Digital transformation initiatives have swept the enterprise, and will continue to do so, with the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Not only is digital transformation beneficial for businesses, but four out of five IT professionals consider it necessary for business survival, according to a Masergy report released on Wednesday.

The report surveyed IT professionals from large and small companies across 35 countries to determine current attitudes around digital transformation. Along with improving customer experience, digital transformation is one of the top two strategic priorities for the majority of IT professionals, the report found.

SEE: Special report: Digital transformation: A CXO’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Digital transformation efforts bring a variety of different benefits to the enterprise, the report noted. Respondents cited some of the top benefits including enhanced customer experience (22%), remaining competitive in the industry (16%), and increased productivity (14%).

Top investments in digital transformation include cloud migration for IT (22%), improved security(18%), data analytics (17%), and software defined networks (11%), the report found.

With all big changes come some equally large obstacles, the report found. Most digital transformation challenges are associated with implementation, indicating the maturity of the technologies and IT infrastructures are not the problem. Respondents said their organization faced the biggest issues with budget (22%), top-down support (20%), in-house skills (18%), and organization (15%).

The lack of in-house skills are forcing companies to look outside the organization. The majority of respondents (64%) said they receive significant help from outside partners to successfully launch and implement digital transformation initiatives, the report found.

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“Executives recognize that digital transformation is largely dependent upon innovative technology services and outside partners that deliver on competitive IT agility,” said James Parker of Masergy in a press release.

To learn about the business behaviors necessary to achieve digital transformation, check out this TechRepublic article.