Enabling digital transformations in industries and a society

Promotion of Digital Transformation (DX)

Digital Infrastructure Center
Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan

Release Date:Jan 30, 2024

Business Background

In every industry, new entrants are emerging, deploying unprecedented business models using new digital technologies, and a game-changing transformation is underway. In this context, companies are required to swiftly advance Digital Transformation (DX) for the maintenance and enhancement of competitiveness.

In several Japanese companies, initiatives such as establishing digital departments are taken to promote DX. However, the current situation reveals that many companies, despite making some investments in Proof of Concept (PoC) and similar processes, have not yet achieved actual business transformation.

In the future, as companies move forward with DX in earnest, there will be a challenge to determine the direction of management strategies that will be affected by DX. On the other hand, companies are facing challenges such as the aging, complexity, and black box nature of existing systems, which limit data utilization and integration. Furthermore, by allocating funds and personnel to maintaining and supporting existing systems, companies are unable to allocate resources to new IT investments that leverage digital technology.

Furthermore, if companies neglect these problems, there is a concern that system maintenance and support costs will escalate (increasing technical debt), talent capable of maintaining existing systems will become scarce, and security risks will rise in the future.

Of course, companies that have already eliminated the black box nature of their existing systems, companies that do not have large-scale IT systems, and companies that are proceeding with digitalization in fields that have not introduced IT systems do not have the above issues. However, overall, a significant number of Japanese companies are thought to be facing the above challenges.

Content of DX Promotion Projects

Based on the above background, IPA is implementing the following initiatives in order to solve common issues faced by various companies

  1. Certification of Companies with Excellent DX Initiatives(DX Certification)
    • IPA conducts certification procedures for businesses that demonstrate excellent initiatives in the digital aspect of management, based on guidelines outlining the strategic use of systems in corporate management to promote DX.
  2. Investigation for the Selection of DX Brands
    • IPA conducts investigations (DX surveys) for the selection of DX brands.
  3. Collection and Analysis of DX Promotion Indices
    • IPA promotes the dissemination of DX promotion Indices published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in July 2019, collecting self-diagnosis results from various companies.IPA analyzes the collected DX promotion Indices and provides benchmark data, such as industry-specific and size-specific averages, to companies that submitted self-diagnosis results.
  4. Formulation of Evaluation Indicators Specialized in IT Systems (Platform Digitalization Indices)
    • IPA publishes platform digitalization Indices as tools to evaluate whether IT systems meet the requirements for DX and visualize problems.
  5. Publication of Practical Guidelines for Companies Promoting DX (DX Practical Guide IT System Construction Edition)
    • IPA publishes a practical guide for companies promoting DX, specifically focusing on IT system construction.
  6. Consideration of Common Platforms in Non-Competitive Domain
    • IPA considers the construction of common platforms in various fields, such as social infrastructure sectors like water supply and private businesses (industries), where competition is not a primary concern.
  7. Related Projects
    • IPA publishes a guide to support DX efforts in small and medium-sized manufacturing industries.
      IPA publishes "Information System Model Transaction Contracts" considering the changing roles of user companies and IT vendors in the DX era, and an agile development version for new development styles.