Which industries are most—and least—likely to be disrupted in 2018?

by | Jun 4, 2018 | Public Relations

What does it take to succeed in an environment of digital disruption? It depends on your industry—and in many cases, it’s going to take more luck than skill. In fact, a new survey of IT stakeholders from open-source pioneer Alfresco Software and Dimensional Research is a wake-up call for the C-suite.

The report, Digital Disruption: Disrupt or Be Disrupted, is based on interviews with more than 300 digital transformation decision makers in the U.S. and UK. The report reveals what industries are most and least likely to be disrupted in 2018, identifies the qualities of companies most likely to be disruptors, and concludes that cloud is key to digital transformation.

It’s a coin toss as to who wins and who loses

When it comes to their own companies, 50 percent of IT stakeholders think they are leaders and will disrupt, while 50 percent feel they are behind and will be disrupted by the competition in 2018. By industry, more telcos (65 percent) and technology (65%) companies predict they will be disruptors, while 17 percent of IT stakeholders working for government and non-profit organizations worry they will be disrupted.

“Today’s corporate leaders must realize that digital disruption is happening, and it’s happening right now,” said Alfresco founder and CTO John Newton, in a news release. “Those who don’t have a digital strategy in place and IT modernization initiatives underway are not likely to survive.”

Companies with vision and execution will disrupt

An important takeaway from this survey is what is most likely to propel a company into the disruptor position. According to IT stakeholders, the top predictors of success are IT vision and ability to implement new technologies:

  • Vision of their technology leadership (62 percent)
  • Ability of their technology teams to execute (58 percent)
  • Capabilities of new technologies, such as cloud, AI and IoT (57 percent)

On the other hand, companies most likely to be disrupted are those that are lacking the vision and right levels of investment to succeed, specifically:

  • Lack of budget and people resource investments (61 percent)
  • Lack of vision among business leaders (48 percent)
  • No willingness for company culture to embrace digital transformation (47 percent)

Furthermore, 70 percent of IT stakeholders believe business executives are taking too long to make the digital transformation leap; only 38 percent feel the technology team is holding them back. Another 78 percent feel that people changes are the most difficult, while 22 percent feel the technology changes are the most difficult.

Banking most likely to be hurt by digital transformation in 2018

The report also looked at which industries were most and least likely to be impacted by digital transformation this year—40 percent of IT stakeholders say banking is most likely to be negatively impacted by failing to digitally transform in 2018, and a third (30 percent) say retail is the industry most likely to be improved by embracing digital transformation.

Industries most likely to be negatively impacted by failing to digitally transform include:

  • Banking – 40 percent
  • Government – 18 percent
  • Insurance – 10 percent

Other industries likely to be improved by embracing digital transformation include:

  • Retail – 30 percent
  • Healthcare – 24 percent
  • Manufacturing – 18 percent
  • Airlines – 17 percent
  • Transportation – 17 percent

Cloud is key to digital transformation

To achieve digital transformation quickly, companies need a technology infrastructure that can adapt quickly to change. Infrastructure clouds or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions enable companies to innovate quickly and respond more rapidly to changing business conditions, with minimal capital expense and maintenance costs.

  • The vast majority (95 percent) of stakeholders say IaaS is important to their digital transformation
  • 81 percent say they have achieved value from IaaS, but only 11 percent say they are doing everything they can and have maximized its value

An online survey was sent to an independent database of IT professionals with responsibility for digital transformation. A total of 307 qualified IT professionals completed the survey. All participants lived in the United States or United Kingdom and worked at companies with more than 500 employees. Each had responsibility for digital transformation decision making. Participants included a mix of job levels, company sizes and industries.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter