Wading Through Transformation

Few Firms Prepared For Business Disruption

While 76% see an increase, on 17% have a formal strategy in place
Top disruptors include security, data access, mobility, access to talent


NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — By investing in the right mix of technology and talent, global companies can turn business and market challenges – called “disruptors” – into competitive differentiation, according to a survey of more than 600 global senior executives by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax, and advisory firm.

Results from the survey, “Succeed in Constant Change,” indicate top-performing companies are able to sustain growth and increase profits in the face of the near-constant change.

While more than three-quarters (76%) of executives polled said they saw disruption as constant and most likely increasing in the future, only 17 percent said their companies were prepared for the coming volatility with a strategic approach.

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“The disruptors range from emerging competitors using new, disruptive business models to the explosion of data from always-on devices and revolutionary consumer experiences that force businesses to transform their entire operations,” explained John Cummings, principal, KPMG U.S. Advisory Industry Leader for Industrial Manufacturing.

Top Five Disruptors

Survey respondents identified the following as the Top Five Potential Disruptors to their businesses:

  • Regulatory and legislative complexity and increasing rules (71%)
  • Shifts in security, including an emphasis on cyber security (63%)
  • Instantaneous and ubiquitous data access (60%)
  • Digital/Mobile-enabled workforce and consumers (58%)
  • Global access to talent and skills (49%)

To deal with these disruptions, executives from the fastest-growing businesses said they are investing in emerging technology, industry-specific technology, and specialized talent at a much higher rate than their slower-growing counterparts.

Fully 34 percent are investing in talent with emerging technology expertise vs. 17% for slower-growing firms; 30% vs. 18% are investing in talent with industry expertise; 25% vs. 19% are utilizing Cloud computing such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS; only 25% of faster-growing firms vs. 34% are spending time updating “legacy” enterprise systems; and 39% of faster-growing firms vs. 29% spend more time leveraging industry-specific technology advancements.

Top Five Disruptors with the Most Opportunity

Those surveyed also listed the Top Five Disruptors they saw as creating the most opportunity for their businesses, if leveraged effectively. These are:

  • Instantaneous/ubiquitous data access
  • Digitally enabled consumers
  • Multi-generational workforce
  • Global business complexity in their industry
  • Accelerated growth of enterprises

“The fastest-growing and the most profitable organizations are increasingly – and smartly – leveraging these disruptors to continually deploy new business models, accelerate decision-making, convert data into valuable knowledge and focus on the customer,” said Steve Chase, KPMG’s U.S. Advisory Management Consulting leader.

In fact, survey respondents whose companies were generating a profit of 11% or greater reported making 25% higher-than-average investments in digital and mobile. Areas of investment include engaging with customers, growing the digital enterprise and enabling a mobile workforce.





Survey Methodology
The KPMG survey polled 650 senior executives of large, multinational U.S. and U.K.-based enterprises. It also conducted 20 in-depth interviews with executives at leading firms across geographies and sectors. The companies surveyed ranged in revenue from less than $10 billion (43%); $10-49 billion (27%); to over $50 billion (30%). Job titles of survey respondents spanned the enterprise – from marketing and sales, IT, Operations, Finance and Accounting, management, professional services, to Research & Development and Human Resources.

Click here to read the summary report. To view the series:

Harnessing Disruption for Growth

Operating Effectively in the Face of Ever-Present Change



KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 162,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.