6 Questions to Ask Your Organization About Digital Transformation

Jan 20, 2022
IT Leadership

Ensuring alignment and success in digital transformation process.

Smiling woman looking at laptop
Credit: Quickbase

Are you asking your organization the right questions about digital transformation efforts? Center your efforts with this guide.

The need to prepare for disruption has become a cliché in the business world. As the last two years have proven, it is becoming even more of an imperative to prepare your organization for possible turbulence and changes. That comes through having the right culture, processes, and technology in place for success.

The first question to ask yourself about your organization is simple: 

Would your organization be able to survive disruption?

If the answer to this is no, it is time to build out the right digital transformation capabilities, culture, and structures for increased operational agility. IDG’s recent MarketPulse survey, Empowering Business Users for the Next Era of Digital Transformation, found that less than a quarter of line of business (LOB) employees are currently automating their workflows – showing just how much of a pivot any sort of rapid change would be. With the right digital transformation technology, you can empower your entire business beyond simply IT and shift these efforts into high gear at your organization.

As you seek to build and flex your organization’s agile operational readiness, here are the key questions you can ask that will guide your efforts.

Is all of leadership bought in?

Like most new initiatives, it is critical to have buy-in from leadership to set the tone for the business transformation associated with increasing operational agility. “You need to make sure everyone knows [business-led] development is a company initiative, that everyone plays their part, and that it doesn’t happen in disconnected silos,” Quickbase CIO Deb Gildersleeve said. With leadership showcasing the value of increasing innovation throughout the entire organization, that commitment will be felt down through the entire organization and serve as a charge to succeed.

Does my team feel enabled to innovate?

From there, leaders have to effectively communicate to business users that they are empowered to innovate. The IDG MarketPulse survey found that one in five respondents who could be leveraging digital automation tools are not doing so, showcasing just how much potential is being left out of these initiatives. Further, digital automation also seems stuck between the individual level and the full enterprise. There is still room for growth to empower entire teams to innovate – 76% of responding companies are working on solutions that focus on individuals or smaller teams rather than the entire organization.

Are my business teams seeking to solve the problems they face every day?

It is just as important for business teams to fully understand the problems they face in order to solve them. Finding the right processes to automate and the departments that need the tools to make a difference is a major step towards strategic agility. PSG Dover, for example, became an industry leader in innovation for manufacturing industrial pumps and compressors by managing a complex multi-part sourcing strategy through Quickbase. By finding the right use case, your organization can thrive in its digital transformation.

Are the right governance guardrails in place?

Users across the entire business will benefit from a clear outline of the right guardrails, so all users understand the structure and responsibilities behind adding an agility layer to your organization. “Companies need to define guardrails at the beginning, so business users understand what is okay to do on their own and where to get help,” Gildersleeve said to IDG.

One strong option for these guardrails is a Center of Excellence model. By assigning cross-functional roles within a digital transformation project, teams across the organization will have visibility and be able to lay out clear goals and functions for operational agility.

Is my tech stack up to the task?

Finally, equipping your organization with the right technology to build an agility layer will allow you to effectively put this culture and structure into action. A low-code development platform can serve as a bedrock of this strategy, enabling users to build and continuously improve business applications that make an impact. Leading considerations for the right digital automation tools, as IDG found, include ease of use, compatibility with current technology, and ability to integrate data across systems.

Looking for more questions to see how empowered your organization is to innovate? Take our Citizen Automation Assessment Tool here.