Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Urban utility equipment and electronic goods manufacturers are experiencing profound challenges in this age of rapid technological change. Panasonic, Japan’s leading electronics company, has also recognized the limits of its traditional product manufacturing orientation and decided to enter IT-intensive town management in view of these challenges. It has advanced a new strategy for creating sustainable communities to encourage both stakeholders and local residents to get involved. Stressing sustainability, the strategy has adopted a long-term perspective (i.e., a 100-year timeframe). Significantly, it must provide values that foster community-based sustainability and adopt a business model that ensures the economic viability of both constructing the town and managing its ongoing services. As information systems play a big part in the provision of services in the new town, the strategy requires the linking of information with technology and social aspects, quite unlike traditional manufacturing, which is solely based on technology concerns. As part of its new strategy, Panasonic defined five prominent service areas (i.e., energy, security, mobility, wellness, and community). The company thought these areas would expand and generate new value and services throughout the strategy’s timeframe.