On October 5, 2016, Fujitsu hosted the Fujitsu Asia Conference Manila in Manila, the Philippines. With "Human Centric Innovation - Driving Digital Transformation" as its theme, the Conference featured IT predictions for 2017 from guest speakers and presented Fujitsu's advanced case studies and the latest technologies for solving social problems in Asia.
As IoT increasingly expands, data are really becoming "gold"
The Conference began with an opening speech by Hiroyuki Ono, Corporate Executive Officer & Senior Executive Vice President at Fujitsu Ltd. Ono addressed customers and partners in the Philippines, saying, "We will work closely with you to advance digital transformation," and invited Raul Santiago, Country President, Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., to proceed to the podium. Standing at the center of the stage, Santiago told the audience that Fujitsu was working to provide solutions to solve social problems in the country, including the launch of local cloud services in 2015.
Then Andrew Milroy, Senior Vice President, ICT, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan, a U.S. based research and consulting firm, delivered a guest speech entitled "Key Tech Trends for 2017." He cited five keywords to show the direction IT will take in 2017: (1) disruption and transformation by digital technology, (2) the rise of cloud computing, (3) the Internet of Things, which connects everything, (4) all businesses becoming big data businesses, and (5) data really becoming new "gold."
He said that the Philippines also has major disruptors using digital technology, mentioning OLX, ZipMatch, xurpas, and other companies as such. He also cited General Electric (GE) as an example of success in digital transformation. He explained that GE is trying to transform itself into a "digital industrial company" that provides cloud platforms to the industry and that it aims at developing its software business into one worth $15 billion by 2020.
According to Milroy, beyond the framework of its simple use for information systems, cloud computing will see itself being increasingly used to manage data related to operation technology (OT), including maintenance in 2017. He added that one of the factors boosting such use is the advancement of interfaces such as augmented reality (AR). Furthermore, while presenting examples of effective data use in healthcare and other fields, he argued that data accumulated through IoT would become businesses' new gold.
The key to getting through digitalization is "Human Centric"
In his keynote speech entitled "Human Centric Innovation - Driving Digital Transformation," which was also the Conference's theme, Yoshikuni Takashige who leads Fujitsu's Marketing Strategy team took the podium to present Fujitsu's visions and solutions as well as advanced examples of digital innovation on which it had worked together with its customers.
U.S. market research firm IDC predicts that one-third of the top 20 companies that hold the largest share of the market in various industries worldwide will face disruption by new digital players by 2018. Quoting this prediction, he emphasized that the best way of achieving success through digital transformation is Human Centric Innovation, which aims at bringing innovation by empowering people with digital power. As specific examples, he cited clients such as fashion retailers, manufacturer Omron and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He demonstrated that through digitalization, businesses could provide customers with new experiences, achieve greater operational efficiency, dramatically enhance product value and even change their business models.
As the rise of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics is expected to bring an even greater wave of digitalization, Takashige stressed that in order to achieve growth making the most of this trend, it is important to heighten people's creativity, develop digital business platforms, and establish ecosystems.
And while looking ahead to a future where people and digital technology collaborate with AI, he presented Fujitsu's initiatives to realize a more affluent society. One example he cited is a project that was jointly implemented with Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Singapore Management University making effective use of big data to realize a smart nation as advocated by the Singaporean government. Another example is a heart simulator that is being jointly developed with the University of Tokyo.
Important for digital innovation are a merger with existing IT and measures to ensure cyber security
At the business session, Ker Yang Tong, Regional Cloud Offering Lead, Regional Managed Service, Fujitsu Asia Pte, Ltd., and Taisyu Ohta, Security Evangelist, Global Marketing Unit, Fujitsu Ltd., presented Fujitsu's solutions in more specific terms.
Tong talked about MetaArc, which constitutes the core of digital innovation. He explained that the benefits of digitalization include making it easy to recruit talented people, enhancing and maintaining the loyalty of customers and increasing productivity. He said, on the other hand, that 70% of customers feel that whether they succeed in digital innovation is an all-or-nothing gamble. He added that the challenge is how to merge with existing IT and that MetaArc can provide a platform to solve the problem. Moreover, he showed an animation video to emphasize how easy it is to use MetaArc and presented specific examples of its use, including Japan's Nanto Bank.
Ohta gave a talk on cyber security. He stressed that today cyber attacks affect entire supply chains in the real world and that it is important to ensure risk management for cyber security in the same way as for data loss, natural disasters, and other irregularities.
He also mentioned that Fujitsu is partnering with various companies to provide advanced systems for detecting and protecting against cyber attacks. Furthermore, he explained that today it takes only tens of minutes to analyze and visualize attacks, a process that had previously taken weeks. He added that Fujitsu is committed to developing security personnel, indicating that businesses can cope with cyber attacks by taking actions as an organization.
The last presenter at the Conference was Charles Patrick Ty, Government Account Executive, Industry Sales Group, Intel Corp., who gave a talk on digital transformation and IoT. He presented examples of efficient energy use, smart factories where operators increased productivity while reducing costs, and retailers that responded swiftly to customer requests. He concluded the business session by saying that the firm will contribute in areas such as providing platforms and establishing ecosystems in various industries.
The Manila Conference, which followed the one held in Nay Pyi Taw this year, attracted more than 230 customers and ended in success. In the future, Fujitsu will host a similar conference in Asian cities such as Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. At these conferences, Fujitsu will continue to present ICT trends in various countries and examples of its digital innovation.
(Note) The titles of the presenters were as of October 2016 when the event was held.