A Renewed Interest in Growth Looks to Spur Innovation
The technology service market in Japan is expected to continue growing at a rate of 2.4% until 2022 when it will reach 5.8 trillion JPY (roughly 53 billion USD). A large factor for this growth is that small- and mid-sized firms are finally beginning to adopt so-called “Third Platforms” such as big data, cloud, mobility, and social. For businesses in industries that are rapidly transforming (e.g., finance, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare), the diversification of customer needs are causing new tech solutions to become indispensable for coping with the changing landscape.
Even in the very traditional Japanese market, many companies are finally adding a CIO who is in-charge of the team responsible for proposing new technologies that will improve profitability to the CEO and, ultimately, the Board of Directors. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 58.7% of companies in 2018 were using cloud services in some way. Yet, uptake has been slow, and the market is still far behind most of the global leaders: many Japanese companies still use bulky legacy technology systems that require specialists to navigate, data analysis is a relatively new concept, and many servers still run entirely on-premise instead of in the cloud or through hybrid solutions.
Looking Towards the Future
The government’s key policy to reform and revitalize the way Japanese companies work through “workstyle reforms” have gone a long way in opening stakeholders minds’ to the idea that innovation in internal technology can transform their business, leading the way for the recent buzz around digital transformation and change management. But, those keywords are still not well understood, and the number of successful, publicly known use cases for companies to reference are just starting to surface. Even less known is how AI, machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision can be used to give huge advantages to the average business—not just with future-first uses focused on concepts yet to be consumer ready like self-driving cars and robot-controlled surgery.
Japanese companies need hand holders who can explain the basic concepts behind these new technologies and become teachers and evangelists, champions who are willing to spend a significant amount of time on education and building trust from the bottom up. Influential Japanese media remain the most trusted source of information for tech and play a major role in determining what solutions should be tested for B2B, while social has become indispensable on the B2C side. Kyodo PR will help secure exposure that will resonate with CIOs and other top executives or end-consumers looking to transform their lifestyles with the next great piece of technology.
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