Few corporate leaders can deny that their traditional way of doing business is being challenged and transformed by technology – and the pace of this change is increasing each year. As mentioned previously, more than half of key decision makers ranked innovation through new technology (66%) and disruption via competitive technology (62%) as core complexities facing their businesses.

This was reflected to varying degrees by management teams within each industry (Figure 10). In short, business has been anything but usual and this theme is being shared across firms of all sizes in all industries.

In the information technology and communication (ITC) space, respondents said that innovation is the lifeblood of their businesses, a make-or-break feature that determines which enterprises rise above the rest and which ones fail. Across the remaining industries, innovation and new tech solutions are being used to meet customer demands for faster and better products and services. These include online payment platforms, advanced drugs and pharmaceuticals, and simplified financial products to manage their wealth, among many others.

In terms of disruptive forces, few within their respective industries feel they will be able to avoid such competition in the near term (Figure 11).
More than half of respondents (52%) say such disruption in the financial institutions sector will be very likely in the next two years, followed by those in the consumer goods and retail and ITC sectors, both with 34% of those surveyed anticipating similar levels of competition.
Figure 10: Innovation and disruption as a leading challenge/complexity for your business?
CEOs and their management teams are keeping a close eye on several technologies with game-changing potential to drive economic, corporate and societal transformation. Cloud computing and big data – tech that many corporate leaders feel are needed to boost growth, cut inefficiencies, and engage customers more actively and effectively – are among the top innovations that will matter most in the years ahead (Figure 12).

Big data would also receive the most investment dollars among respondents expanding their analytics platforms and understanding of how to use information to drive growth within their organizations. Interestingly, large percentages also spoke to the value of customer relationship management systems (15%) and distributed ledger technology/blockchain (14%), with investment needed to break new ground in these areas.
Figure 11: How likely is it that your industry will see major technological disruption in the next two years?
Figure 12: Which of the following technologies will have the greatest impact on your business in the next two years, and which are you investing most in?
said technological disruption in the financial institutions sector would be very likely in the next two years, along with 45% who said such disruption is likely
China’s economic growth may be decelerating, but the country continues to increase its position and influence throughout regional and global markets. A large part of this is being driven by Chinese businesses as they increase their presence in key advanced and emerging economies, a process that will lead to their growing stature and recognition as market moving players.”
Head of Finance, Asia Pacific insurance corporation
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