Marking a turning point in the evolution of emerging technologies, many technology business leaders now rank several technologies ahead of or equal with Cloud and mobile as the most disruptive technologies in the next three years, according to the 2015 Global Technology Innovation survey by KPMG, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

“This year’s findings mark a milestone as some emerging technologies enabled by Cloud and mobile are now top strategic priorities and enablers in their own right,” said Gary Matuszak Global Chair of KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. “The most successful businesses will be those that can most effectively apply multiple emerging technologies together and integrate them with people to address challenges and opportunities.”

KPMG surveyed 832 technology business leaders globally, including C-level executives (87 percent of respondents), from technology industry startups, mid-sized to large enterprises, venture capital firms and angel investors to identify disruptive technologies, barriers to tech innovation adoption, and the scope of business disruption and new monetization opportunities driven by emerging technologies.

Consumer market disruption

When asked which will be the top disruptive technologies and enablers of consumer technologies in the next three years, tech business leaders (15 percent) in China ranked artificial intelligence/cognitive computing first, tied with Cloud. U.S. respondents (15 percent) ranked biotech/digital healthcare/healthcare IT alone on top, while EMEA respondents (12 percent) ranked 3-D printing first.

“Making these technologies a priority is about combining technology and people to allow the redeployment of a workforce to its highest and best use, and about solutions that solve previously unsolvable problems,” said Matuszak. “AI in China, 3-D printing in EMEA and biotech/healthtech in the U.S. all can be seen as ways to supplement their workforce while producing innovative, attractive solutions to capture market opportunities.”

Enterprise market disruption

In looking at the enterprise market, China tech business leaders ranked the Internet of Things (IoT) (14 percent) ahead of Cloud as the disruptive technology that is expected to have the greatest impact on driving business transformation in the next three years. EMEA findings revealed that IoT (10 percent) leaped past several technologies to join Cloud and mobile as the most impactful business transformation drivers. In the U.S., tech business leaders viewed data and analytics (13 percent) and Cloud as having the most impact during the next few years.

Industry disruption

While respondents globally said the technology industry will see the greatest transformation due to emerging technologies, other industries ranked among the top three included consumer markets/retail and financial services in China; biotech/healthcare and consumer markets/retail tied with telecommunications in the U.S.; and telecommunications and energy in EMEA.

Along with financial services ranking third in China, it rose to fourth in the U.S. This data complements a finding on digital disruption in the financial services industry.

U.S. changing attitude on digital currencies

Nearly tripling last year’s finding (15 percent), 41 percent of U.S. technology business leaders said it is likely or very likely that digital currencies will disrupt the banking and payments sector in the next three years. Globally, 42 percent said so. Almost three-fourths (72 percent) in China and 27 percent in EMEA said it is likely or very likely.

About the KPMG 2015 Global Technology Innovation Survey

In the August – September survey of 832 business executives globally whose organizations were focused on the technology space, 29 percent of the respondents were in the Americas, 42 percent in Asia Pacific, and 32 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Sixteen percent of respondents were from the United States and 11 percent from China.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 162,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.