Digitization is claimed to disrupt a growing number of industries, even if to date, limited empirical evidence is made available to assess both the magnitude of this phenomenon and recommend the best incumbent firms’ responses. Leveraging a unique global survey cutting across multiple countries, industries and firms, we provide robust statistical evidence that: (a) digitization fits the concept of disruptive innovation. Empirically, digitization already threatens to cut a major part, up to 12%, of the profit growth profile of the non-responding incumbent. (b) For companies responding to the threat of digitization, an offensive corporate strategy with coherent digital actions, has by far the largest pay-off and may potentially offset the depressive effect of digital disruption. The empirical results are robust to many sensitivity tests, including instrumental variables regressions to test reverse causation from firm performance to strategic posture.