Once dominant, Japanese tech is now a shadow of itself


Sony, Hitachi, Rakuten, Sega, or even Canon and Nintendo… The big Japanese companies continue to weigh in the tech world, but we are very far from their level of influence of the 90s.

The latest Global Digital Competitiveness Ranking, published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD), overwhelmingly supports this trend. Japan thus only appears in 29th position in this list of 69 countries. This research screened a series of 54 factors based on knowledge, technology, as well as readiness for the future, in order to establish the level of competitiveness of economies.

Why is Japanese tech declining so much?

Quoted by Kyodo NewsArturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, explains: This ranking describes the importance of national factors in explaining the digital transformation of companies and the adoption of digital practices by citizens. “.

In this little game, Japan thus reached its worst ranking since 2017. Denmark and the United States are in the lead, China is 17th, while France progresses by two places to 22nd position.

But how can we explain this decline of Japanese tech? The media Nikkei Asia mentions several factors, including a shortage of staff and digital skills in the country. Thus, the Japanese Ministry of Economy estimates that there will be a shortage of 450,000 information technology professionals on site in 2030. The country of the rising sun is also facing a major demographic challenge with a significant aging of its population.

Another problem raised by our colleagues, Japan is struggling to innovate from an organizational point of view and its cybersecurity capabilities are not up to par. A lack of evolution which results in certain aberrations.

For example, we recently mentioned the fact that many companies were very worried when Microsoft put support on Internet Explorer. Thus, many internal company services are only accessible via this obsolete browser and in particular the management of employee attendance, the payment of expense sheets, as well as certain tools.

Aware of the danger, the Japanese government is trying to rectify the situation. A digital agency was thus launched last year to ensure the digital transition of the administration. Similarly, current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to create 2.3 million digital worker jobs over the next five years. But many experts doubt the effectiveness of these measures if the organizational models remain too rigid.

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