CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and CIOs are living in the midst of the greatest period of transformation in the history of humankind: Emerging technologies are seemingly unconstrained and breathtaking, and the implications are significant.

Companies are being revolutionized by this dramatic acceleration of technology innovation, which is profoundly transforming customer and employee expectations. Business processes have altered the how, when, where, and by whom work gets done. Industry shifts that previously may have taken decades or more are now happening in five years or less. Traditional boundaries and intersections between industries, companies, and individuals have been significantly blurred and, in many cases, fundamentally altered by technology.

While we see the impact of technology in nearly every industry, the issues are even more acute for industries that deal directly with the individual consumer, such as Retail, Financial Services, Healthcare, Hospitality, and Travel & Transportation. Consumer expectations for industries such as these have been profoundly changed by smart mobile technology, the internet of things, and powerful apps, many of which ultimately must tie back to a company’s legacy IT environment.

As explosive growth in technologies literally changes everything in its path, CxOs must decide how to adjust to this new normal. How do they prepare for technology-driven transformations that take place so rapidly and sometimes, so unpredictably? How can they capitalize upon the opportunities that will develop, and protect themselves from the myriad risks, including the risk of obsolescence if they fail to keep up with the pace of innovation?

CxOs must recognize and think through the tremendous technology-driven disruption within their industry, while focusing on the immediate and long-term impact within their own company. In order to survive and thrive, CxOs must have a comprehensive understanding of the evolving marketplace model as well as their own business model. CxOs who understand how to smartly implement their business strategies through IT-enabled business transformation efforts will win in these evolving markets.

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