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C-suite Executives See “Uberization” As Primary Competitive Threat

CxOs From Highest-Performing Companies 24 Percent More Likely to Focus on Cognitive Computing

The trend of “uberization” or industry disruption caused by an unlikely competitor has become a dominant concern of the C-suite, finds a new IBM study. 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 percent in 2013 to 54 percent today.

The IBM study, “Redefining Boundaries: Insights from the Global C-suite Study,” is based on findings from more than 5,200 CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, CIOs and other C-suite leaders across 21 industries in more than 70 countries. The respondents — most of whom participated in face-to-face interviews — represent a wide range of public and private enterprises.
Conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, 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.

“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 percent more likely to be focused on cognitive computing. The study recommends enterprises use predictive and cognitive analyticsto help forecast what might happen with a greater level of confidence and get ahead of unseen competitors.

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