Sponsored Content by Quickbase

Why dual-track transformation is the future of business innovation

After a decade of digital development and evolution, it was already clear at the dawn of 2020 that organizations agile enough to adjust and transform stood the best chance of growing their businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has since shifted the digital revolution into overdrive, to the point that an organization’s ability to accomplish dual-track transformations — executing both long-term transitions and real-time process innovations — isn’t so much an advantage as it is a prerequisite for survival. 

Companies in just about every sector have been impacted by the pandemic, a tragedy that has become a once-in-a-generation catalyst for business change. The numbers are stunning: When Harvard Business Review conducted a survey of over 520 global executives this summer, 91% of respondents said that their organizations altered their operating models over the last ten months. Organizations have had to adjust to emerging challenges such as newly remote workplaces, facilities that require advanced safety protocol, and entirely rerouted supply chains, to name just a few.

As a result, 82% of executives said that the pandemic has rendered fast modernization of their workflows all the more urgent. While no one could have predicted the outbreak, the need for agility in operations shouldn’t have come as a surprise — even before the pandemic, another Harvard Business Review study found that 78% of the 400 IT professionals and CTOs surveyed said they weren’t willing to rate their transformation strategies as “very effective.” 

Rapid-cycle innovation doesn’t mean improvisation or figuring it out as you go. An organization needs to have the right tools in order to be able to adjust to new circumstances and innovate solutions to unforeseen challenges. Created for companies in search of rapid-cycle innovations, Quick Base’s low-code platform has become the go-to engine for creating safe, efficient, and sustainable new tools and processes to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the market. 

Low-code empowers employees to harness the power of innovation 

Image Credits: Getty Images

Quick Base’s low-code application development platform was designed to empower employees in most every division of an organization — if someone can build a spreadsheet and do basic work with a database, they’re going to be able to take part. Departmental employees’ insights are particularly valuable, as they are the first to notice inefficiencies and pain points. They are also the people most equipped to prescribe practical solutions that don’t require massive investment or yearslong transformation to enact. 

The software is as powerful as it is accessible. Quick Base’s platform offers templates, pre-built forms, objects, and a wide array of functions that make it easy to build and customize key applications. Among many other things, these apps can enhance and extend existing workflows, automate manual processes, and make it easier to share information internally. Low-code creates regular opportunities for quick wins, which can accumulate into significant advances. Over time, those advances become competitive advantages.

In the Harvard Business Review’s July survey of business leaders, just 27% of executives said that they were happy with their transformation strategies both before and after the pandemic hit. Of those execs who were satisfied, an overwhelming 73% led organizations that used low-code applications.

Empowering employees to design and create their solutions also takes a big weight off of the shoulders of IT professionals, who have more work than ever in the face of relentless change. At the same time, Quick Base’s software won’t introduce any external threats or headaches for the tech department, because the apps it creates integrate with an organization’s existing IT and security protocol. Early adopters have seen unrivaled growth since beginning to use Quick Base, which becomes a default tool once integrated into an organization. Zimmer Biomet, a medical device manufacturer, has created more than 80 applications and counting using the low-code software.

While every organization faces its own unique challenges, many businesses can right now be sorted into two broad groups: Organizations that have transitioned to mostly or even fully remote work and other location-centric organizations that have workplaces intrinsic to their business. 

In both cases, Quick Base’s low-code software has proven to be a catalyst for rapid-cycle innovations, allowing organizations to adjust on the fly as circumstances continue to demand it.

Transforming the workplace

Image Credits: Getty Images

In the case of Metso, a leading process performance provider in the oil and gas, mining and aggregates industry, the challenge was twofold: Some employees could transition from office to remote work, but others had to remain on site. Actually, that created a threefold challenge: Developing systems and new tools for remote work, creating new processes to ensure the safety of employees, and finding ways for both sides to effectively communicate despite the distance.

Quick Base made it easy for different departments to address their individual needs while integrating those solutions into Metso’s larger organization. For remote workers, low-code applications were developed to track the disbursement of office equipment, manage the supply chain from afar, and connect engineers with on-site employees who needed their help. Given the sudden disruption to the business and the threat it posed by the virus, all of these solutions had to be developed on the double. Once those things were accomplished, low-code was then employed to generate reports, look into the supply chain, and streamline order management.

Metso also had to quickly reimagine and redesign onsite workplaces. At the company’s plants, a rigorous attendance and employee tracking system were put in place thanks to apps created with Quick Base’s low-code software. This has ensured that Metso is able to manage the flow of people in and out of the plant, maintain safety protocols, and ensure the health of its employees.

The results have been striking. Metso has saved up to 500 hours of work time thanks to low-code apps that helped employees navigate interrupted supply chains, been able to monitor cash-flow in real-time, and issue reports almost instantly. 

Low-code can also be used to create applications that extend existing systems and fill in gaps where long-term transformation has not been able to modernize. Enel Green Power, a division of a global renewable energy company, has long used Quick Base’s low-code software to supplement its central enterprise systems. After just one learning session, departments across the organization were empowered to develop applications that add new functionality without hiring costly consultants. 

Once Covid-19 hit, the rapid-cycle went into overdrive, with applications built for both managing compliance with various shutdown orders and further streamlining processes. The experience with low-code prior to the pandemic put Enel at an advantage, which it will continue to utilize as business needs remain in flux.

The pandemic’s impact is just beginning to be felt. The United States frequently sets new records for daily cases of the virus, and much of Europe is heading back into lockdown. We’re facing not just one large disruption but a series of ground-shifting events that are likely to continue, even after the pandemic is brought under control and a vaccine is distributed. Organizations that empower employees to adjust and innovate are more successful now and are more prepared for the uncertainty still to come.

Watch Deb Gildersleeve, Quick Base CIO, discuss how IT and line of business leaders can collaborate to dramatically shift the culture towards digital transformation:

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo