NTT DATA's Evolution to an Asset-based Business

At NTT DATA, we offer a growing range of assets, which includes our own specialized business software products, methodologies, best practices and reusable templates, to help us deliver more business value to our customers by reducing costs and time to market.

This move to become more of an asset-based business began some years ago as clients embraced the vision of using the cloud as a platform for business transformation.

Early adopters of the cloud often discovered that the ROI from migrating existing systems to the cloud or building greenfield cloud-native applications was not as high as expected. That's because they typically used the same bespoke development methods and tools that they used in the past for on-prem applications.

To get more value from the cloud, NTT DATA believes developers need to forget the traditional ways of building applications and use instead use cloud-based platforms and products that avoid the need to "reinvent the wheel".

A good example is Joubini, NTT DATA's cloud-based business integration platform that leverages NTT DATA's expertise in developing solutions to exchange electronic invoices, purchase orders and other types of business documents using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

To make it easy to connect business partners in a wide range of industries, NTT DATA offers more than 15,000 mappings to allow many different types of document to be exchanged via Joubini. In addition, Joubini has standardized backend adapters for a fast and secure connection to SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA.

Joubini provides an end-to-end solution for business partner integration that eliminates the need to develop a bespoke EDI integration solution, using SAP BTP, for example, and seamlessly orchestrates with SAP DRC.

The NTT DATA LEAP progam

More examples of our asset-based strategy can be found in LEAP, NTT DATA's multi-year initiative to stimulate growth from large enterprises that use SAP software.

A key focus of LEAP is the development of specialized assets, such as the growing range of accelerators that extend the core capabilities of SAP's cloud-based platforms by offering specialized functionalities needed in specific verticals.

For the manufacturing sector, for example, NTT DATA has developed several SAP accelerators, including Digitized Maintenance, Assemble to Order, and Fiori RPA-based Payment Automation, among others.

We have also developed a Global Shared Industry Template and a unique Playback methodology to accelerate time to value for SAP S/4HANA migrations or green-field implementations.

Software Assets Create a Differential Value Proposition 

Analyst firm Everest Group endorses this approach, believing assets can act as catalysts for growth at IT services firms and a source of competitive advantage:

"Asset-based models are appealing because they help promote client loyalty, streamline operational costs, expedite market entry, and provide a competitive edge."

The asset-based approach is actively promoted by NTT DATA because it provides new revenue steams and a differential value proposition that sales teams can leverage to expand footprint in existing clients as well as generating net new business with new customers who might not be interested in NTT DATA's service offerings.

Nevertheless, the transition from a people-driven consulting model to an asset-based business inevitably presents some challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge is a cultural one.

NTT DATA's traditional strengths lie in the expertise, technical competence and industry experience of our business and technology consultants, who have often been working for many years in the same area.

These human assets will continue to be of the greatest importance, of course, but we also need to focus on developing and promoting our non-human assets such as methodologies and productized software.

Some analysts argue that the limits to growth of the traditional technology consulting model are becoming more and more apparent. We don't see it that way but obtaining resources needed for a major transformation project has always been challenging and that's particularly true today. The type and mix of skills required for such projects has changed considerably in recent years with the growth of the cloud.

For that reason, we need to find ways to helping clients to get the most out of the cloud through standardization, automation, and the use of accelerators, software products and methodologies, that way, we can ensure their IT projects deliver more value and deliver it more quickly.

Global Assets Boost NTT DATA's Global Competitiveness

We also need to develop effective processes for identifying and cataloging both tangible and intangible assets within an organization as big and geographically dispersed as NTT DATA.

Our Global Innovation Headquarters, established in July 2022, and other organizations have developed a scheme to create global assets in order to strengthen global competitiveness and began to create and use the assets worldwide.

For NTT DATA, the future will require us to evolving from a business model based on contracting systems integration services and invoicing billable hours, to one in which our expertise is increasingly made available in the form of software, tools and other assets that we provide to clients in reusable form.

This transformation not only benefits clients by accelerating project execution and reducing risk, but it also creates more sustainable and repeatable revenue streams, so securing a more resilient future for NTT DATA.

Bo David Jepsen

Bo David Jepsen
VP, Head of Global Business Development, Innovation & Software Assets, Global Innovation & Industry Consulting

Laura Loeer

Laura Loeer
Business Development and Operations Manager, Global Innovation & Industry Consulting