Half of all business leaders in the UK fear significant digital disruption to their industries within the next two years, according to new research.
A Microsoft study – Digital Transformation: The Age of Innocence, Inertia or Innovation? – fielded by YouGov on behalf of Microsoft consolidated the views of more than 1,000 UK business and IT leaders from large UK organisations.
It found that the financial services sector, which employs 2.2 million people and contributes £66 billion in taxes in the UK, is demonstrating the highest level of anxiety.
Two-thirds (65 per cent) of those respondents said they fear the impact of disruption on their markets over the course of the next 24 months.
Exactly 50 per cent of all respondents feared significant digital disruption to their industries within the next two years while the report also concluded that the shelf life of current business models is extremely limited: nearly half of UK business leaders (44 per cent) said theirs will cease to exist within the next five years.
Despite the potential threats such disruption will mean for British businesses, many organisations seem unwilling to face the coming changes.
Almost half (46 per cent) of business decision makers say senior leaders in their organisations are unwilling to disrupt their existing businesses to grow and compete.
“The dawn of the fourth industrial revolution is a massive opportunity for British businesses but many are still living in an age of innocence or inertia when they need to be innovating,” said Nicola Hodson, general manager of marketing & operations, Microsoft UK.
“Whilst this research indicates that business models are breaking, many business leaders appear unwilling to address them.
“New challengers, many who are digitally savvy start-ups, are disrupting established markets by deploying new technologies quickly, and luring expectant customers away from established competitors.
“For many larger organisations, the challenge is how to react to this market disruption in a considered way and how they maintain competitiveness in a rapidly shifting landscape.”