IBM’s latest global study, Redefining Boundaries: The Global C-suite Study surveyed 5,247 top executives worldwide (including 643 CFOs) for their views on what the future holds for their businesses and how they are preparing their firms to battle digital disruptions.
One of the questions asked was where CFOs see future competition coming from, and a significantly larger number said companies outside their industries are creating disruptive innovations at breakneck speed and changing the rules of competition.
“Industry convergence is creating new levels of competition through applications and technology set within a new digital ecosystem that is transforming the business arena and erasing the boundaries that set industries apart,” says Bill Fuessler, Global Finance, Risk, and Fraud Leader for Global Business Services at IBM.
That ecosystem has become the playing field for hybrid companies like Uber, whose business models can be expanded and applied across sectors. It is also the largest concern for CFOs of existing businesses in every sector because the collapse of industry barriers mean it is next to impossible to predict where disruptions and new competition will come from.
“These days, CFOs are asking, who’s the next Uber or technology disruptor in my industry? Who is waiting at the wayside waiting to attack?” says Fuessler.