The “Uber Syndrome” Evolved

August 1, 2017

Per IBM’s GBS 2015 Global C-Suite Study, CxOs were bracing against the “Uber Syndrome” or when “a competitor with a completely different business model enters your industry and flattens you.” Fast-forward to 2017, CxOs are evaluating how to thrive a competitive landscape where industry convergence, constant change and service-based business models are the new norm.

GBS has reported a significant change in its 2017 update. Instead of focusing on the unknown, now, CxOs are:

  • Saying that future competition is more likely to come from within their own industry.
  • Carefully defining their go-to-market strategies while reassessing with whom they go to market with.
  • Moving away from knee-jerk reactions toward more methodical, considered approaches.

These results suggest that CxOs feel that staying competitive no longer means straying from core business identity but instead, gaining focus through a methodical evaluation of systems, assets and operations to become more customer focused. While companies like Uber that are “born from data” still grab mindshare, others are reinventing how they can improve customer experience – for example, by connecting to customers through data that normally remains dark. For example, industrial manufacturers like Caterpillar and Flowserve are transforming relationships with customers through data-driven aftermarket services.

Data acquisition is no longer a primary barrier to digital transformation. Indeed, any number of reports link the number of connected devices to revenue potential. Yet, while IoT and social media have yielded more data than ever before, analysts suggest that most of it remains dark. Why? While CxOs understand that differentiation within their sectors depend on adding Augmented Intelligence (AI), a recent synopsis of Bluewolf AI survey results suggest that there is still a significant underinvestment in cognitive systems. Shaping these “digital transformation” strategies to ensure sustainable value while minimizing risk to core processes is still top of mind.

If anything, the past decade has taught us all that no industry is immune to disruption. As CxO’s focus on ways to reinvent relationships with their customers, choosing partners to help move digital transformation strategies from ideation to execution will be key to remaining competitive.

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