With the evolution of semiconductors, every industry is undergoing major changes toward digitalization. In the age of digitalization, we need to be prepared and change. We are in an era where companies must make major changes in order to survive.
Two preparations necessary for "digitization"
In February 2020, the Japan Information Systems Users Association announced the results of a survey on the status of "digitization" efforts by private companies at the "Corporate IT Trend Survey 2020". In this survey, "digitization" means the realization of new services and business models with high competitive advantage and the sophistication of processes by connecting information on various people, things, and things due to the evolution of IT. It is defined as doing (referred to in the same study as "business digitization").
According to this survey, half of the companies surveyed are implementing or considering "digitizing" their products and services, and 70% of the companies are also implementing or considering "digitizing" their business processes. The result is that it is under consideration. The current situation where "digitization" is now an urgent issue for many private companies has become clear again.
However, not all companies have succeeded in "digitization". Focusing on the percentage of companies that did not implement "digitization" in the same survey, 50.2% of companies did not implement "digitization" of products and services, an increase of 0.5 points from the previous year, and "digitization" of processes. The percentage of companies that have not implemented this service is 33.9%, an increase of 2.7 points from the previous year, and the percentage of companies that have not been “digitized” has been flat to slightly increasing. While many companies are considering "digitization", it seems that "digitization" has not been realized as expected.
Regarding the background of the difficulty of "digitization", the author has learned from the experience of project support so far that "the introduction of technologies such as AI and IoT has become a self-purpose" or "new business". Since we are dealing with inexperienced technology, we cannot formulate a highly feasible promotion plan and cannot put it into practice. " Introducing cutting-edge technology does not mean that "digitization" will be successful, but to correctly determine what areas of the company's business should be advanced with IT in order to solve management issues, toward "digitization" It is important to formulate a highly feasible promotion plan. I would like to consider the requirements required of companies to realize "digitalization", including examples of failures that tend to occur and specific countermeasures.
Case 1: Technology introduction itself is self-purposed
PoC (Proof of Concept) was carried out to confirm the effect of introducing products and technologies, but it failed in the future development-so-called "PoC collapse" occurs because the introduction of technology itself The author thinks that one of the causes is that it has become self-purposed. With the stance of "I just want to incorporate some advanced technology into my company," I cannot correctly determine what kind of business area my company can benefit greatly from "digitalization," and the target area to be "digitized." Wrong selection. As a result, even though PoC was implemented, even if it was fully introduced, it would not have a big impact such as improvement of business efficiency and provision speed, and "digitization" would be disrupted.
As an example, in a project I supported, I started with the idea of "Is it possible to incorporate AI somewhere in my service?" And examined the possibility of using natural language processing to analyze the answers to customer questionnaires. is there. The program developed at this PoC was able to achieve accuracy close to that of human analysis. However, since the PoC was being promoted without a clear idea of "how much will the automation of customer tendency analysis with AI contribute to increasing the value of the company?", Full-scale development into business after the completion of the PoC. It has become a situation to reconsider the pros and cons of. Prior to the implementation of the PoC, there was a lack of clarification as to why this area was "digitized", the success criteria, and the outlook after the achievement.
In this case, the following three points were required. (1) Organize what strengths and issues (functionality, ease of use, price, etc.) the target company's products and services have, and (2) "Digitalization" will help grow those strengths and improve issues. There are three points: clarifying the hypothesis of how to contribute, and (3) planning a PoC that can test the hypothesis quantitatively and qualitatively. However, in reality, PoC was started with insufficient arrangement of (1) and (2) as to what kind of axis the analysis of customer's tendency contributes to the strength of products and services, and also from the viewpoint of (3). The problem was that the verification plan was insufficient to determine how much "digitization" could contribute to improving CS and reducing labor costs. Especially for companies with little experience in "digitization", we firmly recognize what areas of our company are likely to enjoy the benefits of "digitization", and start with a small PoC that narrows down the scope and steadily gains momentum. It is desirable to accumulate experience in introducing it.
Case 2: Difficulty in formulating plans for "digitalization"
In the "digitization" initiative, we will consider connecting information on various people, things, and things, and upgrading new services and processes. At that time, there are many cases where the themes are systematization of new areas different from the conventional business and introduction of advanced technology that has not been adopted. However, in the case of unproven efforts, it is difficult to plan the cost and duration required for the project. As a result, it creates a situation where it is difficult for companies to make decisions to embark on "digitalization."
For highly uncertain efforts such as "digitization", it is difficult to formulate a project-like plan aiming for success in a predetermined period and cost toward a predetermined goal. Therefore, it is important to promote while flexibly responding to uncertainties. Specifically, it is effective to formulate the overall picture that you want to realize by "digitalization", formulate an execution plan divided into several phases, and review and refine the overall plan for each phase. .. In the case of the client who helped me formulate the plan, I narrowed down the scope of the initial decision-making and started and promoted only the few months during which the most important requirements were developed. Then, in those few months, the actual development speed, investment pace, and expected completion time were verified, and the final plan was set to be refined, so that the company's decision-making proceeded smoothly. In formulating a promotion plan, the overall picture to be aimed at is divided into several stages and started small, and the results are verified for each stage to continuously brush up the overall plan. It is recommended to minimize the risk of.
Capture your company's strengths and prepare a system and culture that can respond quickly to changes
IT technology will continue to develop in the future. It is expected that advanced technologies such as AI and IoT will be put into practical use and packaged products, and the utilization of information on various people, things, and things in business will be easier than ever. Even if large companies that are still blessed with system budgets and systems are leading the way in "digitization," a society in which SMEs can easily introduce cutting-edge technology will come in the not too distant future.
For an era in which all companies have the potential for "digitalization", there are two preparations that companies that are struggling to realize "digitalization" should take.
One is to be aware of exactly where your company's service process is the source of its competitiveness. Even if IT is used to advance areas that are easy to introduce but have a weak impact when achieved, the benefits that can be obtained will be limited.
The other is to work on improving the internal organizational structure and fostering a corporate culture so that "digitalization" can be promoted while flexibly responding to unexpected situations. The situation changes, such as establishing a system to evaluate the effect of introducing the system not only in the system department but also in the field, to take root in the company the idea of starting small and continuously reviewing instead of executing a big plan from the beginning. If this happens, the management team will promptly review the policy, etc. In order to respond flexibly to changes, it is necessary for the site and management team to work together with a new way of thinking. For the coming day, it is required for managers and system departments involved in the "digitization" of companies to prepare internal strategies and systems from now on.