The broader Hitachi group has around 900 businesses in extremely varied sectors, but there is a general movement towards social innovation, De Luca told iTWire.
He pointed to the September 2014 acquisition of Pantascene which, along with Avrio, was used to create HDS's public safety group. As the company expresses it, "Pantascene and Avrio expertise is in wireless communications, wide-area video surveillance, and video and sensor integrations. HDS experience is in world-class IT technologies, such as software, servers, storage and cloud innovations. Joined together, these skills create a unique ability to deliver integrated, seamless and state-of-the-art solutions to our customers."
De Luca said "It's going to be a very big part of our future." Governments usually want to deal with companies on the scale of IBM or HP for these sort of systems, and Hitachi's breadth and size makes it a viable choice.
HDS is no longer just a storage company, but an IT infrastructure company, he said. In combination with the rest of Hitachi, it can provide end-to-end systems for connected vehicles, heathcare and other areas, he said. The company is becoming less of a mainstream vendor and increasingly an integrator serving particular market segments.
For example, Hitachi's vision for a 'smart city operating system' to take advantage of sensors, analytics and other technologies does not include Hitachi as a sole supplier. While it will provide the parts it can do best, partnerships and other ecosystems will also be important.
Most large IT vendors are undergoing a similar transformation, De Luca suggested.