Broadcom’s $130 billion bid for Qualcomm sent shockwaves through the technology sector in what could be one of the largest tech takeovers ever. The blockbuster bid comes at a time when companies in the TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) space are competing to secure top spots in an industry that continues record-setting growth and is forecasted to reach a total market capitalization of $17 trillion in 2020.

Amid this intense growth, though, comes the specter of growing industry upheaval, especially for established companies. A potent combination of technological advances has enabled startups wielding radical new business models to transform themselves into major corporations seemingly overnight. These forces are posing serious challenges for even the most successful players today.

As TMT companies mature, many will likely experience the same plateauing of growth — or worse — that companies in other industries have already gone through. The way to avoid that is to be obsessively proactive in managing costs and instilling a determined focus in return on invested capital, or ROIC — the financial metric said to be best for determining how big of a “moat” any company has around itself — all throughout the organization.

Most products in TMT have relatively short lifecycles. When lifecycles are short, it’s often necessary to focus — seemingly first and foremost — on getting the products “out the door.” But over time, that can lead to organizational structures that are too big and too complex for the long haul.

Complexities emerge in TMT companies in several ways, shaped in part by relentless innovation in technologies like social media, online marketplaces, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and cloud-based computing. Buyers and sellers today are interacting in portals inseparable from everyday life, and virtually all information is available anywhere at any time. This fact means all companies, including those in TMT, have greater challenges than ever before in harnessing data to make smart business decisions.

Research by AlixPartners reveals a major sign of concern: Some 1,278 software-apps companies have exited the public markets since 1996 as the result of bankruptcy, acquisition or privatization. This is the direct result of failing to navigate the three-phase maturity process that, sooner or later, affects virtually all industries: disruption, high growth and commoditization or consolidation.

If nothing else, the Broadcom-Qualcomm news should be a wake-up call that even in high-flying TMT, if you don’t have a protective moat around yourself, you may be ripe for consolidation rather than growth.

Francesco Barosi is a managing director and global co-head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice at consulting firm AlixPartners.