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IBM Study: C-suite executives see “Uberization” as primary competitive threat

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“Creative disruption” is accelerating as new business models proliferate.

According to a new study by IBM, the trend of “Uberization,” or industry disruption caused by an unlikely competitor, has become a dominant concern of the C-suite. In just two years, the percentage of C-Suite leaders who expect to contend with competition from outside their industry increased by more than a quarter -- rising from 43% in 2013 to 54% today.

The report reveals that CxOs now expect industry convergence to be the primary force impacting their business in the next three to five years and that the highest performing enterprises place greater priority on cognitive capabilities than market-followers.  

“The biggest threat is new competitors that aren’t yet classified as competitors.”“When it comes to the competition, C-suite leaders clearly have a new threat to consider -- one that is often invisible until it is too late,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. “At the same time, the highest performers see advances in areas like cognitive computing and systems that can sense and learn as the key to dealing with disruptive events, showing a path forward for all executives.”
C-suite leaders from the highest performing companies are 24% more likely to be focused on cognitive computing. The study recommends enterprises use predictive and cognitive analytics to help forecast what might happen with a greater level of confidence and get ahead of unseen competitors.

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