Digital Disruption Could Threaten 50% of Business by 2021

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More than half of business leaders (52%) say that digital disruption means their organizations will not exist in their current forms by 2021, according to a global study commissioned by Fujitsu. While almost all (98%) said their organization has already been impacted and will continue to be impacted by digital disruption, 92% recognized that their business needs to evolve to thrive in a digital world and 75% believe their sector will fundamentally change in the next five years.

When assessing what drives their response to the challenge of digital disruption, almost half (45%) pointed to the C-Suite or leadership team. Looking externally, most business leaders identified customers (45%) ahead of competitors (31%) as the most influential group driving their organization’s response to digital disruption. When asked who is leading digital disruption in their sectors, only 12% of execs pointed to themselves – compared to the 45% who pointed to start-ups and organizations from outside their sectors.

Despite business leaders anticipating dramatic change over the coming years, most (72%) believe digitalization presents exciting opportunities for them and four in five (80%) state it is a positive force. Such potential benefits are driving a hunger to capitalize quickly. 71% of executives state that organizations need to innovate faster in order to stay relevant, with Finland (97%) the strongest believers in this and executives in Spain (36%) the least certain that innovating faster is what’s needed to stay relevant in a digitalized world.

Duncan Tait, SEVP and Head of EMEIA and Americas region at Fujitsu, said: “Digital disruption transforms business models and revenue streams, operations and processes, customer relationships and service and more. It is exactly this potential that is causing concern. The fact that despite the potential benefits, a third (33%) of executives wish they weren’t experiencing digital disruption is stark reading. Compared to two years ago, and indeed just last year when we analyzed IT decision makers’ approach to and opinions of digital transformation, business leaders are now more confident and know they need to not only keep up but strive to better their competitors and digitalize faster, with confidence, strategy and ultimately, great success The pressure to flourish in the face of digitalization is clear in this study’s findings.”

Exploring what is needed to ensure they thrive in a digital world, almost three-quarters (72%) of business leaders recognize the need to collaborate more strategically with organizations that can help shape their response to digital disruption. 73% belive that technology lies at the heart of an organization’s ability to succeed in a digital world, while 67% say their organization needs to collaborate with third-party technology experts.

Duncan Tait adds: “The ability to pool knowledge, ideas and resources with a partner which understands what it takes to flourish in a digital world is a vital capability which business leaders know will help them through this transitional, and therefore challenging, time. If all digital stakeholders work together to navigate through this disruption, businesses will not be overrun by digital; they will forge ahead, innovating and prospering to reap all the benefits the digital age offers.”