Digital transformation of troubled disaster prevention operations
A local government was confronting the issue of the difficulty of immediately obtaining accurate information on damage conditions in the event of a disaster. When a disaster occurs, initial information gathering is a critical operation that serves as the basis for crisis management and information sharing, as well as rescue and various other disaster mitigation actions. Here we introduce a manager who undertook DX in the disaster prevention field by applying cumulative knowledge of digital technology and obtaining the cooperation of partners in technical collaboration.
Digital transformation of troubled disaster prevention operations
Why ABeam ?
I have been involved in promoting IT utilization and digitalization in a variety of domains, including for overseas IT firms, educational firms and general electronics manufacturers. At my previous job with a manufacturer, we were focusing efforts on Smart Factory and other digital applications for the manufacturing industry. However, given the characteristic product-out perspective from which manufacturers pursue their business, it was a situation that posed difficulties in getting to know the client's issues and advancing the project.
This is where I became eager to contribute to solving this company's problems from the objective standpoint of a consulting firm. Through this work, I have developed a sense of how, in manufacturing and various other industries, I can realize my own ideas with ABeam and its record of performance in supporting clients by applying digital technology to issue resolution and value innovation. ABeam also works proactively to build a kind of ecosystem through links with affiliated groups and partner companies. So another reason for joining was the appeal that ABeam had for me as a consulting firm that engages in such activities, which are unique for a consulting firm.
Experiences in ABeam ~ Impressive Project~
The project that left the biggest impression on me was a technology validation project in which we helped with DX conceptualization for the disaster prevention efforts of a regional public-sector organization.
Since the client lacked an established infrastructure environment in the disaster prevention field, an issue for them was difficulty in getting an immediate and accurate grasp of damage conditions in the event of a disaster. In order to provide support for accurate, efficient information gathering and linkage in the initial stages of a disaster event, we incorporated digital technology utilization for disaster prevention into our concept formulation. We also worked with major telecommunications and electronics manufacturing firms to evaluate the effectiveness of digital technology for disaster prevention. As project manager, I formulated a concept for digital technology to realize immediate, accurate information gathering in the event of a disaster. I also compiled a summary of collaborating companies and implemented tests to verify whether the efficacy of digital technology would be sufficient for practical disaster prevention.
In advancing this project, we struggled with avoiding handling the client's issues with technology-driven ideas, and we strove to involve our collaboration partner firms in implementation under an issue-driven concept. Among the pitfalls of technology-driven ideas is that they deviate in many situations from the needs the client seeks to fulfill. Specifically, this could mean a proposal of limited scope, including only the solutions available through a collaboration partner's technologies. Explanatory presentations and literature for a proposal might also become overloaded with technical jargon, so that they deviate from the information the client wants to know. It then becomes impossible to determine whether the envisioned goals have been realized. This is why ABeam assembles expertise, from a business perspective, on technologies such as drones, 5G, and AI image analysis. By explaining and supplementing issue-driven ideas expressed in easy-to-communicate language, we were able to arrive smoothly at a mutual understanding with the client.
We were also able to use technology validation to objectively lay bare the hidden needs that the client wanted to clarify. We could thus isolate additional items requiring technology validation and call on our collaboration partner firms to help us carry it out. In doing so, I applied my professional background with operational companies and strove to make adjustments and recommendations that brought us closer to our partners, carefully explaining the significance of conducting technology validation using the perspective and language of the engineers.
As a result, we were able to clearly demonstrate the efficacy of drone, 5G and AI imaging analysis in the immediate aftermath of a disaster event, and to validate the precision required for implementation. In addition, we were able to discover a new orientation toward initial disaster operations using wearable terminals and digital technology.
Throughout this project, we placed prime importance on eliciting latent needs that the client themselves didn't realize they had. In order to accomplish this, it is critical to advance projects from the client perspective, and without getting tied up in specifications. By also understanding and applying our collaborating partner firms' strengths, it becomes possible to achieve even greater client value innovation. I believe that this leads ultimately to resolving the issues confronting the client.
Future ~Growth Story~
I hope to work together with clients toward achieving a safer, more livable society by incorporating digital technologies not just into disaster prevention but throughout the public-sector domain.
I believe I will be able to apply the knowledge and experience I have developed in the manufacturing industry toward effecting digital transformation in the public sector, which is our basis of support for living. For example, by sharing information on the durability of public equipment and facilities, manufacturers and public-sector bodies can better understand maintenance scheduling, and thereby achieve reductions in maintenance costs.
By enabling these kinds of inter-industry links between those who make things and those who use them, I hope to be able to help us achieve a society that is safer and more agreeable to everyone living in it. In addition to ongoing input regarding trends in each industry and digital technology, this means always returning to the perspective of the individual living in society, even when under the pressures of work. By doing so, I want to join with clients in aspiring to achieve a safer and more livable society.