses need to move even faster and drive operational agility in order to adapt and prepare for basically anything,” said Ed Jennings, CEO, Quick Base. “But despite existing large-scale digital transformation efforts, siloed data, onerous processes and rigid systems are holding people on the front lines back. The findings of this report were super clear: Companies need to expand on conventional approaches in order to empower their employees to solve problems and reach their full potential.”

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