Currently, companies have been shifting their primary objectives of information technology (IT) investment from improving the efficiency of back office functions to achieving change such as company-wide business process standardization/integration and product/service innovation.
Every year, Nomura Research Institute (NRI) conducts the "Survey on the Status of IT Use in User Companies." The results of the 2013 survey revealed that Japanese companies mostly rely on a bottom-up approach to build consensus and are unable to make sufficient investments for achieving change.
However, themes such as "company-wide data/process standardization" and "creating new business models by IT" are highly likely to cause friction with each business division. These themes present high hurdles for Japanese companies that have grown by strong "genba-ryoku (onsite competency)" as a weapon. Under the leadership of top management, business and IT must be integrated.
Top executives should consider themselves responsible for IT governance and demand to view the status of IT investments and their value, and should make decisions for assigning personnel and setting up organizations so that IT-enabled change can take place without difficulty.