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The companies that have successfully accomplished a profound digital transformation are those that have easily adapted to the changes and challenges the internet has brought.This transformation means carrying out a reorganization of processes, systems and incentives, and must count on the participation and involvement of all departments.

This change must not only be structural, but also strategical: a successful digital transformation involves thinking about your business model from a technological perspective, determine how the use of new technologies will redefine your company from the inside out and how it will affect the way that you currently generate revenues.

We have figured out the 6 common traits for those companies that have successfully carried out their digital transformation and have become effective digital businesses

1. Customer centric

With digitization, there are constant interactions between customers and companies, and this is happening more often than ever before. A customer’s relationship with a company – before, during and after the purchase – is so critical that it has almost become a more decisive factor than the price when choosing a supplier.

In the digital realm, the possibilities of improving and enhancing the customer experience (see point 3) are immense. Furthermore, all those touch points between customers and companies (website, blog, social networks, customer service, etc.) can be used to capture data from their target audience throughout the entire purchase process, data that will later serve to analyze and improve processes, as well as to refine the definition of your buyer persona.

In-depth knowledge of your customers. Not only demographic and socioeconomic data, but data that will help you understand their movements, to know what is the best way to interact with them; with the aim to be able to provide an experience in line or above their expectations. This knowledge is critical for any company that wants to become digitally effective.

2. Data means power

As we mentioned above, in a digitized world there are multiple touch points between companies and their customers (or potential customers), and this is happening daily across multiple devices. The good news is that all these interactions – clicks, posts, tweets, comments, web visits, etc – can be captured, measured, aggregated and analyzed.

The power of data analysis is invaluable. Companies that succeed in establishing processes to systematize the capture and analysis of every interaction with a client will be able to have a constant pulse with the market and will know how their product/ service can be further adjusted to the needs of their target audience. They may redefine the product/service, refine it or change it, thus always staying ahead of the competition.

3. Consistency and continuitiy through all the channels and devices

In line with the first point, it is imperative that the customer experience is as consistent and continuous as possible, throughout every channel and device, web or mobile. The experience must be consistent not only in terms of visual design, but also in terms of flow and interactive responses. The term continuous means that the flow has to facilitate the completion of a purchase without any problems. For this to happen, it will often be necessary to smoothly integrate third-party services (such as payment systems or electronic signature), without altering the customer experience, but enhancing it.

4. Redefinition of operational processes

Understanding the digital transformation as a change that should affect the core of a business structure, it is essential that this change also occurs in all back-office processes, which a company’s operational efficiency depends upon. Not only the departments that are in direct contact with customers must be digitized; but this process should also reduce operating costs, which should be accomplished through a structural reorganization and a digitization of processes.

5. Business model monetization

The ways to monetize a digital company have changed many traditional patterns of the design of revenue streams. In this regard, another characteristic of companies that have successfully accomplished its digital transformation is that they have dared to redefine their business model, rethink their value proposition and determine new strategies to generate income.

There are many ways to monetize a business in the digital era. You just need to have strategic vision to detect which monetization methods are suitable for your business model, know how to digitally update your old revenue streams and how to combine them with the new sources of revenue.

6. IT leadership and its integration with business management units

To perform a complete digital transformation it makes sense to increase the role of IT departments and allow them to participate in the strategic decisions alongside management. Technology is central to the whole process, in addition to being core in redefining the business model of any company. So, to be an effective digital business, you have to integrate IT departments and enhance their cooperation with the strategic management and other key business management units, such as the finance department.

To successfully complete digital transformation is not easy. Each company should be able to determine its own road map and establish milestones and timelines that make it possible to optimally execute it. Effort and perseverance is required, although there are usually a few years needed before any company becomes fully digital.

Without doubt, the successful leaders in this area know that all the 6 traits defined must be fulfilled and executed in the best way possible, involving all workers without forgetting that this change also requires those transformational leaders dare to challenge the traditional way of doing business.