Are industry leaders really ready for digital disruption?
More than 80% of those surveyed said their company was prepared for digital disruption with mining, technology, automotive and telecoms reporting the highest level of readiness. GlobalData analysts highlighted the mismatch between relatively low levels of understanding of technologies and high levels of perceived readiness for digitally driven change, stating that “companies often overestimate their preparedness for disruption”.
Investment in new tech varies widely by region
Business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region plan the greatest increase in investment in new technology and digital change, with executives in Western Europe reporting the lowest levels of increased spending. This may prompt UK startups to increase their focus on overseas markets.
The proportion of respondents reporting increased spending on new technology:
- Asia-Pacific: 60%
- South & Central America: 59%
- North America: 57%
- Middle East and Africa: 49%
- Eastern Europe: 48%
- Western Europe: 43%
Sector and industry specific findings
Automation is perceived as the most disruptive technology and both automation and 5G are seen as key to supporting business development.
Labour-intensive industries that rely on complex supply chains recognize the disruptive impact of automation and blockchain.
Insurance is looking at AI and AR, technologies that can help reduce costs and bring more efficiency to the claims process.
Business leaders expect the impact of 5G to become evident in the next 12 months as the technology continues to roll out across the world. This is also among the areas where most expect to increase investment in the next year.
GlobalData conclusions and recommendations
COVID-19 will continue to have an impact on businesses. 44% of respondents expect revenues will be impacted negatively. As a result, decision makers might be reluctant to invest in new technology. However, embracing disruptive technology is likely to be part of business plans to overcome the crisis.
The best understood technologies are most likely to be deployed. It is often, but not always, the case that a technology is better known in the sectors where it can have an impact. However AR, which has use cases in retail, apparel, and healthcare, is not fully understood in those sectors.
While cybersecurity is important to all sectors, other emerging technologies are not. Business leaders are looking to focus on technologies that make processes more efficient, cut costs, and assist with business development. Technology vendors must therefore focus on addressing the specific needs of their clients.
The survey reveals that most executives believe their companies are well prepared for digital disruption. Other findings suggest this confidence may not be well founded in all cases. The larger the gap between perceived and actual capabilities, the greater the risk, particularly given the current economic climate. Any misperception of digital readiness is a challenge to tech startups’ sales growth and may need to be overcome as prospects are converted to clients.