Underdeveloped IT Skills Challenges IP Video in Japan

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 29, 2009

Despite, or perhaps partially due to, the great success of manufacturing hardware in Japan, the more abstract fields of IT and software development are greatly underdeveloped. For example, the products manufactured by companies such as Panasonic, Sony, JVC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Sanyo, Canon, Nikon, Ikegami, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. have strong sales backed by strong reputations around the world. However, if asked to name one famous software solution developed in Japan, nothing comes to mind.

There are several reasons for this and they all present challenges to any IP based company attempting to do business here.

[Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Japanese Video Surveillance Market Guide.]

There is very little in terms of highly-qualified human capital in IT. Though sciences and math have a strong history in the higher education system of Japan, the focus has not shifted to computer science, networking, programming, etc. Thus, while many of the workers in the market certainly have the basic skills necessary to be successful in IP or software development, they do not have any of the necessary knowledge or training to take advantage of the basic skills that they do have.

Nearly all job-related education is conducted by the companies who hire new graduates. These programs generally last from between 3 months for those who will be basic “system engineers” to approximately 3 years for those who are labeled as having potential for management or executive level positions. Though this training is certainly better than nothing, it is not the equivalent of the university programs or even on-the-job training programs that have developed the skills of IT workers and programmers in other countries.

The training varies greatly from company to company, and is generally focused very narrowly. The goal of the training is generally to generate workers who can perform a group of specific tasks, and does not emphasize the thinking processes or concepts that drive the growth of the industry and link each of the specific tasks studied by the new entrants to a company.

If this training was then gradually broadened to other tasks related to the same specialty, workers would become specialists in a certain field able to perform all of the related tasks to the particular field. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. The educational practices and business environment described above have created a dearth of visionary leadership in the field. Moreover, the task oriented focus of the industry has also created an atmosphere that is not conducive to specialization.

Teams are created to complete a particular project for an end-user. Workers are pulled into these teams based on their availability at the time as much as they are for any special task that they are able to achieve. For each new project, it is necessary for them to learn a new skill-set only to the extent that they can complete their personal assignment within the new project. As such, they must also “reinvent the wheel” rather than utilizing their own past experience and the past experiences of others to accomplish familiar tasks while applying that knowledge in creative ways to develop better solutions for the future.

In many smaller companies, these technicians are also often required to work as salesmen. While this could theoretically improve the knowledge level of the sales-staff and allow for the consolidation of sales and technical knowledge within a single individual, it more often results in a less capable sales staff and a less capable technical support staff as well. Employees are unable to devote the necessary time to either task to become a specialist.

This cycle has not only created a lack of visionary leaders, but also a lack of true masters of the IT or development craft. As workers have not been able to specialize or learn the greater concepts behind tasks or projects, they are not able to gather enough background or contextual information to be able to recognize the sources of problems, find more efficient and elegant ways to successfully finish a project, or utilize the skill-sets of the other technicians around and/or under them. Without these kinds of leaders or masters who are able to see the greater concepts, the quality of the education of new employees also suffers greatly.

[Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Japanese Video Surveillance Market Guide.]

Related Reports

Axis Secretly Paid Anixter Sales People To Push Axis NVRs on Sep 26, 2016
Internal Axis communication shows how Axis paid Anixter and Tri-Ed sales people with secret bonuses to push Axis NVRs. In this report, we examine...
ACTi Refuses Race To The Bottom, Shifts To Solutions on Sep 23, 2016
The original low cost IP camera disruptor was ACTi. Back in the 2008 - 2010 time frame, Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi challenged the Western and...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Axis Launches IP Speakers on Sep 21, 2016
First, Axis introduced an IP horn, then it was video intercoms, and now it is Networked Speakers? While IP-based Public Address systems are not...
FLIR and Geovision Join the Hikvision Price Cut Race on Sep 20, 2016
Hikvision's price cuts are clearly a trend setter. After numerous and increasingly large cuts, the destructive cycle is accelerating. Last month,...
Camera Course September 2016 on Sep 15, 2016
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training exists...
PTZ Camera Guide 2016 on Sep 15, 2016
Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras remain critical parts of many surveillance systems, especially in large security operations. Because of this it is important...
Hikvision Big Hire - Ex Ingram Micro Exec on Sep 15, 2016
Hikvision has made another major hire. This time is it Tom Burns, previously VP at Pivot3 and, before that, GM of mega distributor Ingram...
Camera Roof Mounting / Parapet Mount Installation Guide on Sep 14, 2016
One of the most common camera mounts are parapet mounts, and they can be found on the roofs of all types of buildings; old and new, used to hold...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis Secretly Paid Anixter Sales People To Push Axis NVRs on Sep 26, 2016
Internal Axis communication shows how Axis paid Anixter and Tri-Ed sales people with secret bonuses to push Axis NVRs. In this report, we examine...
VLANs for Video Surveillance on Sep 26, 2016
Many people confidently say to 'use VLANs' as an answer to IP video networking problems and as a way to signal expertise. But how should VLANs be...
Ambarella CEO Admits H.265 and 4K Not Popular on Sep 26, 2016
Ambarella is the main chip provider for high-end surveillance cameras driving higher resolution and new CODECs. While Ambarella has been pushing...
Nest Cam Outdoor Tested on Sep 23, 2016
After years of claiming an outdoor model was "coming", addressing their biggest user demand, Nest has finally released their Outdoor Camera, an...
ACTi Refuses Race To The Bottom, Shifts To Solutions on Sep 23, 2016
The original low cost IP camera disruptor was ACTi. Back in the 2008 - 2010 time frame, Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi challenged the Western and...
You Get Robbed, Canary Will Pay You Up To $1,000 on Sep 22, 2016
Canary is trying to break the status quo in DIY security, first by raising over $40 million, and now a revamp of their monthly services package...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Access Control Course Fall 2016 on Sep 22, 2016
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer training that focuses only on a small part of the...
Totally Wireless IP Camera (IPVideo Corp NomadHD) on Sep 21, 2016
Wireless battery powered cameras have been a surveillance pipe dream for years, limited by camera power consumption, battery technology, and...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact