While digital disruption gets the lion’s share of credit for digital transformation in publications such as ITBusiness.ca, a new study by IBM Corp. indicates that executives are more likely to be wary of competitors within their own industry.

According to the latest Global C-suite Study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), which solicited input from more than 1,800 executives around the world, 68 per cent of executives expect future competition to come from within their own industry, compared to only 29 percent of executives fearing the same in 2015.

“Two years ago, digital disruption was dominating the minds of CxOs all over the world,” IBM wrote in an April 19 press release. “Many business leaders professed their fear of the ‘Uber syndrome,’ when a competitor with a completely different business model enters an unlikely industry and flattens the competition. Today, there’s been a shift.”

Today, rather than prioritizing the development of new markets over growing existing ones, executive decisions are more likely to be driven by the threat industry convergence. As a result, many are investing in new digital capabilities to drive organic growth in traditional markets.

In the April 19 release, IBV C-suite program manager Stephen Marshall said the results illustrated the increasingly fluid nature of today’s business landscape, and the need for executives to remain “well informed, well prepared and extremely agile.”

“Unlike two years ago, CxOs are moving away from urgent reactions toward more methodical, considered approaches,” Marshall said. “They are carefully defining their go-to-market strategies while reassessing with whom they go to market.”

Executives also expect more innovation to come from within their own businesses in the near future, IBM noted, with 44 per cent of executives now counting on internal sources to drive innovation, compared to just 24 percent in 2015.

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