What is a CEO's No. 1 source of worry?

What does Uber have to do with CEOs?

In a recent survey by Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM, CEOs said their biggest fear is being "Uber-ized" or having "Uber syndrome." That is to say, one of their greatest sources of worry is being disrupted by a digital start-up company from outside their industry, just like Uber disrupted the taxi business, according to The Washington Post.

The IBM Institute for Business Value conducted interviews with over 5,200 CEOs, CFOs and CMOs. This year, 54 percent of C-suite executives responding to the survey said they feared outside digital competition, compared to 43 percent who said so in 2013.

"They've watched this happen — where another organization can come in and disrupt the business without having infrastructure, assets or armies of people, said Linda Ban, IBM's global C-suite study director. "They're looking at that and saying, now where do I look for my Uber?"

According to the study, CEOs believe industry convergence, a progressively more mobile workforce and increasing risk of cyber attacks will be the top three trends in the next three to five years. In addition, 68 percent of executives said IT security is their top risk.

For the first time in the 18 years IBM has conducted the survey, CEOs believed technological changes will have a bigger impact on their business than regulatory concerns, globalization and shortages of people skills.

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