From the Sumitomo/Society Interface

Share the aspirations of people working for the Sumitomo Group
who are devoting their energy and talent to socially beneficial endeavors
in a host of fascinating fields.

▲Digital technology workshop with invited external experts.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma
Individuals' digital dexterity
will lead to innovation

Michio Nishida
Senior Director, IT Management & Digital Transformation
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma

Kyoichi Yokota
Senior Digital Officer
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma

▲Digital technology workshop with invited external experts.

Digital Festivus, an event to raise employee awareness of IT

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma held a 4-day event, Digital Festivus, in mid-October 2018, with all employees participating to raise their awareness of information technology (IT).

IT Sports Competition using VR.
Employees playing an immersive VR game.

One of the highlights was the IT Sports Competition in which 42 contestants in 14 teams from the Tokyo head office, the Osaka head office, and laboratories played games featuring virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and drone technologies. Michio Nishida, Senior Director, IT Management & Digital Transformation of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma comments on the positive impact: “Although many of our people felt rather unfamiliar with digital technology, playing games helped them overcome the mental barrier.”

The company also held seminars featuring experts from leading global IT companies as well as training programs directly linked with its business, such as a workshop on health-tech ventures and case method-based programs for all departmental heads on digital technology.

Use of IT is advanced in certain aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, such as the application of AI in research, but “when it comes to digital utilization of digital technology, it is still not enough,” says Kyoichi Yokota, Senior Digital Officer of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

Yokota continues: “Although the offering of pharmaceutical products is at the heart of our business, we need to make a greater contribution to patients through the use of IT, for example, in disease prevention and follow-up care. We aim to enhance each employee’s digital dexterity—that is, the ability and desire to exploit digital technologies for better business outcomes—so as to transform Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma into an agile and versatile organization, for better patient experience in our focus disease area.”

Through Digital Festivus, people are getting new ideas for new businesses that will enable patients to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Reprinted from SUMITOMO QUARTERLY NO.156

Number(From the Sumitomo/Society Interface)