The Heisei Era and Beyond as Understood from NRI’s Publications
Jan. 04, 2019
As we near the end of the Heisei era, we can see attempts all around us to look back over the past 30 years as a benchmark for survival through the next era. In January 1988, exactly a year prior to the start of the Heisei era, the former Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. and Nomura Computer Systems Co., Ltd. merged, and the present Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) was launched. In this sense, the evolution of the Heisei era coincided with that of NRI, and it can be said to be the period of realization of the results of the merger.
Let us here look back at the publications of our employees throughout the Heisei era to gain a deeper understanding of this period as well as find some clues for the future.
As the Heisei era unfolded, NRI continued to propose significant keywords and corporate strategies
The core resources who have written books and articles at our company are consultants, and it is clear from their publications that they have tried to make effective predictions and suggestions for the future by providing insight on social issues and management issues. Meanwhile, as the majority of our business and human resources are occupied by the IT solutions field, they have also focused on analyzing the development of IT and navigating logical measures for the future.
With the collapse of the bubble economy and of the traditional order and values in the early Heisei era, the newly created NRI could be seen to be seeking new guideposts with a sense of elation as well as of purpose. A series of corporate strategies for innovation such as “Strategy for Creation” (1990), “Strategy of Empathy” (1991), and “Strategy of Symbiosis” (1992) were proposed. These keywords are relevant even now.
Similarly, evidence of heated discussions could be seen even when the 21st century began. The keyword “Emergence” was used for the first time in “Priorities of Japan 2000: Emergence of Industries” (2000), which was an attempt to apply the terminology of complex theories to society and industry as well. This is also tied to our corporate philosophy of “Dream Up the Future”, established in the year 2000.
At about the same time, NRI attracted attention in the world of information and communication by describing a society that “connects with anyone, anywhere and anytime” as a “Ubiquitous Network” (2000). It can be said that this indeed anticipated the digital era of today. The period seems to have aptly demonstrated our spirit of "being ahead of the times," which we have been promoting since our inception.
NRI will continue to propose recommendations to survive the age of Digital Transformation (DX)
Meanwhile, as the 21st century advances, it becomes difficult to express the characteristics and trends of the era with just a precise "keyword". In a number of fields, especially IT, the change has intensified such that a keyword can become a "buzzword" in the blink of an eye. Looking at it in another way, understanding a particular field by setting the time axis, that is, information analysis, forecasting, and suggestions using “fixed point observation” approach, makes it easier to understand the times, which is reflected in the changing trend of publications.
Specifically, we conducted a questionnaire survey of 10,000 consumers across the country and published “Changing Japanese” (1998) after understanding, organizing, and analyzing the consumption patterns of Japanese people. The survey has continued to be conducted every 3 years since 1997, and recently, with the publication of “Why Do Japanese Buy Things Without Thinking?” (2016), it has attracted the interest of companies sensitive to consumer trends.
Furthermore, regarding the development of IT, we have continued to write and publish “IT Market Navigator” (name changed to “IT Navigator” after 2000) about the degree of IT use, and “IT Roadmap” (from 2005 onwards) about IT technology trends. Both of these books can be used as references to design business strategy and technical strategy both internally and externally.
In addition, based on the achievements of our main IT solutions business, we have also published up to 5 revised editions of the “CIO Handbook” (from 2000 onwards), summarizing knowledge about information systems management. It is not an exaggeration to say that NRI’s publications since the turn of the millennium have been closely following the dynamic changes of IT and the resulting changes in the consumption style of consumers in the Heisei era.
As we leave behind the Heisei era to enter a new one, NRI has been focusing on “Digital Transformation (DX)” to survive the digital era. Last year, we published “Digital Capitalism” (2018), where we focused on the theme of “Digital Opening in the Near Future”. With a firm grasp of the pros and cons of the digital era, it threw light on the kinds of new economies and industries. In the future, we would like to continue making appropriate proposals "to gain an insight into the paradigm of a new society and assume the responsibility of realizing it," which is one of our corporate philosophies.
With the progress of globalization, we believe it is more important than ever to expand our vision through communication with diverse stakeholders, in order to continue to transmit higher quality information. We would like to invite the thoughts and opinions of our readers.
NRI Research Paper Knowledge Creation and Integration January, 2019