IBM On The 'Syndrome' Keeping Executives Up At Night

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What keeps the leaders in IT awake in the wee hours? According to IBM Cloud Chief Marketing Officer Nancy Pearson, it’s the "Uber Syndrome."

That term, according to Pearson, describes "how Uber has a market cap that exceeds the market cap of all car companies but they don't own any cars. What's happening is they can't see the competition."

In the past, enterprises could perform due diligence and invest in research and development to compete. Today, it's a different story.

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"The boundaries of competition are really becoming very ambiguous," Pearson said.

Pearson said competitive threats come from "people that we call digital invaders and ankle biters -- coming at you from all angles."

That includes hot startup companies, but also just anyone who can code and has access to Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Pearson said.

"Many companies have already experienced this but it's going to exponentially increase," she said.

Pearson called the modern market "an exciting world, but one that's also frightful to mature businesses."