Information Technology has become a major part of virtually every business. Finding a company or any organization that doesn’t use a computer would likely be a miracle. Nearly every company uses technology, from the POS (point of sale) system at the local retail outlet to the computers sitting on the desk of every team member at the company. Businesses, non-profits, government, and all other organizations are reliant on technology; specifically Information Technology or IT.
In Japan, there are many people doing IT related businesses. Software development, IT infrastructure installation such as cabling and racks, as well people doing day-to-day desktop support. Higher end companies can handle more complex issues such as network administration and security to protect the enterprise.
In Tokyo, simply put, we have four types of firms servicing companies-
-the “cheap and sloppy”
-the “local Japanese only” firms
-the “gaijin” (or foreigner) company servicing companies filled with foreigners
-the “international” companies servicing large sites nationwide
In life, everything serves its purpose. The cheap and sloppy are fine if you don’t mind your team being visited by someone whose qualification is being able to install software but inexperience creates long downtimes. The gaijin companies are nice as they can think a bit better out of the box but have constant turn-over with their teams as they are staffed with foreign nationals. If you need a bit more stability but don’t need anything but Japanese, there are some good local firms. The issue is when they have to communicate with an international office or site. The other challenges is most technology information, documentation, and troubleshooting is primarily coming out or being posted in English. Then there’s those firms that do speak English.
Finally, the international firms can be broken into two areas. The reason is due almost completely to price. There are some IT companies that are global, have a big name and big prices to match. The pricing makes it hard on the bottom line. However, if you look closely, you will find a few gems in the market. Who are these gem IT support and engineering firms? These firms can be either national and sometimes regional players but most likely topical, focusing on the cities of interest such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo and so forth.
The international firms prices are above those of ‘cheap and sloppy’ IT companies, but much lower than the big name players. They just can’t deliver service in London, New York, Singapore, and Frankfurt for example.
What kind of IT service and support firm is right for your business? The answer to that question is most likely dependent on your business. Have a question about the Japan market? Drop us a line here, we’d be happy to help.