CFO’s See Big Change Ahead

In the not-so-distant future, they believe, the corporate world will look very different than it does now.

Disruptive technologies like the Cloud, the Internet of Things and mobile applications are upending the old way of doing business across the world and across sectors—so much so that many company insiders feel a revolution is under way.

This, at least, is what jaw-dropping numbers crunched by the global consultancy Accenture suggest. According to the firm’s 2016 CFO Reality Check report, “nearly one-quarter of CFOs think that their companies as they exist today will die.… Fifty-eight percent believe their industries will be disrupted, and some competitors will disappear.” Specifically, a whopping 41% of all finance executives interviewed by Accenture believe such will be the fate of more than half of their direct rivals.

Results vary by industry. Chief financial officers in the insurance and energy sectors are the most concerned about what lies ahead for their companies. Forty percent and 31% of them, respectively, say that their firms will not survive disruptive competition. CFOs in the banking and the automotive, industrial, infrastructure and travel sectors are the most pessimistic about the future of other, rival organizations, with 60% and 57%, respectively, saying that more than half of them will not make it.

The survey also highlighted important geographical disparities. In particular, CFOs at European companies are the most likely to think that competitors will fail. They believe so at almost double the rate of their counterparts working for US companies.

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