The Race to Digital Transformation: A Dual-Track Approach

Perspectives
Jul 31, 2020
|
6 Min Read

In an increasingly digital post-COVID world, global disruption, market volatility and competitive pressures have forever changed the way businesses operate. In order to survive — let alone thrive — companies must rush to adapt to a rapidly-changing professional landscape and prepare for future uncertainty.  

Top priorities for C-Suite executives have shifted to include the movement to cloud and digitization of processes to support business agility and operational efficiency from a technology perspective. 

Now more than ever, innovation is fundamental to business success. And digital transformation is both the means and the end. 

Up Your Game with Dual-Track Transformation  

Outdated approaches to digital transformation often leaves behind many of the unique processes your business relies on. With so many essential tasks falling through the cracks, it’s no surprise that seventy-eight percent of global executives participating in a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey aren’t willing to rate their current digital transformation strategies as being “very effective”. 

In fact, ninety-two percent of the same executives say success requires an approach that combines innovation at both the enterprise- and critical business-process levels. 1

This approach, called dual-track transformation, is essential to every successful digital transformation strategy.  

Dual-track transformation simultaneously addresses both enterprise-wide transformation and rapidcycle innovation – modernizing smaller processes across workflows and workgroups.  

The result is targeted, incremental improvements — in other words, quick wins. This means timesaving, efficiency-boosting innovation can occur rapidly at the edge of your business, all while staying aligned with and supporting your enterprise-wide transformation efforts. Not only does this maximize your employee’s efficiency, but it provides business leaders with real-time, actionable information that uncovers new insights and ensures ongoing agility.  

It’s a Marathon and a Sprint  

A dual-track approach is not unique to your digital transformation efforts. In fact, the efficacy of dual-track is demonstrated in almost any goal-setting scenario.  

 Take running a marathon. Whether your goal is to crack a four-hour finishing time or beat your personal record, transforming your body to perform at that level requires months of preparation. 

And just like your business can still operate with manual processes and outdated legacy systems, sticking to basic training schedule may be enough to get you to the finish line. But this approach neglects small-scale improvements that can really boost your performance. This holds true for your business as well —gaps in your digital transformation strategy are missed opportunities for optimization. And these opportunities can make all the difference in hitting your OKRs 

When you set out to train for your marathon, your running plan may seem like a pretty comprehensive strategy — in addition to building up your base mileage week over week, you regularly schedule long runs to adjust to distance, integrate speed work to increase your cardio, and take enough recovery days to prevent injury and allow your body to rest.  

Although detailed, targeted, and aligned with your goals, there’s a lot your running plan doesn’t account for. To optimize your performance on race day, you must address all factors that influence your physical and mental preparedness. That may look like incorporating strength training into your routine, getting the right gear (and breaking it in), and increasing your carb intake.  For a serious athlete looking for a competitive edge, these are factors they cannot afford to overlook.  

No amount of hamstring stretches or carb-loading will increase your business performance. But empowering the people at the edge of your business to digitize the tasks and processes they perform daily will save you time, money, and brain-power — accelerating your company’s digital transformation efforts.  

Learn more about how to drive business success with a dual-track approach to digital transformation
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“Drive Business Success with a Dual-Track Approach to Transformation,” Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 2020

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