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Tech industry disruptors are being disrupted: KPMG International survey

Tech industry disruptors are being disrupted

Under one-third of tech execs believe their co.’s are very prepared for disruptive tech.

Phil Blackman

Chief Operating Officer, Global Corporate Affairs

KPMG International


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Positive outlook but tech industry execs are concerned about non-tech companies infiltrating their space.

While more than two-thirds of senior executives within technology companies around the world say disruptive technologies are having a positive impact on either their organization or the industry itself, many also admit that they are not ready for disruptive technologies and the changes they bring.

Less than one-third of the 580 senior executives from technology companies around the world responding to a new KPMG International survey, titled The disruptors are the disrupted: Disruptive technologies barometer – Technology sector, believe their company is ‘very prepared’ to address disruptive technologies in their strategic vision.

Gary Matuszak, KPMG International’s Global Chair of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice comments:

“The disruptors have become the disrupted; and the sheer speed at which disruptive technologies are changing the landscape is replacing optimism with concerns for technology executives.”

The biggest concern for the technology company leaders that KPMG International surveyed is competition from outside the industry. Seventy-eight percent are somewhat to extremely concerned about non-technology firms becoming technology firms. And, of those who have experienced a negative impact as a result of disruptive technologies, 61 percent say it is due in part from it bringing new competitors into the technology industry from other industries.

Further, 38 percent of respondents whose companies have suffered negatively from disruptive technologies admit that they saw trends coming too late. Conversely, 46 percent of those who say disruptive technologies are helping their business say they invested in the new technology trend earlier than their competitors.

“With software increasingly core to every kind of business, from retailers to healthcare providers to automakers, technology firms are being disrupted by everyone,” says Matuszak.

Matuszak further comments:

“Being a fast and early mover is not necessarily about entering a market before others. Today, it can also mean being quick to adopt and exploit the power of disruptive technologies, in products, marketing, manufacturing and operations.”

Indeed, many technology executives responding to the survey recognize this imperative. Over half (56 percent) that see a positive impact from disruptive technologies are using it to reshape their organizational business models.

According to the survey results technology company executives are, in practice, using disruptive technologies mainly to drive productivity but to also make a difference on quality and cost.

The Internet of Things (IoT), Data and Analytics (D&A) and robotics are reported as being the most significant productivity facilitators. Almost half (49 percent) of survey respondents state that IoT is a key driver of business productivity – from improving employee efficiency and project timelines to restructuring supply chain processes and more.

And then, with investments revealing where technology companies are hedging their bets, the KPMG International survey shows that most are casting a wide net and investing in a number of different technologies simultaneously. When asked to what extent their company is investing (tangibly, strategically or significantly), the tally shows that for technology company executives D&A and IoT rank equally in the top spot with 61 percent, followed by Cloud at 60 percent and Marketing Platforms at 59 percent. However it is worth noting that that not one technology fell below the 45 percent mark:

  • mobile (58 percent)
  • digital payments/currency and on-demand market platforms (54 percent equally)
  • artificial intelligence/cognitive computing (53 percent)
  • wearable devices and social media (51 percent equally)
  • virtual reality/augmented reality (48 percent)
  • robotics (47 percent)
  • 3D printing (45 percent).

“New, disruptive technological innovations are emerging at a rapid pace. Today’s hot tech breakthrough could soon be yesterday’s news. With so many options to choose from, it’s extremely hard to methodically scan, assess, pilot, and deploy new technologies – but it’s essential to try, by continually monitoring what’s new, and evaluating the potential benefits,” says Matuszak.

Technology companies face a bewildering range of investment choices. Some are striving to be leaders in adopting disruptive technologies, others may be playing a game of ‘wait and see’. Some may not even realize they are being disrupted, while others choose to ignore disruption, convinced that their current path will continue to bring success.

KPMG International’s TMT practice has developed a framework that informs executives within technology companies on the various types of disruptive technologies and the key benefits they can bring to operations, business models and customer/marketing efforts. Visit Disruptive technologies barometer: Technology sector for the full report with the framework included.

About “The disruptors are the disrupted: Disruptive technologies barometer – Technology sector” survey

This report is based on a commissioned global survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of KPMG International’s Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.

580 senior executives within technology companies from 16 countries were surveyed and represent hardware manufacturers, software providers, equipment vendors, semiconductors producers, Internet companies, social media technology vendors and other similar organizations. The 16 countries include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Portugal, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

This survey is part of a wider body of research into the technology, media and telecommunications industries, involving 1740 senior executives (580 from each sector). The media and telecommunications industry results will be released in December 2016. 

Please visit Disruptive technologies barometer: Technology sector to access the full report.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have 174,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

For more information, please contact:

KPMG Global News

KPMG International

The views and opinions expressed herein are the personal opinions of the interviewees and authors based on their personal experience working as Auditors in the industry and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of KPMG International or any KPMG member firm.

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