Jan. 29, 2015

New keyword

Digital business

We are entering into an era where the incorporation of digital in business is becoming a source of differentiation. The following introduces an example of digital assets produced by the development of digital technologies, and the tendency to apply it to business.

Akio Kazama, Business Solutions Sector

Digitalization of Various Goods and Contents

While the leading role of digital tools is changing from PCs to smart phones and tablets, a branch including wearable terminals, household appliances and connected cars has been produced, and each of these products indicate the possibility of becoming main stream. The “wave of digitalization” by the propagation of various service devices holds the potential of producing new business, as well as changing various goods and contents that could not be handled to date to digital information, which enables expression and propagation in extensive forms.

  • Digitalization of visual senses (Virtual experience): 360-Degree CameraRef. 1, VR GogglesRef. 2, Google GlassRef. 3

    The “digitalization of visual senses” which provides a 360-degree view from the viewpoint of another person, holds the potential of reproducing the sense of various professions. In the on-site visual inspection of the business industry, it may be possible for local staff to take 360-degree photos using this camera. In the education industry, great virtual experiences, such as reproducing the viewpoints of internationally renowned conductors and sound that can be heard in 360-degree, can be provided to people who have fewer opportunities, including children around the world who want to be classical conductors or senior citizens who have interest in classical music for example. (Virtual experience services, such as young people being able to stand on a stage as one the idols may be started in the future.)

  • Digitalization of forms (Detailed restoration from a distance): 3D scan, 3D printerRef. 4

    The “digitalization of forms” which can copy and restore forms, holds the potential of reducing the transportation cost of goods to close to zero. In locations where it is difficult to transport goods, such as a space station and offshore plants, simple parts which can be created by a 3D printer may lead to the saving of human life. As a familiar example, I believe that we will soon be reaching the era, where simple novelty goods for children can be selected and printed on the spot.

  • Digitalization of conditions/operation (Matching occasional information with external information): Connected carsRef. 5, smart household appliances, and wearable terminals

    The “digitalization of conditions” where digitalized data of the conditions/operation of machines, equipment and people are connected externally, holds the potential to create a new market across industries. For example, connecting real time vacancy information of parking lots, and the needs of vehicles that want to park in the area, may realize dynamic pricing (flexible pricing) of parking fees.

Utilizing Digital Assets in Business

Information, such as “visual sense,” “forms,” and “conditions” which was not easy to digitalize, is now connected to various services on the Internet. A feature of a modern service is that it is based on Internet technology, which makes it easier to link information. The developed environment where digital information can be transmitted more intuitively, and the extensive connection of information based on Internet technology, started the flow of differentiation in the industrial society utilizing the individual digital assets of companies.

For example, “Industry 4.0Ref. 6,” for “creating new value and business models by linking the Internet of Things (Iot) of plants internally and externally via the Internet” is being led by the German government. Moreover, GE released a policy for using the value created by connecting industrial machines, data and people in each industry as a source of differentiation, based on the concept of “Industrial InternetRef. 7.” As mentioned above, the main theme is how to utilize digitalized machine information of individual companies in collaboration with employees, and services linked with external services.

In the world of enterprise, accommodating conventional IT assets with the new digital structure will be a great advantage in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the player who will take prompt action to gain the first-mover advantage in this frontier, where there are no overwhelming pioneers in Japan at present.

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References

Authors Profile

Akio Kazama, Business Solutions Sector
He joined NTT DATA in 1996, and has been engaged in business consulting in the NTT DATA Institute of Management Consulting since 2001. After returning to NTT DATA, he concentrated on the theme of connecting reality and the Internet from WEB & EC domains. IT Association VOC Utilization Committee, Planning Committee Member

New keywords

  • IoE
  • IoT
  • O2O
  • Omnichannel
  • Digital business
  • Big data analytics