Published On: Wed, Oct 19th, 2016

78% of Businesses Feel Threatened by Startups, Dell Research

Digital Crisis Looms: Nearly 1 in 2 Business Leaders Fear Digital Start-ups Will Make Their Business Obsolete Within 3-5 Years

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News highlights:

  • 48% of global businesses don’t know what their industry will look like in 3 years
  • 78% of businesses consider digital start-ups a threat, either now or in the future
  • Around six in ten businesses are unable to meet customers’ top demands
  • Just 5% of businesses can be classed as ‘Digital Leaders’
  • 73% confess digital transformation could be more widespread”

According to result from  an independent survey by Vanson Bourne of 4, 000 business leaders — from mid-size to large enterprises — across 16 countries and 12 industries:

The new research from Dell Technologies, 78% of businesses believe digital start-ups will pose a threat to their organization, either now or in the future.

Almost half (45%) of global businesses surveyed fear they may become obsolete in the next three to five years due to competition from digital-born start-ups. This phenomenon is propelling innovative companies forward and accelerating the demise of others.

Some companies are feeling badly bruised by the pace of change. More than half (52%) of business leaders have experienced significant disruption in their industries over the past three years as a result of digital technologies and the Internet of Everything, and 48% of global businesses don’t know what their industry will look like in three years’ time.

“So far the fourth industrial revolution has proved as ruthless as its predecessors. If companies can’t keep up, they will fall behind … or worse. The ‘delay until another day’ approach simply won’t work, ” explains Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer for Dell Technologies.

Patchy Progress or Digital Crisis looming?

Progress has been patchy to say the least. Some companies have barely started their digital transformation. Many have taken a piecemeal approach. Only a small minority have almost completed their digital transformation. Just one in three businesses surveyed are performing critical digital business attributes* well. While only parts of many businesses are thinking and acting digitally, the vast majority (73%) admits digital transformation could be more widespread throughout their organization.

Around six in ten companies are unable to meet customers’ top demands, such as better security and 24/7 faster access to services and information. Nearly two-thirds (64%) confess to not acting on intelligence in real-time.

“These are imperatives for success in a digital age. Failing to deliver in such a highly contested marketplace could trigger the beginning of a digital crisis, ” added Burton.


“In the near future, almost every business will have software development expertise at its core. Many of these companies will be brand new, others – having not written a line of code in 20 years – will have been on a momentous journey. New digital products and services will drive the transformation of IT infrastructure as businesses struggle to manage 1000x more users and 1000x more data, ” says Burton.

“Digital Transformation is the result of blending the power of technology with a rapidly adaptable culture that understands not only what technology can do for its business, but why it is so important in creating the future of the enterprise, ” said Daniel Newman, principal analyst, Futurum Research. “Every C-Suite leader looking to up their investment in digital transformation needs to understand the threats to their industry and how technology can take their business to the next level to stay competitive.”


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