The 4 Quadrants of Digital Transformation

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Many organizations associate digital transformation with technology, but the real drivers of a successful digital transformation are an organization’s people. Success is not determined by measuring the implementation of a tool but ongoing employee adoption and adaptation. Getting maximum ROI out of Google Workspace deployments requires a change in organizational mindset regarding how employees think about and approach their work

Adoption vs. Adaptation

Successfully implementing Google Workspace means striving beyond employee adoption to employee adaptation. While adoption is a one-and-done event, adaptation is a continuous process with no finish line. A common situation we see at SADA is that a client deploys Google Workspace, then comes to us asking where else they could be saving money or requesting help with increasing employee adoption. Below is a diagram of SADA’s adoption methodology, which we use on all of our projects. Notice that the process is cyclical and iterative.

4 quadrants of digital transformation process

Clients that have already implemented Google Workspace are in the Digital Transformation stage. However, without a shift in organizational mindset, employees may adopt Google Workspace, but they will not adapt the way they approach their work to make the most of its collaborative features. They will stop exploring Google Workspace’s capabilities beyond its most basic capabilities. There will be no increase in innovation, collaboration, or productivity, and the organization will not maximize its Google Workspace investment. Below is a graph illustrating the 4 quadrants of digital transformation.

4 quadrants of digital transformation

The horizontal (x) axis represents the timeline for the incremental steps to the end vision, while the vertical (y) axis represents the journey for incremental improvements. As organizations travel to the right and up, content and conversations move away from gated email silos and desktops, collaboration increases across the organization, and employees utilize the broader features and capabilities of Google Workspace to support it.

The 4 Quadrants of Digital Transformation

The intersection between the two axes creates the four quadrants of the digital transformation roadmap: quick wins, developments, disruptions, and transformations.

When developing a digital transformation roadmap, organizations should begin with the transformations quadrant and work backwards, identifying the smaller projects they need to undertake to achieve their end vision. Each of these projects need to deliver value along the way, both so that an organization progresses along its digital transformation roadmap and to make it easier to attain leadership buy-in.


The transformations quadrant, at the top right, is where the organization should plot its end vision. Achieving this end vision may seem daunting, so the next step is to focus on quick wins.

Quick wins

Quick wins are projects that are easy to implement, useful to everyone, and can be started right away. A quick win should be a valid project in its own right that will create value in a very short timeframe with relatively little effort.

The next step is to determine how to execute the quick wins project. While the developments quadrant may appear to be the most natural, logical next step, organizations should shift to the disruptions quadrant as quickly as possible. Staying along the horizontal axis is extremely risky, because it could enable an organization to stay within its comfort zone for too long. This results in the organization only making improvements to existing processes, not transforming and implementing new ones.


Disruptions are 10X initiatives that can be achieved over the short term. These projects help the organization explore newer, faster, and radically innovative methods to reach its end vision. They not only add value but also demonstrate the organization’s commitment to breaking away from the old ways of doing things and implementing change.


Projects in the developments quadrant are often extensions of quick wins. These projects may be longer in duration and still operate within the existing business environment of an organization and its customers. While they may not leverage any new technology, they allow the organization to optimize their quick wins from the comfort zone of their existing environment. They are continuous in nature and create progress at scale for existing activities.

After filling out all of the quadrants, the organization can connect the dots, linking its developments with its quick wins and disruptions, to add value to the business and ultimately achieve its end vision.

Organizations should not strive for simple adoption of Google Workspace but the ongoing adaptation process of digital transformation. The four quadrants of the digital transformation roadmap guide organizations in defining small projects that act as stepping stones to their ultimate goals while adding value in their own right. By using this roadmap and understanding the four quadrants, organizations can build collaborative, innovative cultures while maximizing their Google Workspace ROI.

Consider the Google Workspace Optimization Workshop

SADA’s Digital Transformation Team (DTT) is trained to help customers make the most of their investment by transitioning processes and people into a new
collaborative environment. A key step in this culture change is the Google Workspace Optimization Workshop. It brings together key stakeholders from across the organization- from executive sponsorship to employees-to develop a coalition and a roadmap that will actively drive the change-management process. This helps align all parties on vision, strategy, opportunities, challenges and success measures. The SADA Systems DTT team hosts workshops onsite and works with the customer to develop a playbook with a list of workflows to focus on (low hanging fruit) and timelines.

A Change Management Success Story: The City of Los Angeles

The Digital Transformation Team, in partnership with Google Cloud, helped the Information Technology Agency of the City of Los Angeles develop the “City of Tomorrow” program to increase adoption of Google Workspace across its user base of over 24,000.


Our expert teams of consultants, architects, and solutions engineers are ready to help with your bold ambitions, provide you with more information on our services, and answer your technical questions. Contact us today to get started.

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