Its 2017 and it is a time of Digital Transformation. However, for a business to find a place in the new ‘Super Smart Society’ they must first overcome the ‘Five Walls’ that hinder this. This article will explore the theory and origins of the new society, whilst understanding how to achieve this new way of thinking. Industry 4.0 was the trend of 2016 where ‘smart factories’ were created where machines and systems monitor the world around them, and use this information to make decentralized decisions regarding production.
However, at a CeBIT event in 2017, The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) released the Society 5.0 plan. The aim of this was to adapt ‘digitalization and transformation to full national level and even implement it as a philosophy’ (iScoop, 2016). This idea was created due to the many social/economical/environmental issues they faced, including: pollution which impacts the worlds ecosystem; their aging population, 26.3% inhabitants were over 65 years old, health issues causing high costs for the health industry, hindered mobility and an increasing demand for retirement housing, and natural disasters that can destroy communities and businesses.
Their first step to change society was the creation of a ‘vision paper’, where they documented the evolution of the five societal changes:
They then went on to state how they would break down ‘The Five Walls’, which were industries and social factors that could hinder their prospected change:
It is imperative for Japan to promote a nation-wide innovation across the whole economy and society.- (Keidanren, 2017)
Creation of new values by integration of cyber space and physical space with rapid evolution of ICT as a background.- (Keidanren, 2017)
To achieve the dream of Society 5.0, Japan will focus on the three most crucial elements in modern society:
Although this ‘Super Society’ sounds ideal, Japan do recognise that it cannot be successful and implemented instantly:
A new age which has leading edge technologies as its foundation is not necessarily on the extension of the current line. It is also an age full of ‘uncertainties’. Industry must create reform on its own initiative to lead the world. - (Keidanren, 2016)
Here at Digital First, we applaud Japan with this forward thinking as we too, understand that digital transformation is not just limited to technology.
What do you think; is Society 5.0 the way forward or should we look at another route?