저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
Digital Contents Industry In search of excellence By Professor Choi Sung Department of Computers, Namseoul University (firstname.lastname@example.org) The bestseller book "In Search of Excellence," coauthored by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, which has been published more than 20 years ago, is still steadily increasing its readers. This book is analyzing the reasons for excellence inherent to the American global enterprises. Does Korea have such kind of excellent enterprises If so, what company are they From now on, what enterprises can go global The list of the world-class enterprises includes: Toyota and Sony in Japan, Intel, GE, and MS in the USA, BMW and SAP in Germany, Novartis and Renault in France, BP in England, Nokia in Finland, and Embraer in Brazil (airplane manufacturer). Korea's global companies include Samsung Electronics, POSCO, LG Electronics, and Hyundai Motors. Samsung Electronics is a well-known global company that is producing a variety of brand products, and that ranks first in the semiconductor memory chips production all over the world. In terms of quality and brand name recognition, LG Electronics can be a rival company to Samsung Electronics. In particular, LG Electronics is renowned for its home appliances including a refrigerator, a washing machine, etc. POSCO is the first Korean enterprise that has succeeded in going worldwide as a steel producer. Hyundai Motors has not yet reached the level of a world-class company, but is rapidly approaching a global level. In comparison of the domestic excellent enterprises and overseas global companies, we can find some differences. In case of the domestic excellent enterprises, the two out of four (Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics) are conglomerate, and Hyundai Motors also belonged to a business group until a few years ago. But, in case of the overseas companies, only one (GE of America) among the twelve belongs to a business group. However, although GE is dealing with various kinds of businesses, but these businesses are closely related to each other, and also it is noteworthy that these businesses are based on core competence. GE has drastically sold out the business sectors that have no core competence or are unable to go global. But the domestic business groups are showing differences with GE. They insist on taking hold of both competitive business sectors and weak business sectors. Because of this conventional business structure, we are afraid that both Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics could meet with difficulties. We can find many examples in the overseas business groups that such a conventional structure as a conglomerate is liable to lead to failure in the long run. These examples include Textron, IT&T, and Litton Industries of the USA and Daimler Chrysler of Germany, which had tried to grow into a business group, but had to meet with a difficult situation to sell out the business sectors that have no core competence. It is only since its separation from Hyundai business group that Hyundai Motors has begun to grow into a global enterprise. The first global company POSCO in Korea has adhered to specializing in steel alone. In the future, many domestic companies are expected to grow a global company. This is how Korea can survive in the global competition and develop into an advanced country. To this end, ongoing business restructuring is necessary. It is also noticeable that many global companies have originated from a "new" company. In this respect, before long, it is expected that many excellent companies will be born in the software, contents, and biology technology. Therefore, it can be safely said that a new excellent company should not come from the existing business division of a business group or from the spin-off. The reason is that an existing organization lacks creativity. No excellent company has started from the division of a large company Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, who visited Korea last May, has given a good advice to Korea, "After ten years, China's economy will surpass Japanese economy fivefold in its economic scale, and also will catch up with the technology level of Korea. Therefore, Korea continuously has to produce new quality products for survival. In other words, Korea has to develop new industries and new products on an ongoing basis to go ahead of China." This means that such excellent companies just like POSCO and Hyundai Motors should be made in the new business fields. The most promising industry in Korea is the digital contents field. The online games developed by domestic companies, which are gaining popularity worldwide, are "Lineage 1 and 2" of NC Soft, "Legend of Mir 1 and 2" of Actoz, and "Ragnarok" of Gravity. This writer firmly believes that so called "Korean Wave" will be continued in the digital contents field. What is the reason that digital contents are attracting people's attention It is because they have a huge economical and cultural impact. Although the weight and scale of domestic digital contents industry is steadily increasing, the other parts of this industry except the online and mobile game are still left behind. In order to overcome this retardation and to find out a new growth model, domestic companies should be exposed to the competition with global companies, so that they may find a success factor by benchmarking the global companies of developed countries. Let's take an example of worldwide companies in the digital contents field: AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, News Corporation, Vivendi University, Sony, Fuji Sankei, Walt Disney, and Viacom. In the aspect of company's history and management style, these companies have many differences among them, but have much in common. In order to find out these common points, domestic companies have to benchmark their businesses, strategy, business structure, and profit structure. These excellent companies are giving us the following suggestions in their management strategy. First, these media leaders are adhering to the golden rule of the digital contents industry: one source and multi use Secondly, they are in pursuit of "digital convergence" through strategic alliance or cooperation. Thirdly, multilateral efforts for profit model realization are being made systematically, thus bringing sweeping changes on the conventional digital contents industry. Recently, micro media has come into the spotlight. Due to the fact that the market domination of existing mass media has been collapsed by Internet, "small but strong" specialty media is now attracting people's attention. Because of this, many media groups are trying to introduce the strategy of "small but strong" to their business management. The digital contents industry is trying to provide the pleasure of human senses and to satisfy human desires by way of entertainment and fantasy, slowly replacing the traditional production and labor-centered culture with consumption and entertainment-centered culture. Thanks to the rapid development of computer and digital media, consumers are strengthening its position, demanding more artistic and sensitive products in addition to the traditional value of technology and function. Along with this trend, the game is called the "tenth comprehensive art" or "emperor of contents industry." In the future, leading companies will suddenly emerge in the field that we haven't expected. These companies are expected to come from the digital contents industry. It is possible because we are entering into the ubiquitous society. If Korea, as an IT strong nation, succeeds in giving birth to global leaders in the digital contents, nobody will deny that Korea will reach the level of a true information society. As we have enough possibility, we are looking for the promotion of digital contents leader at the national level.