[Insight Edge Inc.] The Specialist in DX promotion that combines the rich business domain of a big trading company with the speed of a startup.


  • About our customer
【株式会社Insight Edge】総合商社ならではの豊富な事業領域とスタートアップのスピード感を併せ持つDX推進のスペシャリスト

United World, Inc., which provides global human resources search and matching services with the aim of creating "a world where anyone can work anywhere," conducts interviews with companies at the forefront of their respective industries for the purpose of introducing them to you.

This time, we asked Mr. Inoko, a founding member of Insight Edge Inc., which was founded in 2019 as a spin-out from the Sumitomo Corporation Group and is making great strides as a specialist in DX promotion, and Ms. Goda, in charge of HR recruitment, to tell us about the features and appeal of the company.

[Summary of Interview]

  • A group of DX promotion specialists spun out from the DX promotion department within Sumitomo Corporation
  • Combining the solid, large-company culture of a general trading company with the speed of a startup.
  • Average age of employees is 35.7 years old. The company is actively accepting junior employees and plans to hire new graduates in the future.
  • MBO (Management by Objectives) system with two axes: contribution to the business and contribution to the organization.
  • Providing generous systems and opportunities to support the improvement of individual skills
  • Please come for our casual interview if you are interested in Insight Edge's culture and business

What is Insight Edge Inc?

Insight Edge Inc. is a group of technology experts established in 2019 to accelerate the digital transformation (DX) of Sumitomo Corporation and its group companies.

Our mission is to contribute to issues in various business domains by accelerating the DX of the Sumitomo Corporation Group's approximately 900 operating companies worldwide.

Providing DX solutions in a variety of fields (Image source: Insight Edge website)

We have many experts in digital technology, such as data scientists, full-stack engineers, and UX/UI designers, who provide one-stop services for data analysis, agile development, and the application of advanced technologies. However, the essence of DX lies in the restructuring of management strategies and tactics, which are the very foundation of business. In this process, our role is not limited to being a mere provider of digital technology.

Our engineering team enters the project from an early stage and works together with members of each operating company to resolve issues. We believe that this environment in which we can combine "cutting-edge technology" with "industry knowledge" is the key to DX success and the creation of new value.

Our company currently has a staff of 50, of which approximately 80% are engineers, data scientists, consultants, and other technical and sales personnel, and the remaining 20% are corporate members. Since we became independent as a spin-out from Sumitomo Corporation's DX promotion department, we have a structure (work rules, working environment, etc.) that inherits the culture of a large corporation, but since we are only in our fifth term, we have a sense of speed like a start-up company in our high mobility, large individual discretion, and openness.

The speed of decision-making is also quite fast. For example, when introducing a new technology or tool within the company, a decision can be made in one or two days at our company, whereas it would take a large company 10 days to get an application through each department. I think this speed is made possible by the nature of the business, where people work on a project-by-project basis, and by our flat organization with almost no hierarchy. I guess you could say that we have the best of both worlds: a large company and a startup.

About the services we provide

Recently, a working group has been established within Sumitomo Corporation to promote the use of information collaboration for the advancement of existing businesses and the creation of new businesses using AI, and we are participating in this group as a core member.

We are also involved in a variety of other projects. In the field of data science, which is one of our specialties, we have experience in various fields, such as trade price forecasting (demand forecasting), development of image analysis programs to improve operational efficiency, and development of product classification programs for EC.

In terms of new businesses, we have experience in the development of container information management systems that utilize IoT technology and in the development of matching services between manufacturers and small- and medium-sized factories. We also have a web designer on staff, so we produce websites, product pamphlets, and sales promotion materials. Furthermore, one of the businesses we are actively engaged in is the provision of DX human resource development plans and training for both inside and outside the Sumitomo Corporation Group, as well as support for in-house DX production (organization design, recruitment and training of DX human resources, etc.).

Insight Edge's projects include
Insight Edge's projects include

Difficulties faced in founding the company and thoughts on founding the company

As I briefly mentioned earlier, our company was one team within Sumitomo Corporation until we became independent four years ago. Our decision to incorporate was based on our emphasis on speed of decision-making.

A small organization has the advantage that it is easier to reach consensus on experimental approaches and to find optimal solutions through trial and error.

At the time, we also had the practical intention of hiring more engineers in a shorter period of time. In addition, we had to make many decisions in a short period of time, including the formulation of an evaluation system and personnel rules, so we sought a more flexible environment.

When we first became independent, recognition of Insight Edge within the Sumitomo Corporation Group was low and its functions and roles were not well known, so the hurdles to consulting were high, and as a result, the number of projects was small.

However, by steadily building up a track record of projects and gaining recognition and trust within the group, we were gradually able to produce results in a large number of projects. I believe that we were able to do this as a result of the people who joined our company, who are not bound by means, but are able to face the business challenge of "what can we solve?

Successful cases of the members who have high performance

Since many of our projects are cross-organizational, I have the impression that in addition to engineering and other expertise (hard skills), many of our employees have soft skills that enable them to proactively communicate with people on site, identify issues, and make new proposals.

Our company has three action guidelines: "Do it through," "Try it," and "Do it together. To "finish the job" means to work through a project to the end with a sense of ownership. Try it out" means to have the spirit to challenge everything and never stop learning. The last one, "Do it together," expresses the importance of teamwork.

As these words suggest, we are looking for people who have a sense of responsibility and curiosity, and who can sometimes transcend the boundaries between jobs and companies to work as one team to solve problems.

Although this may sound a bit difficult, if you have the foundation of a love for working in a team and communicating with others, I believe that this is the kind of company where you can be successful.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Employees in action (Image source: Insight Edge recruiting website)

About the Evaluation System

Regarding the evaluation system, we set annual goals and review the degree of achievement at the end of each fiscal year.

Mid-term reviews are also conducted in the middle of the fiscal year to confirm progress.

In terms of goal-setting, each member is categorized into five grades according to his/her skill level. Based on the grade, they are assigned missions that will lead to their own growth from the two axes of "business contribution" and "organizational contribution," after consulting with their superiors.

At present, there are three levels of evaluation: "S, A, and B. Of these, "S" and "A" are eligible for grade advancement and salary increases. In addition, to ensure that individual evaluations are not overly influenced by the projects to which they are assigned, we have established both qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria from the perspective of what positive impact they were able to make on the QCDS of the project.

In addition, we also set up personal interviews with superiors and executives as necessary to continuously confirm the career vision and skill sets that each individual would like to acquire. Based on this information, individuals are assigned to projects in which they are assumed to be highly motivated to some extent.

Of course, if there are specific requests for projects in which they would like to participate, we will take those into consideration as well.

Education System

As a company founded on the concept of a group of specialists, we have focused more on creating an environment to improve the awareness and technical level of our employees rather than on an educational system. This includes unlimited subsidies for the purchase of books, subsidies for the acquisition of foreign languages, and subsidies for participation in academic conferences and meetings.

In addition, as part of our efforts to create an effective learning environment, we hold in-house study sessions. We have a system in place that allows employees to use 10% of their working hours to prepare for these study sessions, which are used as an opportunity to more enthusiastically come in contact with new information and update their knowledge.

In addition, the analysis team, to which our data scientists belong, has set aside time to introduce academic papers, and the tech blog operated within the company is updated on a rotating basis, providing them with a place to output their work.

Up to now, we have focused on creating an environment that develops the abilities of individuals, but now that the company has more than 50 employees, we are formulating a hiring plan that will also include the hiring of new graduates and second-time graduates. In conjunction with this, we intend to gradually develop educational systems and training programs for human resource development, including a mentor system.

Future Outlook

Currently, the Sumitomo Corporation Group has a number of operating companies based overseas. For example, we sometimes conduct meetings with overseas venture companies in English for IT due diligence-related PJs.

Insight Edge's mission: "Re-design" the world with the power of technology (Image source: Insight Edge recruiting website)

However, DX promotion at overseas operating companies, including the hiring of local engineers, is still a difficult task, and how to overcome this challenge is likely to be a major theme.

In order to further accelerate the promotion of DX at overseas operating companies, we would like to strengthen horizontal cooperation with the Sumitomo Corporation Group and bring out the color of Insight Edge, Inc.

In addition, since our founding, we have provided solutions for many projects and accumulated know-how. Going forward, we intend to use this know-how and track record to accelerate our approach to external customers in collaboration with partners such as SCSK.

Message to future colleagues

As a general trading company, we have a variety of fields and opportunities to take on global projects.

Our clients are in a wide variety of business domains, with a wide range of issues, and we have a thousand different approaches and methods to solve them. There is an infinite number of fields in which you can play an active role.

We also have a corporate culture that encourages self-improvement and a system that supports it, and we are proud to offer a truly excellent environment for those with curiosity and a spirit of challenge.

If you are interested, please join us for a casual interview and talk with our active members.

The fields in which you can be active are endless (Image source: Insight Edge's recruiting website)


Insight Edge combines the strengths of a general trading company with the appeal of a startup. The company offers an attractive organizational structure and environment where both engineering and business skills can be developed, but the deciding factor for many people who join the company is the "attractiveness of the people who work there.

If you are interested in Insight Edge, please contact United World.

United World is committed to supporting your career with the goal of creating a world where anyone can work anywhere.

back to the list