What is Digital Acceleration?

Published: 1 March 2022

Today, undertaking some form of digital transformation is inevitable. Technological advancements and the digital catalyst of the COVID-19 pandemic are driving a worldwide boom in transformation spending. In fact, the market was worth 1.3 trillion US dollars in 2020 and is set to reach a staggering 2.3 trillion dollars by 2023.

Companies hoping to gain a competitive edge in the digital future are now investigating a new concept: digital acceleration. Digital acceleration and transformation are often mistaken for one another. But, there are important differences that executives must understand if they plan to make either one a strategic focus for their company. 

Continue reading to explore the meaning of digital acceleration and discover best practices to ensure your acceleration project is a long-term success.

Digital Transformation vs Digital Acceleration: What’s the Difference?

Digital transformation and acceleration share a common goal: to reshape workflows and keep pace with evolving consumer demands through technology. However, there are key points that differentiate the two, and help more accurately define digital acceleration:

  • During digital acceleration, technologies are adopted at a much faster pace.
  • Acceleration cannot exist without transformation. Digital acceleration can be thought of as an ongoing process made up of different digital transformation projects. 
  • Businesses often employ an acceleration strategy when pressure from competitors or customer demand pushes them to prioritise speed throughout a transformation project.
  • Digital acceleration means that your company is continuously incorporating new technologies and developments into their procedures as soon as those developments are identified as useful. In this way, acceleration empowers businesses to always be at the cutting-edge of new technology.

Why Is Digital Acceleration so Important?

Throughout the pandemic, agility and adaptability became a core survival tactic for businesses — which explains why 67% of business leaders are now actively promoting the exploration of new technology.

Speedily incorporating new technology gives businesses the tools they need to flex as the market grows increasingly complex. But what other benefits can it bring to your business?

  • Scalability: When a company seeks to grow or develop to make the most of new opportunities, outmoded technology can often slow down progress by being difficult to scale. In contrast, digital acceleration empowers companies to make rapid, continuous updates so that they’re on the pulse of new developments, scaling at pace.
  • Increased profit: A core objective of any digital transformation project is to improve performance and efficiency, which in turn increases revenue. However, if speed isn’t a priority, you may need to postpone projects or slow output while your technology is implemented. Digital acceleration allows your company to drive efficiencies without losing money to delays.
  • Improve competency: Digital transformation projects require those carrying out the transformation and the end-users to learn a variety of new skills so they can harness new technologies. Digital acceleration means that team members will always be learning, as they will constantly be exploring the benefits of new technologies. Businesses will notice the benefits as those team members involved can utilise the skills learned during acceleration in other company initiatives.

Top 4 Best Practices for Digital Acceleration

Digital acceleration isn’t something you can incorporate into your business strategy without considerable forethought. The methods and practices you use when implementing new technologies should be chosen very carefully.

To help you achieve success, we’ve provided four of the best practices a business can adopt for digital acceleration:

  1. Stop and assess: Time should be set aside prior to adopting a digital acceleration strategy to do a full check of your plan and your available resources. Consider everything from the technology you’re implementing to the data insights you’re basing your plans around. You should also investigate if your team needs additional members with relevant skills — digital acceleration requires agility as well as expertise, so make sure you hire the right employees before you begin.
  2. Start small: The “think big, start small” mentality means putting aside the dreams of a fully automated workflow enhanced by the latest tech to focus on smaller improvements first, such as implementing a new communication channel. Although it might not feel like much, the effects will be instant — a more productive dev team or streamlined workflow. Starting small means employees will become accustomed to continuous improvements, giving them the agility needed to undertake larger, long-term tasks.
  3. Don’t rush: Speed is at the heart of digital acceleration as a strategy, but that doesn’t mean you should rush things. Trying to achieve instant results could have the opposite effect than intended. Formulate a comprehensive plan to ensure that technology is implemented quickly but not hastily.
  4. Monitor and improve: Successful digital acceleration requires continuous improvement through monitoring. Consider using tools like BlueOptima’s Developer Analytics to measure the impact of your digital acceleration. If you haven’t achieved the desired result (increased productivity, for example), remember that digital acceleration is an iterative process. Learn how to improve each iteration by reflecting on the previous one, and adjust your plan to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

While there are other practices that may help streamline the acceleration process, these four are fundamental because they’re effective and easily adjusted to fit the unique aspects of a specific company. When applied to digital acceleration, they help make a complex idea much simpler, which significantly reduces the risk of delays, or worse, failure.

Successfully Leverage Digital Acceleration with BlueOptima

At BlueOptima, we understand that digital acceleration can seem daunting. It requires a company to overcome many of the same challenges as digital transformation but at a significantly faster pace. 

However, successfully incorporating digital acceleration into your strategies can completely redefine your business. By constantly adjusting processes to incorporate new technologies, your company will be far more resilient to change, and the updates to your systems will increase both productivity and effectiveness.

If you’re looking to implement these improvements in your business, download the BlueOptima Global Benchmark Report today. The report compiles data from thousands of software developers in some of the world’s largest corporations, highlighting key trends across the industry. Using our metrics, you can identify and flag any potential roadblocks as early as possible in your digital acceleration journey, ensuring your company achieves optimal efficiency. 

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