The onset of 5G, IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning as well as blockchain and ledger technology will undoubtedly alter the way businesses operate as we know it today. These emerging technologies are impacting new and existing enterprises by creating opportunities for advanced mobility and remote network access while paving the way for “smarter” and more secure solutions for business processes, data transfer and distribution, and storage of digital information.

Driven by technological disruption throughout the global economy, enterprise digital transformation is the evolution of business and organizational activities and models that leverages technology for its ability to streamline processes and enable the adoption of cutting-edge services and solutions. The journey toward true digital transformation is characterized by change, as disruptive new technologies and emerging digitally-forward business models have the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than any force in history. Simply put, this digital disruption is the effect of technologies and business models on a company’s current value proposition and its resulting market position, forever changing the global enterprise landscape.

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), an IMD and Cisco initiative dedicated to researching and creating opportunities for business models in the digital age, recently conducted a survey among 941 business leaders in 12 industries.  The research highlighted that four out of the top 10 incumbents in each industry based on market share will be displaced by digital disruption in just five years. However, despite these dire predictions, only 25 percent of firms surveyed are actively responding by disrupting their own businesses, and 45 percent of companies across all industries have neither acknowledged nor addressed this risk.

The survey went on to ask executives in each of the 12 industries to estimate the likelihood of disruption among four variables, including investment in disruption, timing of disruption, means of disruption, and impact of disruption. As a result of their responses, the DBT Center concluded that between now and 2020, the industry that will experience the most disruption outside of technology products and services is media and entertainment, and the industry predicted to experience the least is pharmaceutical.  Firms should be focused on evaluating the speed with which their industry will experience disruption themselves or potentially be displaced. In order to do this, it’s important to challenge the assumptions and principles that have been at the core of their success.

As part of the movement toward digital transformation, enterprises are pushing boundaries when it comes to rapid global expansion and the scaling of current operations. With these goals in mind, as of 2018, 81 percent of companies have deployed a multi-cloud strategy, not only facilitating international growth but providing the necessary foundation to implement technologies designed to automate, optimize, and manage workloads and mission-critical applications across entire organizations. By working in tandem with in-house IT staff and external managed services providers, enterprise leaders can use digital disruption to their advantage, implementing the latest technologies that support collaboration and the adoption of cutting-edge applications with seamless connectivity.

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