2020.07.03 Release

70% of companies answer that they expect to continue feeling the effects of COVID-19 into 2021 and beyond, a 16% increase on the previous month despite the lifting of the state of emergency in Japan, and an increasing number of company managers are starting to promote DX and revise their management strategies – Results of a questionnaire survey on COVID-19 among 141 companies and 162 individual respondents –

On June 12 (Fri.), ExaWizards Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Ko Ishiyama; hereinafter, “ExaWizards”) carried out a questionnaire survey among companies taking part in an online AI seminar on exaCommunity, a service administered by this company, eliciting answers from 141 companies and 162 individual respondents.

ExaWizards had already conducted questionnaire surveys on COVID-19 on April 22 (Wed.) and May 8 (Thu.). In the April survey, many companies answered that they expect to continue feeling the effects of COVID-19 for a year or more. In addition, it became apparent that while more and more companies are taking steps to enable remote working, only around 20% of companies had initiated fully-fledged DX promotion and AI utilization.
(Source: https://exawizards.com/archives/9944)

What is more, the questionnaire survey carried out in May showed that, because of the coronavirus, around 70% of companies had experienced a 20 – 40% drop in turnover, that around 90% had experienced a slowdown in business activities, and that over 30% were working to revise their management strategies and plan active investments, although only 3% of companies were going ahead with DX promotion. (Source: https://exawizards.com/archives/10248)

And in this most recent questionnaire survey, carried out in June, 70% of companies answered that they expect to continue feeling the effects of COVID-19 into 2021 and beyond. Comparing the result for this question with the result for the same question in the May survey, we see a rise of 16% in the number of companies who expect to experience protracted effects of COVID-19 despite the state of emergency having been lifted in Japan. Meanwhile, an increasing number of company managers are starting to promote DX and revise their management strategies, showing that companies are endeavoring to take steps to reform their business operations to counter the prolonged impact.

70% of companies answered that they expect to continue feeling the effects of COVID-19 into 2021 and beyond, a rise of 16% on the previous month

When asked until when they expect to continue feeling the effects of COVID-19, most companies answered “Until June 2021” (29%), followed by “Until December 2021” (26%), “Until December 2020” (24%), “Until December 2022” (9%), “Will continue into 2024 and beyond” (6%), “Until June 2020” and “Not affected” (2% respectively), and “Until December 2023” (1%). As such, a total of 72% (an increase of 16% on the previous month) of companies gave answers predicting the effects to last into “2021 and beyond”, highlighting concerns among an increasing number of companies of the protracted effects of COVID-19 on their business operations.

An increasing number of company managers are starting to promote DX and revise their management strategies

In regard to the initiatives companies are taking (or are thinking of taking) to prepare for the post-COVID-19 era, managers at these companies answered as follows: “Commence/promote DX projects (42%; an increase of 16% on the previous month) and “Revise management strategies and scenario planning” (63%; an increase of 3% on the previous month). This shows how company managers are moving quickly to promote DX projects and revise their management strategies.

  Company managers are beginning to shift the focus from “inward-looking changes” to “outward-looking changes”

In regard to the areas of companies that will change due to the impact of COVID-19, most managers answered “Business model” (79%; an increase of 2% on the previous month). Many also answered “Changes to customer behavior” (71%; an increase of 5% on the previous month), showing how they are keeping an eye on changes taking place outside the company. Meanwhile, the survey also highlighted a drop in the level of attention managers are giving to changes within the company, answering as follows: “Organizational structure within the company” (8%; a decrease of 22% on the previous month), “Internal work processes” (46%; a decrease of 18% on the previous month), and “Work style” (79%; a decrease of 12% on the previous month).

  Companies are beginning to shift their focus from tasks that they need to do during COVID-19 to mid- long-term reforms concerning how the company should be after COVID-19

In terms of the measures that companies are taking to cope with COVID-19, we see signs that companies are beginning to focus less on tasks that they need to do during COVID-19, answering as follows: “Message from top management” (77%; a decrease of 11% on the previous month) and “Establishment of a COVID-19 response unit” (27%; a decrease of 15% on the previous month). Instead, we see an increasing number of companies focusing on mid- long-term reforms concerning how the company should be after COVID-19, answering as follows: “Initiatives in anticipation of forming a vision for the post-COVID-19 era” (56%; an increase of 6% on the previous month).

  There is a widening gap in the inclination of initiatives to prepare for the post-COVID-19 era by industry, with the telecommunications and manufacturing industries taking the lead but the services industry lagging behind

In terms of the initiatives companies are taking to prepare for the post-COVID-19 era, looking at the number of selected initatives (maximum of 6) by industry, we see that those companies which are forging ahead with their initiatives by taking 5 or more initiatives are primarily in the manufacturing industry (23%; an increase of 12% on the previous month) and telecommunications industry (26%; an increase of 19% on the previous month). Meanwhile, we see that those companies which are lagging behind with initiatives are primarily in the services industry, with far fewer companies taking 5 or more initiatives (9%; a decrease of 1% on the previous month), with 26% still having taken 0 or just 1 initative.

 Overview of questionnaire survey
Survey targets: 141 companies and 162 individual respondents who are currently implementing or considering DX promotion or the introduction of AI

Overview of the exaCommunity service
exaCommunity, administered by ExaWizards, is a fee-based service for corporate members who use AI. By providing reports on case examples of using AI in business, video learning, articles, offline exchange meetings, events, etc., it helps corporations and their staff to solve issues and create new business by using AI.

Due to the recent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are now holding offline events online instead, and have put in place a fuller range of video content and articles through which people can learn about AI. We will continue to add to our online content to allow even those companies that have already introduced teleworking to actively learn more about AI.

In addition, we are also holding free online workshops for members on the introduction of AI and DX promotion to help them consider the kinds of challenges they will face in the post-COVID-19 era, and how to drive through reform. These workshops focus on the following three themes: “revising management strategy,” “reinforcing existing business operations through DX,” and “capitalizing on new business opportunities.” Based on these, we will help companies share their awareness of the issues through debates which bring the key members of companies together in a single virtual space, as well as through case study research and knowledge-sharing carried out by ExaWizards, which has been involved in over 200 projects a year helping companies introduce AI.

Content: Fee-based service for corporate members who use AI
Annual membership fee: 150,000 yen (excl. tax) *5 IDs are issued per registration (= 5 people can access at the same time)
Link: https://community.exawizards.com/
Applications for registration: https://community.exawizards.com/entry/

 Example video content
The Future of Employment, by Dr. Michael A. Osborne: Online talk event via video streaming
“Surviving in the AI Age! Future Skill​s that Every Adult should learn”
Sample viewing: https://community.exawizards.com/member/yomoyama/sample_001/

 Example online event
Online AI seminar by Ko Ishiyama, President & CEO of ExaWizards Inc.
“exaCommunity Special Seminar: Textbook for DX” (total 5 sessions)
Sample viewing: https://community.exawizards.com/member/yomoyama/sample_002/

[About ExaWizards Inc.]
Sticking to our mission: Solving social issues through Artificial Intelligence for future generations, we develop and commercialize AI products in a wide range of areas from caregiving, medical care, and human resource management to robotics and finance. Our members represent a kaleidoscopic variety of talent, including not only AI engineers but also software and hardware engineers, strategy consultants, UI/UX designers, as well as subject matter experts, researchers, and policy experts specializing in caregiving and other fields. Based in Japan, a super-aging society, ExaWizards, engages in product development with a thorough understanding of the front-line needs and issues in each field, while expanding globally through business development initiatives at overseas bases.
Website: https://exawizards.com/en/