Digital transformation has been a growing trend and common buzzword over the last year. Defined by Garter as “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities,” there’s no denying the importance of becoming digitally mature in today’s hyper-connected world.

But how exactly can companies embark on this journey toward digital transformation and what approaches are most aligned with success? A recent InformationWeek article examined the results of a survey conducted by West Monroe Partners to answer these questions. The results below outline the key characteristics and habits of successful digital enterprises:

  1. A Clear Vision — The survey discovered a correlation between companies with a clearly defined digital vision that is well understood by all employees and high growth potential stemming from digital initiatives.
  2. Strong Leadership — It follows that companies need strong, digitally savvy leaders in order to establish a culture with a clear digital vision. The survey found that 51 percent of companies with extreme growth rates “strongly agreed that they had a definitive leader charged with executing on digital efforts.”
  3. Engaged Employees — The broader employee base is equally critical in establishing a strong digital foundation. Senior executives interviewed for the survey from companies with strong growth rates emphasized that their “engaged and intrinsically motivated” employees played a central role in the company’s success.
  4. Leveraging Data — The organizations leading the charge with digital transformation initiatives were also frontrunners in using data science to derive meaningful insights to drive the business forward. According to the report, “We found again and again that a customer-focused mindset ensures digital transformation isn’t simply ‘technology for technology’s sake’—but one that, instead, makes digital tangible, actionable, and, most importantly, profitable.”
  5. Digitally Minded Customer Service — Customers complete the trifecta in digital transformation, joining executives and employees as the third essential party in helping organizations be more digitally savvy. As such, it’s important that companies focus a portion of their digital efforts on their customers and arm their customer service teams with the tools and technologies required to facilitate seamless digital interactions.
  6. Continuous Innovation — When equipped with the characteristics outlined above, companies can more easily create new products and services that will simultaneously move the business forward and help them uncover further opportunities for digitization.
  7. Robust Security Strategy — Conducting more business online brings with it a greater risk of cyber-attacks. In light of this vulnerability, a strong cybersecurity strategy is an essential component for all digitally savvy organizations.

How many of the above characteristics does your company possess? If you find yourself lacking in a few categories or looking to shore up digital transformation initiatives as 2019 gets underway, you’re not alone. Check out how to avoid the key pitfalls in this IT Business Edge article.