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

Arlo, Bigger Than Avigilon, More Valuable Than Axis on Feb 08, 2018
Arlo, the wireless IP camera offering that Netgear bought ~5 years ago for a few tens of millions is now doing more revenue than Avigilon and...
3VR Firesale to Identiv on Feb 07, 2018
A decade ago, 3VR raised more than $60 million to deliver facial surveillance and video analytics in a '3rd generation' video recorder. Now, 3VR...
Dahua Acquires Lorex From FLIR on Feb 06, 2018
Would you buy your own customer? Well, Dahua has just done that. FLIR has sold its Lorex / home / SMB business to Dahua, just over 5 years after...
Barron's: If Trump Bans Hikvision on Feb 05, 2018
What happens if Trump bans Hikvision from US government entities? This is being considered in a new profile by financial magazine...
Avigilon Acquired By Motorola Solutions on Feb 01, 2018
Avigilon has finally been acquired. The acquirer is Motorola Solutions, a $16 billion market cap publicly traded company who sells direct and has...
Tri-Ed Is Now Anixter on Jan 23, 2018
Goodbye, Tri-Ed. As Tri-Ed's own website now makes clear: But what difference does this make for one of the industry's largest distributors? In...
PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Jan 19, 2018
Powering access control with Power over Ethernet is becoming increasingly common.  However, access requires more power than cameras, and the...
Vivint Streety Video Strengthens Door Knocking on Jan 17, 2018
Vivint is famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) for mastering large scale door to door selling. The company has skyrocketed from a...
The 2018 Surveillance Industry Guide on Jan 16, 2018
The 300 page, 2018 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Hikvision Removed From US Army Base, Congressional Hearing Called on Jan 12, 2018
Hikvision has been removed from a US Army Base and a US congressional committee is planning a hearing on cybersecurity risks and specifically,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Why 3VR Failed on Feb 16, 2018
3VR destroyed transformed ~$65 million in VC funding into a $6.9 million exit. The reason they failed is simple. They bet on analytics. They...
"Fear Mongering": Hikvision USA Cybersecurity Director Dismisses Chinese Government Ownership Concerns on Feb 16, 2018
The facts are: The Chinese government created Hikvision and is Hikvision's controlling shareholder. Hikvision's Chairman, a Communist Party...
16:9 vs 4:3 Video Aspect Ratio Statistics on Feb 16, 2018
What aspect ratio do security integrators prefer? The 'standard' 4:3 or the 'wide' 16:9 one? 100+ integrators told us what they preferred, with...
Mercury Releases New Series 3 Redboard Access Panels on Feb 15, 2018
Mercury Security has their first major product release post-HID buyout, and things literally look different. The Series 3 SIO boards now are red...
Last Chance February 2018 Camera Course on Feb 15, 2018
This is the last chance to get into the Winter camera course, starts next Tuesday. Register now. IPVM provides the best education, live online...
Hikvision DeepInMind Tested Terribly on Feb 15, 2018
While Hikvision is heavily marketing deep learning and 'AI' as their next big thing, new IPVM test results of their DeepInMind NVR shows their deep...
Genetec CEO: You Cannot Buy Trust on Feb 14, 2018
Genetec's CEO, Pierre Racz, delivered a direct message at their channel partner conference: Racz has become a focal point in the industry debate...
Assa's Lowest Power Draw Maglock: Securitron M680E Examined on Feb 14, 2018
Securitron produces some of the most extreme maglocks on the market, including massively strong maglocks and even ones with integrated CCTV cams...
Hanwha Wisenet X 5MP Camera Tested (XNV-8080R) on Feb 13, 2018
Wisenet X is Hanwha's high-end camera line. We tested their Wisenet X 1080p camera last year. Now Hanwha is offering 5MP cameras listing super low...
Top Problems For Integrator Project Management on Feb 13, 2018
Security projects routinely encounter issues that jeopardize deadlines, create confusion, and shrink profits. Unfortunately, there are common...

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