There are some words that automatically create an image in your mind. For example, Harvard Business School speaks of credibility, gravitas, and learning. Silicon Valley evokes technology, innovation, and future thinking. And Fujitsu embodies human-centric co-creation and shaping a better future through the power of digital technologies.
Right now, in Silicon Valley, Fujitsu’s Open Innovation Gateway (OIG) is bringing all of these concepts to life in new and exciting ways. And the renowned Harvard Business School has written three case studies on the work done by entrepreneurs, executives, and academic leaders at the OIG.
The OIG’s mission is to reimagine, reinvent, and realise innovative services. The purpose is to challenge the status quo, helping companies explore new growth opportunities by reinventing their business model, faster, wiser, and with purpose.
At the OIG, some of the world’s most talented thinkers and progressive institutions collaborate using a dynamic platform that connects customers, start-ups, enterprises, venture capitalists, and more.
The OIG is achieving phenomenal results in innovation and digital transformation initiatives.
What is digital transformation (DX)?
At its simplest, digital transformation is the overlay of digital technology to streamline a business’s processes. However, true digital transformation is far more than just the implementation of digital tools.
The clue is in the term ‘transformation’, which suggests that organisations aren’t just digitalising existing processes. Instead, they’re creating entirely new business models and workflows using new and emerging digital tools like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and much more.
Done right, digital transformation has the power to revolutionise a business and propel it into an entirely new level of competitiveness.
The OIG helped take ideas from conception to execution
Fujitsu worked with Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. to leverage mobility as a service. Yusuke Yoshida, deputy head of digital innovation, Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., said, “The company gained valuable insights in the wide domain of mobility as a service and the changes it may generate both in terms of business and society.”
The OIG also helped orchestrate the transfer of knowledge from Yoshida’s team to Tokio Marine’s management team in Tokyo. This transfer of knowledge is a critical step in open innovation, because it bridges the gap between the ideation stage and the execution stage.
Yoshida said, “This is a step that can be underappreciated in the process of open innovation, but it is crucial for managers based in Tokyo to actually leverage what is learned by others in Silicon Valley.”
What is innovation?
Innovation is the creation of something new. In business, this can mean new products, new operating models, new markets, new ways of selling, and new ways to solve challenges. Innovations are only useful if they add value. Anyone can come up with ideas but to be truly innovative means identifying unique opportunities as well as mechanisms to leverage those opportunities for a tangible improvement.
The OIG helped develop an entirely new future direction
Working with the business leaders of a major life insurance company, the OIG gained a deeply intimate understanding of life insurance and the role it plays in the social fabric of people’s lives. Then, the OIG needed to reimagine the life insurance industry to create a new perspective. This has become a key part of the company’s future direction, demonstrating the value of the perspectives and ideas developed by the OIG.
What is open innovation?
Too often, company leaders tell their staff members they’re looking for innovation without making it clear how they expect their staff members to contribute. Or they pay lip service to innovation, without putting in the right cultural and organisational elements to let that innovation fly.
Open innovation takes the idea of innovation a huge step further. It incorporates external sources to drive innovation. Inbound open innovation occurs when organisations seek external expertise to improve the business.
Outbound open innovation occurs when organisations develop ideas and then deliberately commercialise them or socialise them with a view to getting feedback.
Open innovation creates exceptional opportunities for organisations to leverage skills, knowledge, and perspectives that reside outside the business. This can be an invaluable way to improve, since people who work within the business tend to have a narrower perspective.
The OIG helped create and support new businesses and ecosystems
The OIG worked with Japan’s leading trust bank, creating a novel blockchain-based platform to create and support new businesses and ecosystems.
A general manager of the trust bank said, “The OIG helped us generate multiple small wins in a novel space, which eventually allowed us to explore unforeseen business avenues with the full support of our top management team.”
Why is innovation important during disruption?
Disruption doesn’t have to be negative. While organisations are currently operating in a disrupted marketplace, the fluctuating conditions can create opportunities for businesses savvy enough to see them. Open innovation is an ideal way to discover what path a company should take to navigate disruption and come out on the other side having grown or moved in a different, positive direction.
The OIG is recognised as a leader by Harvard Business School
Since creating the OIG in Silicon Valley, Fujitsu has been the subject of three Harvard Business School case studies. The most recent case study focuses on how the OIG has helped customers in industries from mobility to insurance to real estate thrive under the threat of disruption.
The OIG’s methods of innovation including leveraging both an open frame of mind and the OIG’s carefully curated ‘WiseCommunity’. The Harvard Business School case study offers concrete examples of how the OIG creates value for Fujitsu’s customers, how it leverages the community of experts that it has built, and even reflects on how the OIG helps train companies to be more innovative.