Barriers to DX and Their Solutions Lumada: Illuminating a Future of Collaborative Creation (Part 1)
“Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo” to open on April 15th – A hub for accelerating digital transformation
- Table of Contents
On March 22, 2021, Hitachi, Ltd. announced the opening of Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo (LIHT), a flagship hub location for accelerating digital transformation (DX). Completed on the 17th floor of Sapia Tower, which is directly connected to Japan Railway (JR)’s Tokyo Station, its official opening is set for April 15.
LIHT aims to create new value by connecting diverse human capital and enterprises across industrial sectors through the leveraging of Hitachi’s digital technologies and digital solutions. Incorporating multifunctional facilities in anticipation of post-COVID work styles, it is planned for use as a space for accelerating open innovation.
Two externally recruited leaders for facility management
Upon entering the press conference venue inside LIHT, a large monitor stretching around the wall came into sight. Displayed on screen was an illustration inspired by “rakuchu-rakugai-zu”, a medieval style of Japanese painting in which city and landscape scenes are depicted from a bird’s-eye-view on pairs of folding screens. It illustrates the connection between Hitachi’s business and urban culture, with portrayals of vibrant lives of townspeople. This image has become the spatial design concept of LIHT.
The interior of LIHT is based on a motif with modern interpretation of the traditional “suyarigasumi” technique in classical Japanese painting. The “suyarigasumi” technique is used to link diverse activities of people on a single sheet of canvas. This motif expresses the philosophy of LIHT to link the value produced through DX by Hitachi and its customers/partners with the a prosperous and fulfilling society.
In conjunction with the opening of LIHT, Hitachi has invited two professionals, Mr. Yoshimitsu Kaji (former chief marketing innovator at Accenture) and Mr. Madoka Sawa (former executive officer at Microsoft Japan) as a member of LIHT. Mr. Kaji was appointed as the Lumada Innovation Hub Senior Principal and Mr. Sawa as Lumada Innovation Evangelist. Both appeared at the press conference held on this day.
Mr. Kaji said, "In March 2011, I was working at the Prime Minister's official residence when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. While considering measures for reconstruction from the natural disaster, I realized that there is no path to the future without bringing technology, people, and nature together through collaborative creation. Here at this facility, I want to focus on creating a such a path for the future."
Creating new connections with a flexible mindset
Next, Mr. Sawa gave a presentation on the vision of LIHT. After first pointing out that "the world has reset in 2020," he continued as follows:
"In 1995, the first year of the internet, the world changed tremendously. The internet had its greatest impact on the shape of communication. Information previously very difficult to obtain became available via a single link, and it also became possible to encounter ideas of others from a single click. Then, in 2020, COVID-19 pandemic spurred even more change to the shape of communication. Going forward, we will have to upgrade how we think about and look at things. New innovation will happen in the future. The word ‘innovation’ is often translated as 'technological innovation,' but its true meaning is 'new connections.' A flexible mindset will be required to combine all different kinds of things toward producing these new connections."
After presenting these thoughts, Mr. Sawa spoke as follows on his resolve and expectations in becoming a member of LIHT.
"Hitachi is home to a lot of cutting-edge technologies that can change the world. Now, there are a lot of people in this world that can come up with an interesting idea, but they don't know how to put it into words or how to make it a reality. Here at LIHT, I would like to connect these people with Hitachi. The functional hub called LIHT will add itself to the spatial hub of the Tokyo Station area. If LIHT then becomes a place where people with interesting ideas can just casually drop by, this will facilitate the birth of new connections. LIHT will be a place that fulfills all the roles of a crossroads for the virtual and real worlds at a single site. Going forward, I want to pursue some interesting strategies here."
Five multifunctional spaces
LIHT consists of five spaces, each having a different function.
These are: (1) Meet-Up Square, a space for holding events and seminars; (2) DX Gallery, which has a giant monitor for presenting Hitachi solutions; (3) Co-Creation Studio, a place for creating new ideas; (4) Mirai-Atelier, a place for manifesting ideas and prototyping; and (5) Incubation Base, a place for holding discussions on making business more concrete.
One feature of LIHT is that it has design thinkers, permanent staffs whose role it is to propose ideal forms of solutions based on discussions with customers, and data scientists, who can present effective ways to use big data and data-based solutions.
Meet-Up Square and DX Gallery will be used as spaces for discovering DX challenges through discussions with customer companies and for receiving inquiries on solutions. Co-Creation Studio will be a place for creating ideas and building hypotheses in addition to issues analysis. The design thinkers will drive vision-building and idea-creation using workshops and other methods developed over the years.
Mirai-Atelier and Incubation Base are equipped to provide online connections among Hitachi’s domestic and overseas offices, allowing interdisciplinary dialogue between experts from different fields. These two spaces will be used to discuss on implementing technologies in the verification stage to society, thus leading to the next innovation. They will also enable the acceleration of DX by verifying the frontlines of operations.
According to Mr. Kazumi Matsumoto, a design thinker for Lumada CoE, "Even though non-face-to-face and non-contact communication has taken over because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I still think that a real place where the emotions of all parties can be immediately seen will be necessary. I hope that LIHT can be used as such as place."
Serving as the hub for the Lumada business
Lumada is the collective name for solutions and services that utilize Hitachi's advanced digital technologies. Its objective is to create value from data and to speed up digital innovation. Based on solutions and use cases accumulated thus far, it will generate new value by pursuing collaborative creation with customer and partner companies.
Over 1,000 use cases have been registered, and Lumada Solution Hub, which provides for the fast and easy implementation of solutions, also has over 100 registered cases.
Also, Lumada Alliance Program, which builds ecosystems with a variety of partners, has already received the endorsement of 35 companies. Lumada business sales in FY2020 rose 6% over the previous fiscal year to 1.1 trillion yen (forecast).
LIHT is ready to open as a flagship location for promoting the Lumada business and for accelerating DX. Through this facility, Hitachi intends to contribute to the creation of innovation by providing spaces for companies and people to connect with each other and form new communities.