Digital disruption predicted by half of UK business leaders

Half of all UK business leaders predict that their sectors will suffer from significant digital disruption over the coming two years, new research has found.

According to a report compiled by Microsoft, 50 per cent of business leaders based in the UK think their industries will see some level of disruption linked to technology by 2018. They also said that these sectors will suffer from issues with current business models becoming outdated - indeed, 44 per cent reported that, in their opinion, their existing business models will cease to exist over the course of the next five years.

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Those working in the financial services sector reported the highest level of concern, with 65 per cent of respondents anticipating major digital disruption on their markets over the coming two years. 46 per cent of business decision-makers also said that their senior leaders were unwilling to make changes to their current businesses in order to grow and to be able to continue to compete on the world stage. Those working in this industry said that they thought that the biggest disruption would come as a result of heightened competition from new entrants to the market, a factor which was cited by 33 per cent of those surveyed.

Nicola Hodson, general manager of marketing and operations at Microsoft UK, said: "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 digital disruption in a considered way and how they maintain competitiveness in a rapidly shifting landscape."