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

Last Day Save $50 - IP Networking Course on Mar 30, 2017
Last Day to Save $50 on the May IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
2Gig Intrusion Megatest (GC2 & GC3 Panels Tested) on Mar 28, 2017
2Gig is one of the most widely used intrusion systems, with two product lines that are the main offering of many alarm companies, huge national...
Anixter Favorability Results on Mar 28, 2017
Anixter's direct sales and integrator anger about it has been in the news recently: Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon Anixter Touts...
Burglar Alarm Sirens Guide on Mar 27, 2017
Sirens are used to alert users to an alarm condition. In this note, we examine how to choose, locate, and install alarm sirens, including Siren...
Dahua Distributor Bad Breakup on Mar 27, 2017
A Dahua distributor in Europe claims that Dahua took over his top customers, revoked his distributorship status, and left him with a large amount...
Lock Keyways For Access Control Guide on Mar 23, 2017
Lock keyways can be the difference between a lock working or not. Understanding keyways is important for access control. Indeed, a member recently...
Hikvision Attacks IPVM on Mar 20, 2017
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications. Attacks Listed On...
Dahua US Imports - Here Is Their #1 Customer By Far on Mar 17, 2017
We have been reviewing shipping records of both Dahua and Hikvision products coming in to the US. This is to help prepare the Dahua OEM and...
Burglar Alarm Screens Tutorial on Mar 14, 2017
Many residential alarm subscribers arm their alarms before going to bed at night. Wiring window screens allow these subscribers to leave their...
Axis: Minimal Made In China Products, Ending This Year (Except For In China Sales) on Mar 13, 2017
A member recently asked about where Axis is made because a school had raised concerns about the "security of Chinese manufactured cameras."  Here...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Last Day Save $50 - IP Networking Course on Mar 30, 2017
Last Day to Save $50 on the May IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
Dahua Manager: Lots of Backdoors Beyond Dahua or Hikvision on Mar 29, 2017
A Dahua technical manager has fired back at criticisms of Dahua's backdoor, posting publicly what many at Dahua have privately been saying for the...
$10,000 Free VMS Licenses For New Dealers IPConfigure on Mar 29, 2017
Another gimmick or a real deal? The company that brought 'Unlimited' Enterprise VMS License for Just $32,000 and a cannon to ISC West are back with...
Genetec and Axis Power Comcast's SmartOffice on Mar 29, 2017
Comcast has more than 20 million subscribers and $80 billion in revenue. Now Comcast is partnering with Genetec and Axis to deliver a...
IP Cameras Lose Buy America Protection on Mar 28, 2017
IP Cameras have lost the US government's 'Buy America' protection as the Security Industry Association (SIA) successfully lobbied the government to...
2Gig Intrusion Megatest (GC2 & GC3 Panels Tested) on Mar 28, 2017
2Gig is one of the most widely used intrusion systems, with two product lines that are the main offering of many alarm companies, huge national...
Anixter Favorability Results on Mar 28, 2017
Anixter's direct sales and integrator anger about it has been in the news recently: Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon Anixter Touts...
Chinese Government Spies on Churches With Video Surveillance on Mar 27, 2017
The Chinese government is using video surveillance to spy on churches in China, reports UCANews, explaining: The [Chinese government]...
Hanwha Wisenet X Tested on Mar 27, 2017
Hanwha has released their latest generation, the Wisenet X series, powered by their new Wisenet 5 processor. This new series claims improvements...
Burglar Alarm Sirens Guide on Mar 27, 2017
Sirens are used to alert users to an alarm condition. In this note, we examine how to choose, locate, and install alarm sirens, including Siren...

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