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What is a DX consultant? Explains the benefits, problems, and success stories of introduction!

If you want to proceed with DX conversion, but it is difficult to proceed on your own and have problems, we recommend that you receive consulting.

In order to succeed in large-scale transformation, not only technology but also experience and know-how to avoid various problems that occur in the process of realization are necessary.

DX’s consulting firm accelerates corporate promotion and advises on unnecessary cost reduction planning and potential risk avoidance methods.

In this article, we will introduce what role consulting firms play in corporate DX, and explain what benefits and problems there are when considering it.

Contents

  • Relationship between DX and consulting
    • What is DX
    • What is consulting
    • The role of consulting in DX
  • Advantages of receiving DX consulting
    • Organizing, visualizing and objectifying information
    • Ability to incorporate diverse know-how and skills
    • Opinion as an expert
  • Problems when receiving DX consulting
    • Tends to be entrusted to external parties
    • It’s a mistake to take everything a consultant says with a grain of salt
    • Can be expensive
  • What industries and companies should receive DX consulting?
    • In-house digital talent shortage
    • Existing business is facing difficulties
    • system cannot be implemented
  • How to choose a DX consulting company
    • area of ​​expertise
    • where there is a track record
    • budget
  • 4 companies that provide DX consulting
    • (1) Nomura Research Institute
    • ②NTT Data
    • ③ IBM Japan
    • ④ Accenture
  • summary

Relationship between DX and consulting

What is DX

The definition of DX (Digital Transformation) proposed in 2004 by Professor Eric Stolterman of Umea University in Sweden is as follows.

“It is a technology that continues to evolve and has some impact on human life, and as a result, people’s lives change for the better.”

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan summarized the following definitions in the ” Guidelines for Promoting Digital Transformation (Promotion Guidelines) ” issued in 2018.

“Companies respond to drastic changes in the business environment, utilize data and digital technology, and transform their products, services, and business models based on the needs of customers and society. To transform our culture and climate and establish a competitive advantage.”

Many of the DX that are currently in the news are mainly DX from a business perspective as defined by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

In recent years, it has become important for companies to quickly identify changes in the external and internal environment and create new value by using the power of digital technology to guide them to optimal management strategies.

According to a report released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, “If DX conversion cannot be realized, economic losses of up to 12 trillion yen will occur annually after 2025.” It is possible to boost the real GDP to more than 130 trillion yen in 2018.”

That is why the promotion of DX is essential in Japan today.

What is consulting

Consulting refers to the work of presenting solutions to executives (especially managers) of companies (rarely public institutions such as governments) and helping them develop.

In other words, we provide professional consulting (consultation, guidance, planning, and planning) in order to solve corporate issues such as management, strategy, accounting, organization, human resources, and IT.

Business companies that provide consulting services are called “consulting firms,” and people who provide consulting services are called “consultants.”

The consulting industry can be broadly divided into six types, and the services provided by each company differ.

strategy consulting

Strategy Consulting is a firm that mainly provides consulting in strategic areas.

We are in charge of planning and executing plans to discover and solve management issues of requested companies, and support global expansion.

It is characterized by promoting large-scale project-type consulting with a small number of elites.

Recently, some companies have built bionic companies (new-age organizations where humans and technology merge) to advance their digital strategy approach.

Representative company

  • McKinsey & Company
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Bain & Company

Comprehensive business consulting

Comprehensive business consulting is a firm that advocates comprehensive consulting.

In addition to providing management strategy services, we also offer a wide range of consulting services, including personnel strategy, M&A, legal affairs, system introduction centered on IT, FAS (Financial Advisory Service), and specific industry-specific consulting.

The company scale is large, and it supports a wide range of industries and themes. Our clients are often large companies, and a single project requires a large budget and manpower.

Representative company

  • Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting
  • PwC Consulting
  • Accenture
  • IBM Japan

IT consulting

IT consulting is a firm that provides solutions related to customers’ business and management from the perspective of IT. From IT strategy, ERP , CRM, SCM introduction to construction and maintenance of information processing system, we are responsible for all IT in corporate management.

IT consulting firms are companies that use IT as a means to solve customer problems, rather than for the purpose of introducing systems using IT. Now that DX is accelerating, IT knowledge is being emphasized even in strategy formulation, and the demand for IT consulting is increasing.

Representative company

  • ABeam Consulting
  • NTT DATA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
  • Hitachi Consulting

Domestic think tank consulting

Domestic think tank consulting is a firm with major securities companies and financial institutions as parent companies.

It is characterized by consulting that utilizes the know-how of major corporate groups, and covers a wide range of fields from strategy planning to system construction.

Representative company

  • Nomura Research Institute
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting
  • Fujitsu Research Institute

HR/Human Resource Development Consulting

Human resources and human resource development consulting is a firm that specializes in solving problems related to people and organizations, such as organization, personnel, recruitment, education, and training.

In addition to consulting for human resources and organizations associated with the execution of strategies, we are also involved in the personnel system itself.

Recently, in order to strengthen competitiveness and improve productivity through the use of digital technology, we have been reforming our corporate culture and awareness toward DX, as well as developing human resources.

Representative company

  • Mercer Japan
  • link and motivation
  • Recruit Management Solutions

The role of consulting in DX

DX that does not align with business goals often ends in failure. Therefore, in such cases, the advice of a DX consultant is required.

What role does DX consulting play in promoting it?

DX Consulting has the role of “taking quick action from insight into DX, and responding from the conception of ideas to the construction of a business”.

Business and social uncertainty demands leadership and ingenuity more than ever before. The best way to keep business running is for companies to respond quickly to change and make strategic business decisions based on reliable information.

But most companies can’t do it on their own. That’s why you need DX consulting.

DX Consulting helps companies through the following processes.

① Vision formulation

We extract the gap between the company’s current issues and future ideals, and formulate a vision, such as “how the company and business departments face digital, and what kind of direction digital should achieve.”

(2) Idea creation

We understand the client’s business and create and propose unprecedented products, services, and business models.

(3) Use case creation

When defining system requirements, visualize the situation from the point of view of the user who uses the system.

④PoC/Pilot (MVP)

We determine the feasibility of new ideas and concepts and verify their effectiveness.

⑤ Support for full-scale development

We provide end-to-end support from system development to installation and maintenance.

⑥Organization and culture change

We reorganize organizations and processes to bring productivity improvements and cost reductions to existing businesses. We will review the current work itself and change the way we work.

⑦ Human resource development

In order to acquire digital human resources, we will develop internal systems and skill definitions, etc., and improve the organization so that they can be firmly established even after joining the company.

Advantages of receiving DX consulting

Organizing, visualizing and objectifying information

Internal and industry facts are usually shared. However, even if it is a known fact, in most cases, “information is not organized and given meaning”.

Just by organizing the information and making it easy to see, the problem becomes clear.

It is not easy to organize and give meaning to “information” in a meaningful way, but consultants are experts who use logical thinking and frameworks, so they are good at visualizing and objectifying information.

If information related to DX is organized, internal discussions will be objective and active, and the accuracy of decision-making for DX promotion will increase.

Ability to incorporate diverse know-how and skills

It is possible to incorporate various know-how and skills such as the latest successful cases and overseas projects from consultants who have been involved with numerous companies and have accumulated achievements.

Innovative and effective ideas are important in promoting DX. You can strengthen your company’s competitiveness by broadening your business horizons from advice from consultants and positively streamlining existing businesses.

Opinion as an expert

Our consultants have deep knowledge in various fields such as marketing, financial accounting, industry, IT, and human resources.

For a company, it is better to have a consultant enter and proceed with the part of the company that you want to reform while receiving professional advice, rather than gathering people without specialized knowledge to build from scratch, because it will solve problems and reform. You can shorten the time of trial and error.

In particular, consultants who specialize in a certain field will be helpful because they have a wide and deep drawer on the issues.

Problems when receiving DX consulting

Tends to be entrusted to external parties

One of the most common reasons for failure is to ask a consultant to handle your company’s issues that only the person in charge can see.

Coordination between departments within the company and coordination with business partners also occur, so it is necessary to have close dialogue with the consultant and constantly check the progress.

It’s a mistake to take everything a consultant says with a grain of salt

Even if it can be operated under the guidance and cooperation of a consultant, if it is operated only in-house, it will be unreasonable, and the improvement plan will fall into a state of “rice cake in the picture”, and the improvement may be delayed.

When receiving consulting, it is also important to be able to receive advice that matches the level of your company.

Can be expensive

The cost of DX consulting depends on the size of the company, but the market price is several million to tens of millions. Even if you anticipate a certain amount of cost at the time of the request, if the problem is deep-rooted during the consulting process, it may take time to analyze and create a solution, and additional costs may be incurred.

What industries and companies should receive DX consulting?

In-house digital talent shortage

Since IT operations have been dependent on external vendors, companies that do not have human resources with deep knowledge of the digital field who can promote DX need the cooperation of consultants with high IT expertise.

Existing business is facing difficulties

Companies that do not actively incorporate IT and are facing difficulties in their existing businesses should receive consulting. Also, even if existing businesses are doing well, simply maintaining them will result in a loss of competitive advantage in the future.

For companies that want to “add additional value to their existing business and tie it to future business development,” but do not know the specific method and their internal activities are not moving in the direction of reform, consulting need advice.

system cannot be implemented

Once ideas and business models for reform are formulated, it is the system that embodies them.

However, it is quite difficult to build a zero-to-one system in-house, and because it is often deployed on a cloud basis, it may not be possible to respond with conventional legacy knowledge and development methods.

We need consultants who can provide solutions for system design and implementation.

How to choose a DX consulting company

When choosing a DX consulting company

  • area of ​​expertise
  • where there is a track record
  • budget

Let’s focus on the above three points.

area of ​​expertise

Each DX consulting company has its own specialty.

The three main areas are:

  • Strategic consulting area
  • System development area
  • DX conversion of services and products

It is important to ask a DX consulting company that has an area of ​​expertise that meets your needs.

Of the three areas above, it is said that the strategic consulting area can meet the widest range of needs, so it is recommended to choose a company that has this specialty area when the direction of DX conversion is not decided.

If you can design in-house but do not have the resources to develop a system, it is a good idea to ask a DX consulting company that is good at system development.

If you have your own product and want to promote its conversion to DX, we recommend a DX consulting company that specializes in service and product areas.

where there is a track record

We will look at the performance of the DX consulting company and judge whether it is likely to answer our company’s needs and make a request. Let’s check the details and results of the actual implementation of consulting on the website of the DX consulting company.

Even if your company’s needs and areas of expertise match, if the track record is poor, there may be differences in recognition of details, resulting in a mismatch. If you check the results and match your company’s needs, you can expect highly accurate consulting.

budget

The cost of receiving DX consulting varies greatly depending on the content of the measures and the scale of implementation. The market price is about several million to tens of millions of yen, but if it involves large-scale system development, it may cost hundreds of millions of yen. Also, the larger the DX consulting company, the higher the cost.

There are many cases where the budget is not listed on the homepage, so let’s check the cost by inquiring individually by e-mail form etc.

4 companies that provide DX consulting

Now, let me introduce four companies that actually do DX consulting.

(1) Nomura Research Institute

Business Overview/Strengths

The business segments of Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. can be broadly divided into “consulting,” “financial IT solutions,” “industrial IT solutions,” and “IT infrastructure services.”

In addition to management consulting and system consulting, financial IT solutions such as “THE STAR”, a comprehensive core securities business system and “STAR-IV”, a shared online service for retail securities, and industrial IT for distribution, services, manufacturing, etc. We are developing a variety of solutions, including solutions and IT infrastructure services that support industrial systems that are growing in size and complexity.

example

Shiseido Japan × NRI Fusion of cutting-edge dermatology and technology

Nomura Research Institute (NRI) supported the birth of Shiseido Japan’s skin care system “Optune,” which delivers optimal care for each individual’s skin, from development design to operation.

As a result, new businesses unprecedented in the cosmetics industry were born, such as personalization using IoT (Internet of Things) and AI ( artificial intelligence ), development of dedicated machines, beta version sales, and monthly billing systems.

The new service first acquires skin images using a smartphone app and measures skin conditions. Condition information such as weather and mood is added to it, and analysis is performed on a server on the cloud.

Based on the knowledge of dermatology accumulated over many years, a unique algorithm is used to determine the optimal combination and amount of serum (beauty essence) and moisturizer (emulsion), and a dedicated extraction machine placed in the user’s home. to in real time.

The machine is equipped with 5 individual cartridges and extracts in over 1,000 patterns. Through this process, skin care that matches the skin environment at that time is realized.

②NTT Data

Business Overview/Strengths

NTT DATA Corporation (NTT DATA) is a system integrator engaged in data communication and system construction business. It is Japan’s largest company specializing in information services, and is one of the world’s leading IT companies with over 300 affiliated companies in Japan and overseas.

NTT DATA was born with the mission to lead the system integration industry in Japan. It has been supported by the power of IT.

As technology advances, the range of value created by NTT DATA continues to expand.

example

NTT DATA’s AI image diagnosis support solution that supports medical sites

While the spread of CT and other equipment is progressing, there is a shortage of radiologists as diagnostic imaging specialists. One of the challenges is the rapid provision of advanced diagnostic imaging in some regions.

Here, AI technology is used to analyze medical images of patients, and areas of possible disease are displayed on the screen of the PACS system, which is used for diagnosis. can be reduced.

By using the interface used in the existing diagnosis process as it is and providing AI diagnosis support information, doctors can expect to collaborate smoothly with AI.

feature

Can detect not only specific diseases but also various abnormalities of organs

Does not depend on CT imaging conditions such as differences in CT manufacturers and the presence or absence of contrast media

Can be introduced without major changes to existing hospital systems and workflows

③ IBM Japan

Business Overview/Strengths

IBM Japan, a 100% foreign subsidiary, was founded in 1937 before the war, and is a computer-related service company with many Japanese employees and many affiliated companies, including joint ventures with domestic companies.

In recent years, the use of cloud computing, big data, and AI has become remarkable, and IBM is also conducting business that utilizes such cutting-edge technologies. In particular, “Watson,” which is an AI technology created by IBM, continues to increase in adoption users in Japan.

One of IBM’s strengths is its ability to respond to change. From a company that sells computer-like hardware to a cloud-like software provider, AI technology utilization, consulting business, etc., we are diversifying and focusing on business in accordance with the changing times.

It has been more than 100 years since its founding and has expanded to more than 170 countries around the world, so it has a large global presence and a stable global foothold.

example

Construction of Bic Camera information infrastructure

Bic Camera Co., Ltd., a major consumer electronics mass retailer, operates an integrated information platform that is used by about 9,000 people from the group’s field sites to the management department, but the processing load has increased as the amount of data and users have increased in recent years. was slowing performance and hampering analytics and reporting activities.

Therefore, we revamped the system to IBM Cloud and migrated the data warehouse storing about 40TB of large-scale data.

BicCamera’s integrated information platform demonstrated dramatic performance improvements immediately after the service was launched, shortening batch processing for inventory evaluation tabulation operations from the conventional 210 minutes to 15 minutes, and increasing the number of BI reporting processes by 150%. And the response is up to 100 times faster, and 10 times faster on average.

In the future, the integrated information infrastructure will evolve and develop while responding to changes in business needs for data.

④ Accenture

Business Overview/Strengths

Accenture is the world’s largest management consulting firm.

We provide all kinds of consulting such as strategy, business, IT, and digital advertising for various fields and industries.

In addition, it is an IT service company that handles system design, development, operation, etc., second only to IBM.

We provide a wide range of services in five areas: strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations. In addition, we have an engineering department that handles system development in-house, so we are able to provide consistent services.

example

Using AR (augmented reality) to reinvent the car buying experience

In today’s digital marketplace, automakers cannot stay competitive just by creating cutting-edge vehicles, while tech-savvy consumers are demanding innovative customer experiences.

It is common to see and test drive a car when considering purchasing a car, but Accenture has found new possibilities in the purchasing experience by supporting BMW and developing an app called BMW i Visualiser. was

BMW i Visualiser is an application that promotes the sale of BMW cars, allowing you to view and customize life-size cars from different angles within the app. In addition, lights and radios can be turned on, providing a realistic customer experience with AR.

As this technology continues to integrate with sales channels and existing configuration tools, it will help create the seamless, omnichannel experience consumers demand.

summary

DX is the driving force for corporate transformation, and the determination to DX is important for its realization.

It is recommended that managers who are unsure about how to connect their ideas with technology and how to promote DX in-house should consult a consultant.

While being aware of your company’s issues when you consult, don’t forget about the problems and seriously head for DX, and speedily turn your company’s DX promotion.

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