In order to sustain, evolve and grow business, transformation has become a necessity. While the outcome of business transformation can mean life or death for a company or industry, only half of executives say that their organizations adapt well to new technologies or processes, according to a survey of 106 executives conducted by Forbes Insights. In contrast, successful transformation means more than merely adapting to change; it means rewriting business models or even reshaping your own industry.

Evolutionary developments can be just as provocative. Big Data and the advent of the cloud are catalysts that very few businesses have fully embraced. These applied technologies clearly have the power to revolutionize many industries, yet many companies are still struggling with how to integrate them into their business plans. One case in point: just 60% of the companies we surveyed report that they are taking full advantage of data analytics to better understand customers and to act on that information.

The deluge of information these new technologies bring is a double-edged sword—a source of tremendous opportunity but also an exponential increase in complexity. Take the case of the pharmaceutical industry. With changes in the payer-provider system globally, drug developers are facing tremendous pressures to show greater efficacy and value in the treatments they bring to market. At the same time, advances in genetics and personalized medicine increase the variables that can determine efficacy almost exponentially.

Regulatory change, increasing competition and changing customer expectations as well as technological change were named as the most pressing issues by respondents to the survey. These may ness Transformationlike everyday problems for any business, but ignoring them can lead to the kind of slow attrition and deterioration in performance that saps customers and employees. And any of these catalysts—together or alone—can spell the beginning of the end for a struggling start-up or a century-old industrial company.

Read the Business Transformation Survey

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