The events of the past year have forced the vulnerabilities of a global society into sharp focus. But as business leaders look to the new year, perhaps with a glint of optimism, many are imagining the role their organisation can play in the world that emerges from the COVID-19 era.
At Fujitsu we want to create a better society with our customers, by reimagining together how business and society should be in the new normal, whatever that will look like.
During Fujitsu ActivateNow, our flagship thought leadership event for 2020, we explored this topic with a talk from Furuta Hidenori, COO & CTO of Fujitsu Limited.
He argues that confronting the complex set of issues facing the world required building trust in society, and that a purpose-driven approach is required.
Furuta-san says purpose should be “a compass that guides the direction of the business,” which in turn creates “the link between our business goals and social goals.”
This means businesses should look at how they can deliver benefits to wider society, and not just shareholders.
“There are still many unresolved social issues that have arisen in association with the rapid expansion of economic activities, and the improvement of people's lives,” he says.
“The rapid spread of digital services is causing major concerns in terms of trust in society. Can I trust the data on the internet? Can we really trust the judgment of AI?
“Fujitsu as a responsible company must confront these complex societal issues and work diligently to build a trust that is becoming increasingly vital.”
Digital Transformation (DX) underpinning responsible business
At Fujitsu, our purpose is to make the world more sustainable, by building trust in society through innovation.
Furuta-san explains that through the digital transformation of our own organisation, Fujitsu will be able to better support the needs of customers. This is set against six values:
- A safe and secure mobile society
- Wellbeing and prosperity
- Modernization for systems
- Innovation for manufacturing
- Personalised experiences
- Security and convenience for financial services
And these values are underpinned by seven core technologies:
- Cyber security
- Hybrid IT
- Internet of Things (IoT)
“Each technology is an important element on its own, but in combination can bring a higher value proposition for our customers,” says Furuta-san.
What does this look like in action?
After combining these core DX technologies, we can start to look at tackling some of the challenges facing the world today.
Throughout Fujitsu ActivateNow we heard some great examples of how digital transformation is bringing this to life.
For instance we heard how quantum-inspired computing can be used to accelerate drug discovery.
Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer technology allows scientists to rapidly identify molecules which could be effective in the treatment of diseases. An initial search of a billion molecules takes just 10 minutes, a process which typically take months, or even years.
Overall it could cut the time it takes for the first stages of drug discovery from between 2-4 years to just eight months.
As scientists around the world have raced to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 this year, you can see how this technology could offer hope in future pandemics, as well as tackling diseases such as dengue fever.
At Fujitsu ActivateNow, we also heard how Mars Petcare had to rapidly adapt and change its business model when the pandemic hit.
A focus on agility allowed them to look at unmet customer needs, and a lightning-fast response met they created and launched a D2C (direct-to-consumer) business in just 15 days.
But beyond the pandemic, Mars Petcare is also thinking about the possibilities of digital transformation and how it can help society.
“The future is unpredictable,” says Mars Petcare CIO, Miao Song. “But at the same time, I feel the future is bright. Because the current situation, actually offers a lot of opportunity of using technology to make a difference, and to make a fundamental difference in everybody's life.”
You can recap these sessions and more from Fujitsu ActivateNow by registering for free here.