Digital Transformation, the adoption and integration of modern technology throughout the business, has given way to Digital VELOCITY – web-driven models designed to help companies leapfrog their competitors and drive exceptional customer engagement.

These days, all companies are tech companies, and those that are thriving are embracing a consumer-like approach to how they bring their services and offerings to market. Just consider that nearly 40% of customers prefer a “sales rep-less” experience, according to Gartner. What’s more, over the previous decade, eCommerce alone has averaged double digit year-over-year growth, totaling $4.5 trillion during 2021.

As “online” becomes more and more ubiquitous, the race to embrace digital velocity increases. IT is no longer the only one driving the ways in which technologies help companies leapfrog their competitors; Marketing, Sales and People Operations also have a seat at the table, deeply examining their tech stack and business approach through fresh lenses. Disruption is everywhere, at the macro-level, in communities and within company constructs. Organizations that can see their business model, people and resources as analogous to a supply chain are much more likely to be prepared for the subtle breaks in “flow” that can do irreparable harm.

Said differently, companies that are excelling in the digital velocity race are continuously connected, powered by data intelligence, and enabled by technology that personalizes and automates. Predictive data, lightspeed response times, personalized experiences, and client facing technology that performs every time are now merely table stakes.

Related Reading: 3 Ways to Drive Digital Velocity

Pragmatically speaking, product and technology leaders are more vital than ever when it comes to achieving corporate goals and vision realization. The modernization and transformation journey is now a continuum that requires constant integration, innovation, velocity, and elasticity to be able to turn on a dime and meet the demands of customers and the business.

Digital velocity is all about a handful of values and core capabilities:

  1. Think Continuous: Engineer processes and ceremonies that bring stakeholders, product owners and tech teams together perpetually. DevOps, DataOps and infrastructure as code are just buzzwords and require philosophical/cultural commitment to the concept of constant value creation and rapid release cycles, demonstrated and ‘signed off’ – from the top.
  2. Integration is Key: Chains are only as strong as the weakest link. Such is the existence of the quality and reliability of today’s business technology stacks. Application layers (hybrid, on prem, or native cloud) must flow and produce a tech-invisible experience for users, every single time. API’s and environments need to be spun up, or down, with zero disruption or negative impact on user experience.
  3. Automate: There is a premise regarding todays application lifecycle – Agile is the new normal, and organizations can’t enable a DevOps culture without AUTOMATION. My experience is that this statement is absolute. Automation of code/feature delivery requires a CICD mindset, powered by robust and elegant automation frameworks. There is no continuous anything when an automation void exists.

The glue that holds all of these important elements together is the notion of quality engineering.

Leaders of Quality, defined in any term (on time, on budget, as expected), provide an invaluable discipline to the business, can handle both preventative and proactive, and are in direct support of brand/product vision. We have all witnessed automation initiatives gone bad, where making bad simply happens faster. Therefore, those companies that can engineer quality– whether quality of product or quality of process or both — set themselves up to thrive in the digital velocity arena.

The responsibility to drive digital velocity is in fact org-wide. Technology and business-line leaders alike share a common goal. But the difference between creating “wow experiences” and accelerating capacity via technology often starts and ends with our leaders and keepers of quality.

Who is the keeper of quality in your organization?