A Company That Is Constantly Advancing
Over the past couple of years, the fusion of consumer electronics and IT, a process that has been unfolding for many years in the PC industry, has accelerated and expanded dramatically. The result is today’s exciting new market in “digital IT consumer electronics.” For I-O DATA, a company that has specialized in PC peripherals through numerous changes, switching core products frequently over many years, this development represents a towering business opportunity. In fact, I-O DATA has made digital IT consumer electronics its second core business for the past several years, developing and commercializing a steadily rising flow of appealing products. Though sales of these items so far represent no more than 5% of total, their value has doubled from the ¥500 million range at the outset to about ¥1 billion in the next year, then ¥2 billion the year after that. By the previous fiscal year, the figure had risen to ¥3 billion.
Several events in the past few years signal a shift away from the PC as the center of the IT industry. In late 2005 IBM, a standard bearer of the PC universe that dominated it for decades, sold its PC manufacturing operations to Lenovo, a Chinese manufacturing group, sending shock waves through the industry. Early 2006 saw another remarkable turning-point, when the Hitachi Group, which uses some 300,000 PCs to run its operations, eliminated hard disks entirely from its PCs in favor of pure network storage, to prevent employees from illegally leaking data.
These few examples attest to the mounting difficulty of surviving in the increasingly harsh PC market. To survive in this unforgiving business environment, I-O DATA must focus unflinchingly on two questions: What is our core competence, and where are we deficient? In areas where we lack expertise, the quickest route to supplementing our technology is to partner with enterprises that have the knowledge we seek, in the form of research-and-development partnerships. Although this approach holds both advantages and disadvantages, for I-O DATA the benefits of lower development cost and faster time-to-market clearly outweigh the drawbacks, as the Company seeks to raise performance levels and tackle fresh challenges in new fields. Nothing is more important in our business than combining the technologies we have to bring compelling products to market quickly. Of course, however dazzling the resulting technology may be, our products must add real value for the people who use them, or the new technology is no more than an exercise in self-indulgence.
The relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction means that no one in this company should ever feel satisfied with what they have achieved, but should approach everything in a critical frame of mind, constantly sharpening their talents as production professionals. To tap market desires and earn and retain our customers’ hard-won trust, I-O DATA must be a company that is constantly evolving.
USB Flash Memory Drive
Hard Disk Drive
Network Attached Storage
Portable Hard Disk Drive