Open Innovation Team, Strategy Department, NTT Data Japan Corp.
When it comes to mapping industry trends to focus areas more systematically, the Open Innovation Team turns to the "Edge industry tree". For example, when exploring new areas in Food & Life Science, the Edge industry tree immediately shows the relationships between the Food industry and the Healthcare industry, allowing them to quickly gain a better understanding of industry trends across sectors within their focus areas and ultimately narrow down potential business opportunities.
The team can access high-quality research speedily through customized research conducted by Edge analysts. These reports are very useful for discussions on niche business opportunities with clients and internal business units. For example, research on overseas embedded finance trends and use cases helped interest new clients.
The team receives weekly newsletters from Edge, ones that are aligned with their focus areas like 5G, telecom, and utilities, enabling each member to stay on top of the latest trends. Sometimes, the Edge newsletters are even shared internally to increase awareness of trends within their business units.
NTT Data hopes to use Edge analysts’ insights in setting their themes for business development.
Since formulating hypotheses is most difficult during the VUCA era, they are looking to collaborate with Edge as hypothesis-discussion partners, and leverage the Edge analysts’ trend and business domain knowledge, to help select focus areas for business development.
Izuru Watanabe joined NTT Data in 2004 where he engaged in developing new services utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as distributed computing, metadata content distribution, and robotics.
In 2017, he participated in NTT Data's open innovation initiative "From Toyosu Port," and has been leading activities aiming at creating win-win-win partnerships between NTT Data, their clients, and startups. His work focuses on developing new business opportunities through collaboration.
Since 2019, Izuru has expanded the scope of his efforts to digital strategy planning, human resource development, organizational development, and other initiatives to drive digital transformation. In addition to managing open innovation projects, he also focuses on familiarizing SME(subject matter experts) with agile development methods and advanced service design methodologies based on his past experience.
Ken Fujiwara has been working with NTT Data for about 25 years. He started his career as an IT engineer in financial industry, and afterwards, he was seconded to a management consulting firm and a New York branch of Japanese Mega-bank. As a result of his career, he has a lot of skills and experience of IT, consulting and financial business. For about these 10 years, he has been responsible for driving forward open innovation between NTT Data and startups, and also been serving as a mentor for overseas startups. In his free time, Ken likes mountain stream fishing and giving guides in a traditional Japanese garden to overseas tourists.