Some 46% CFOs Think Their Business Could Fail In The Next Few Years, Thanks to Disruption

Portrait of depressed man sitting on the floor in desert

Nearly half of chief financial officers (CFO) are concerned disruption could cost them their business, according to a new white paper commissioned by American Express.

Services such as Uber and Airbnb are classic examples of a dramatic shakeup in their respective markets, and with 50 per cent of CFOs stating disruption has had a negative impact on their business, companies need to give it some tough thought.

The statistic comes from a new white paper called The Age of Disruption which looked into how disruption is affecting 250 CFOs of Australian mid-sized businesses.

While 50 per cent said it had impacted their business in a negative manner, only 20 per cent said it was a positive thing for them.

And yet, even with the relatively small percentage of CFOs who say disruption is a positive thing, 69 per cent aren’t fazed about disruption, despite the fact 46 per cent think their business could fail in the next 3-5 years.

However, disruption isn’t going to come at companies in one massive swoop, rather it will seep into the business before anyone realises, suggested Didier Bonnet, senior vice president and global practice leader in digital transformation at software company Capgemini at the Daze of Disruption conference in Sydney.

In line with this, Kai Reimer, chair of the digital disruption research group at the University of Sydney, said companies typically react to disruption two years after the disruption has actually happened.

Both Bonnet and Reimer are also speaking at the Melbourne Daze of Disruption conference in early December this year.

Where the disruption is coming from however remains varied. Much of the competition is coming from local businesses (38 per cent), followed by overseas players joining the sandbox (18 per cent) and 11 per cent from existing international competition, according to the American Express white paper.

One of the major findings from the report was companies who embrace disruption are the ones who are going to thrive from it.

“What’s very important for any company is that you have to have this spirit of reinvention and that’s what we really have in the DNA of our company… If you don’t innovate, you die,” said Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, in the report. “You have to constantly innovate and challenge the status quo.”

The report also found in the retail sector, 92 per cent of companies have a high acceptance rate of failure. In the professional and business services arena, 30 per cent had double digit growth in the past few years, with 39 per cent believing the main threat at the moment is technological advancements.

If you’re a business who is thriving in disruption, or quivering at the thought of what could happen, tickets are still available for the Melbourne Daze of Disruption conference. Grab some at early bird ticket prices right here, right now.

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