Hitachi corporate venturing (CV)’s walk with SPEEDA Edge
How Hitachi CV used SPEEDA Edge to enhance its innovation strategies by capturing the latest trends across business segments proactively and discovering industries with the most potential.
Hitachi CV’s Innovation Objective
“To be a radar for innovation” Creating solutions together with B2B customers to provide new values to their end customers is a practice that Hitachi has had since it was founded in 1910. However, in the last decade, considering social issues or changes, such as Planetary Boundaries or Wellbeing, it has become essential to align, not only with the customer but also with startups across the globe, which have cutting-edge technologies that Hitachi has an interest in.
As a radar for innovation, Hitachi CV collects the signals of the latest trends and proactively drives innovation discovery with Top Management and Business Units (BUs).
The Innovation Process
To drive the innovation initiatives, Hitachi CV works together with Top Management and Business Units (BUs). First, it collects the latest trends and hypothesizes which ones can solve the focal social issues by blending its competitive advantages and external partners’ expertise. Then, it communicates the findings to the Top Management and BUs, and once narrowed in, researches the competitive landscape. After it discovers the specific industries and segments that have the most potential, the next step is to study the feasibility and decide whether it is promising for Hitachi.
For example, Hitachi CV explored new areas of focus to solve the Decarbonization problem. By gathering the latest trends in Decarbonization, it found the potential industry, which is "CO2 to Fuel", and “Direct Air Capture”. Next, together with BUs, discovered the business opportunities in these industries.
Hitachi CV faced two challenges: to discover the potential industries, created by the latest trends such as disruptive technology or a new type of business model.
Capturing the latest trends across the business segments in a timely manner
Hitachi CV found it difficult to capture the latest trends outside of its business domains, which it was not familiar with. Likewise, tracking outside player activity, such as watching disruptors, and taking prompt actions to deal with them was challenging, though it is the most critical mission for Hitachi CV as a radar of innovation.
Identifying the new changes in industrial structure
Currently, Hitachi CV’s challenge was identifying a focus area or industry to drive its innovation projects with BUs. It is critical to identify changes in industrial structures and find potential areas, ones where Hitachi can maximize its business capability. For example, CO2 to Fuel and Direct Air Capture were still nascent, though recognized as important. Eventually, Hitachi CV would need to define the new industry and its value chain. Understanding and identifying a focus area was its biggest bottleneck to driving an innovation project.
In the Green Tech area, for which I am responsible, it was really difficult to see the comprehensive landscape, even though I spent a lot of time researching because this area had not been established yet.
Hitachi was able to know the latest trends in the Decarbonization area across the business segments, by accessing only the SPEEDA Edge platform and services. With SPEEDA Edge, Hitachi could:
Capture the latest trends across the business segments such as Direct Air Capture and CO2 to Fuel by reading the articles by SPEEDA edge analysts, published on the platform in a timely manner.
Understand the competitive landscape in these areas so that it could gauge the market size, growth potential, and case studies between incumbents and disruptors, even if there are few subject-matter experts in-house.
Utilize the custom research offering that SPEEDA Edge provides to get comprehensive industry-driven insights into areas outside of its current coverage via the analysts’ expertise.
Gaining a variety of signals within emerging industries (competitors’ activities, new industries that appear in the market, and disruptor news) enabled Hitachi CV to reflect on the latest trends and apply them to its strategy, proactively.
Overall, Hitachi CV created a basic procedure to build an innovation discovery with SPEEDA Edge.
First, by collecting signals of the latest trends and proactively driving innovation discovery with Top Management and BUs. Second, identifying the target industries, and segments where the most business opportunity existed. Third, using SPEEDA Edge to conduct industry research to develop its business strategy efficiently.
One of the most essential indications for BUs is the activity of a customer or competitors in the industry since they recognize future prospects, ones that may produce or compensate for our competitive advantage in the market.
Fulfilling the Innovation Objective
Hitachi CV’s mission is to be a radar for innovation, quickly catch "signals" of the latest innovations and reflect them in management strategies, as well as draw up concepts for new businesses, incorporate external innovations together with BUs and implement them.
Hitachi’s Future Walk with SPEEDA Edge
Together with SPEEDA Edge, Hitachi wants to install an innovation discovery process for the team, one that will enable new members to drive innovation together with BUs.
Hitachi’s further expectation of SPEEDA Edge is to enhance the top-of-the-funnel in the innovation discovery and opportunity-finding process, envisioning being able to receive the signals for innovation trends and insights, one after another, automatically—to be a radar for innovation.
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Mr. Kumagai joined Hitachi, Ltd. in 2002 and was engaged in research and development of new services and information systems in the financial field at the Systems Development Laboratory. After studying business innovation as a visiting scholar at Stanford University, he was in charge of the development and business deployment of the customer co-creation method "NEXPERIENCE”. From 2019, he will be working in the Corporate Venturing Office, where he will be in charge of creating new businesses through open innovation with startups.
Mr. Wakabayashi, from 2007, worked for solution architect to design customer’s new IT architecture, mostly using advanced IT technologies like AI and Cloud., and joined Hitachi, Ltd. After graduating with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at University of Cambridge, he joined Hitachi, Ltd in 2019 and will be working for the Corporate Venturing Office. In the Corporate Venturing Office, he will be in charge of creating new businesses, in particular the environment area, through open innovation with startups.
CEO at SPEEDA Edge (Uzabase Group)
Mr. Tsuchiya has more than 15 years of experience in the B2B SaaS industry He is passionate about creating wow products with users to enhance innovation. Having delivered 3 products across the globe in the Uzabase group, he heads the SPEEDA Edge team as its CEO. Previously, he was a manager at Accenture and a senior manager in corporate planning at Konica Minolta APAC HQ.