We are embarking on the challenge of
solving societal problems via Connected Enterprise,
which generate new added values through
cross-industry collaborations

※Below is an excerpt from TOP MESSAGE, "ABeam" Public Relations Report 2018-19. 

Toshinori Iwasawa

We have now entered the age of VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.
In order to survive, many companies are faced with having to engage in digital transformation using advanced technologies. Compared to China and the West, Japan’s initiatives are said to lag behind
ーbut what, exactly, is necessary for digital transformation? At ABeam Consulting, our analysis incorporates the concept of “Connected Enterprise
ーwhich we believe to be the future of digital transformation.

Toshinori Iwasawa
ABeam Consulting Ltd.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Executing digital transformation to increase differentiation and enhance competitiveness

Or several years now, corporate management environments have undergone dizzying changes, and have been faced with situations that are almost impossible to predict. Accordingly, the necessity for innovation that takes full advantage of technologies - in other words, for digital transformation - has been championed in many corners.

Through the commitment and initiatives of their management, the majority of Japanese companies have researched the latest precedents and established relevant new departments; in so doing, they aim to review their existing management methods and business processes through a digital lens, and generate new businesses.

Unfortunately, however, they have not set out clear priorities for what needs to be done at their places of work and, instead, they have focused entirely on gathering information. They have not taken the next step, which is to clarify what they must do to maintain their competitive advantage.

Most companies now use digital technologies to establish customer databases, organize information, and utilize the knowledge gleaned therefrom in their digital marketing activities. As the first stage of digital transformation, this is to be lauded.

Yet, casting our eyes overseas, we see that an increasing number of start-ups are appearing in the West, and these digital disruptors are tearing down existing business frameworks. Indeed, while the ride-sharing firm Uber Technologies and the accommodation service Airbnb are frequently cited as leading examples, new ventures are appearing at such a rate that even these major companies run the risk of becoming obsolete. However, this is not the case in Japan.

In China, the Alibaba Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay mobile payment services are growing in popularity as social infrastructure, and the entire country is in the very process of a digital transformation. As Chinese society becomes increasingly cashless, more and more personal information is being accumulated, and this generates further added value; at the same time, users are sharing their personal information to increase their own value and raise their creditworthiness, resulting in an ever-accelerating cycle.

China is implementing a massive verification test of digital transformation via these cashless services, and in this respect, Japan is significantly different.

Since cash dispensers and other analog infrastructure are well established in Japan, people can deposit and withdraw cash wherever they please. The consequent lack of desire for digital infrastructure is undoubtedly a major point of distinction.


For Japanese companies, establishing data infrastructure is an obstacle to realizing digital transformations

For Japanese companies, the biggest obstacle to realizing digital transformation is how the data infrastructure has been established. While the majority of business leaders recognize the importance of data, the fundamental data infrastructure at their companies is weak and they have therefore proven unable to respond to digitization. In some cases, despite having expanded overseas or acquired overseas business sites through mergers and acquisitions, companies lack the structure to manage this global data in a centralized manner. As a result, data is not accumulated, and Japanese headquarters are not able to effect rightful governance. In order to remedy such situations, an increasing number of companies are reforming their existing data infrastructure.

It is crucial that data infrastructure is reformed from a globally optimal point of view, as quickly as possible, and with a sense of urgency. It is with such a process in mind that ABeam Consulting developed its business innovation platform, ABeam Cloud®.
Building on the partnerships we have established with a wide variety of IT vendors, ABeam Cloud® enables tools optimized for customer digital transformation goals to be combined from a large number of different cloud platforms and software suites. In the three years since we launched ABeam Cloud®, we have implemented the platform at more than 200 companies, including global Japanese companies that operate not only in Japan, but also in Southeast Asia, China, Mexico, Thailand, and other countries.

Cutting across company boundaries and taking advantage of data to generate newly added value

In Japan, the IT needs of both industry and society are growing; at the same time, there are concerns over a deficit of IT professionals due to a shrinking population. However, even if global companies lack data infrastructure professionals at some of their business sites around the world, ABeam Cloud® is able to compensate: Since ABeam Cloud® is a cloud service, there is no need for companies to maintain hardware; in addition, since we are wholly responsible for network management, companies are able to focus fully on maximizing data use with the aim of increasing their added value.

ABeam Cloud® also incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and forms part of an ABeam Ecosystem that accelerates the digital transformations of our customers. The ABeam Ecosystem also makes possible the realization of Connected Enterprise, which encourages connections between companies operating in different industries. Recently, there have been a number of examples of data trading between companies operating in different industries, resulting in the generation of entirely new added value. It is hoped that if all the companies involved in a given supply chain can share and utilize the same data, a variety of societal problems can be resolved.

It is worth noting that digital transformation initiatives do not only lead to improved global competitiveness; they also contribute to raising the quality of society as a whole. For this reason, ABeam Consulting aims to maximize our know-how, technologies, and the strengths of our consulting services. We intend to further improve the ABeam Ecosystem by deepening our relationships with our partners and clients, and so realize Connected Enterprise and the Digital Society that lies beyond.

(Excerpt from TOP MESSAGE, "ABeam" Public Relations Report 2018-19)


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