A new study by IBM has revealed that leading CEOs are focusing more on cognitive computing as they see rapid digitisation of business, combined with industry convergence, as important changes in the coming years.
According to the study, half of the leading CEOs surveyed think cognitive computing will revolutionise their business in the next three to five years – 19% more than market-following CEOs and 35% more than all C-suite leaders combined.
IBM Global Business Services global leader of thought leadership and eminence Peter Korsten said: "CEOs know they need to prepare for a future in which disruption is pervasive, technological advances occur at great speed, traditional industry classifications no longer exist and ecosystems revolutionize entire markets.
"The leading CEOs in our study provide guidance from which all CEOs can learn how to prepare for a world of redefined competition."
A recent Global C-suite study revealed that all CEOs found the risk of industry disruption emerging from an unlikely competitor outside their industry as a primary competitive threat.
About 60% of CEOs anticipate increased competition from other industries, a 50% growth from 2013, compared to 54% of the C-suite as a whole.
69% of CEOs are actively undertaking various strategies to play a new or different role in their ecosystems.
58% of leading CEOs are particularly focused on disruptive innovation, compared to 44% of market followers. They are planning to reinvent their companies instead of simply tweaking existing products or services.
Leading CEOs are also more likely to rethink the customer segments they target and identify new geographic markets and delivery channels, according to IBM.
All of the leading CEOs surveyed are focusing on rapid experimentation, pilots and prototyping, compared to just 66% of market followers.
About 68% are prepared to wait three or more years for positive returns on innovation, compared with 57% of market followers.
The study recommended several steps to help ensure their companies are better prepared with the extreme disruption.
CEOs are being urged to energise their engagement strategy using predictive and cognitive analytics to identify new trends, expand customer engagement and embrace new markets and delivery channels.