RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • In a recent Accenture survey, the majority of Chief Strategy Officers agreed they would be disrupted in the next 5 years but only 20 percent felt they were well prepared for it.
  • Accenture developed the "Disruptability Index" which helps pinpoint both current levels of disruption and susceptibility to future disruption.
  • Software and platforms is the most highly disrupted industry today. The reason? The high concentration of market players ready to take your place.
  • Our Index shows that disruption has a pattern which enables management teams to understand their position, identify where they are specifically vulnerable and take action.


It’s coming. And it’s more than a wave. It’s a strategy-shifting tsunami. Unless you know where you are, you’ll never know where to head next. Unless you know what your competition’s strategy is, you’ll never know how to get there first. And unless you start now, you’ll already be behind.

20%

In a recent Accenture survey of Chief Strategy Officers, only 20 percent felt they were well prepared for disruption when it hits.

Disruption is at the heart of the software and platform business. It’s an industry where companies succeed by disrupting others. But customer preferences, company strategies, regulations, industries and markets can change quickly. So there’s never time to rest. Offense and defense are equally important.

To help companies better understand their vulnerability to disruption, Accenture developed the "Disruptability Index." The Index helps pinpoint both current levels of disruption and susceptibility to future disruption. Management teams can use the index to gauge how exposed they are today, understand where they are specifically vulnerable and plan an appropriate strategic response.

Software and platforms is the most highly disrupted industry today. The reason? The high concentration of market players ready to take your place.

How can your company shred the tsunami?

It starts with spotting the wave. The Index allows every business to understand their own position. But they can also use it to spot potential opportunities in adjacent industries and clarify the picture of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. For example, the travel industry is moderately disrupted and highly susceptible to future disruption. A travel company could address its structural challenges by innovating or repositioning the business to create barriers to entry. But for those that don’t take such actions, a platform business offering new travel-related services may well take their place.

Software and platform companies can also use the index to examine individual businesses within their portfolio. While the company may be viable overall, an individual business, product or service line may be vulnerable.

You can’t wait until the crest is already on top of you. History shows that complacency is dangerous. And you don’t have to look hard for examples where failure to innovate has seen a once ubiquitous product or service rapidly lose its market. If users and customers lose interest in a platform it very quickly becomes vulnerable to others offering more innovative products and features.

Three ways to take advantage of the Disruptability Index:

Leaders continuously reinvent themselves. And they do it by adopting the values of a Living Business. They find success in continuously evolving with the needs of customers and executing along three lines: They find new markets for existing products, bring new products to existing markets and expand aggressively into adjacent markets.

Finding new markets for existing products

Having already made deep inroads into their primary markets, platform companies aspire to scale products and services globally.

New products in existing markets

AI has a key role to play here. AI will provide the insights to drive real-time changes, develop new products and services, and deliver engaging experiences.

Aggressive expansion into adjacent markets

A third path to growth is to disrupt other sectors. The most direct route is to apply core competencies in new ways to adjacent markets.

The Accenture Disruptability Index

The Accenture Disruptability Index is created from analysis of 28 indicators within 3,629 companies across 80 countries and 20 industry sectors. Indicators represent measures of efficiency and innovation, barriers to entry, performance of incumbents, and the presence and penetration of disruptors.

Robin Murdoch

Managing Director – Global Industry


Paul Johnson

Research Manager

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