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October 6, 2016updated 13 Jan 2017 12:00pm

Digital crisis looms as ‘ruthless’ fourth industrial revolution breeds startup fear

Two thirds of UK businesses feel threatened by digital startups, believing that newcomers to the market pose a significant threat to their organisation.

By Ellie Burns

According to new research from Dell Technologies, the fear of startups to the market is propelling innovative companies forward and accelerating the demise of others. Over a quarter (32%) of UK businesses fear they may become obsolete in the next three to five years due to competition from digital-born start-ups.

Some companies are already feeling the pain when it comes to the rapid pace of change in the industry. Just under half (41%) of business leaders have faced significant disruption over the past three years, with digital technologies and the Internet of Everything driving significant change. This has led to 38% of global businesses not knowing 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,” said Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer for Dell Technologies.

Dell Technologies found that the road to digital transformation has been a struggle for some, with only a small minority having completed their transformation. While 65% admit that digital transformation could be more widespread throughout their organisation, six in ten companies unable to meet customers’ top demands, such as better security and faster access to services and information 24/7. Almost th

Dell Technologies’ findings from the UK form part of an independent global survey by Vanson Bourne of 4,000 business leaders — from mid-size to large enterprises — across 16 countries and 12 industries.

ree quarters (69%) 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,” said Burton.

Companies are already trying to mitigate the possible impending digital crisis, with companies looking to accelerate their digital transformation. 61% agreed that they need to prioritise a centralised technology strategy for their business, while 62% are expanding their software development capabilities.

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Dell Technologies identified the top planned IT investments over the next three years as:

  1. Analytics, big data and data processing (Example: Data Lakes)
  2. Converged infrastructure
  3. Ultra-high performance technologies (Example: Flash)
  4. Internet of Things technologies

“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” said Burton.

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