Driving future-proofed, citizen-centric DX while optimizing costs

City of Setagaya, Tokyo

Setagaya, the most populous among Tokyo’s 23 cities with a population of 920,000 and 490,000 households, is the largest basic municipality in Japan, excluding ordinance-designated cities. Its IT investments had increased, had become more complex and needed to be closely examined. During the construction of the new main office and other facilities, COVID-19 forced the municipality to find the best approach for digital transformation (DX) using digital technology to protect the residents while optimizing costs.

Mission-critical priority

Annual IT costs amounting to 5 billion yen became a major concern for Setagaya, which was expected to get independent opinions and achieve cost optimization. No-bid contracts accounted for most of these costs, and the municipality was under pressure to review them.

Partly because of COVID-19, accelerating the digitalization of administrative services became the top priority.

Setagaya started by discussing what DX is and what it could be used for; it needed to move quickly to develop and implement an effective policy.

How Gartner helped

Gartner delivered objective insights and expert guidance in a variety of ways:

  • Document reviews, such as checking of procurement terms and conditions, for procurements under no-bid contracts
  • Discussions on individual issues with Gartner subject matter experts
  • Insights on DX and organizational management, including organization and human resources development, bimodal IT and global trends analyzed in the context of Japan
  • Product comparison to help select a communication tool, reports that detail implementation considerations and access to toolkits 

Business impact

With the support of Gartner, the City of Setagaya has achieved the following results since launching its citizen-centric digital transformation:

  • For no-bid contracts, Setagaya now requests vendors to submit a breakdown of quotes and conduct detailed reviews to optimize cost.
  • In one procurement project, Gartner reviewed the RFI and provided guidance that helped Setagaya achieve a cost savings of approximately 30 million yen.
  • As for the DX initiative, a team mainly consisting of younger employees took the lead and announced the Setagaya City DX Policy Ver.1 (coined Re-Design SETAGAYA) in March 2021, just four months after the project began its full-scale operations.

Local government


920,632 (as of May 2021)


General account 319.9 billion yen (FY21)

Achieve your mission-critical priorities with Gartner for IT Leaders

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we needed to accelerate DX to ensure the residents’ safety and security while optimizing IT-related costs. Gartner provides us with not just proven global case studies and technology trends, but the “live updates” tuned to the current situation and challenges of Setagaya City. That is crucial for policy planning and organization and human resources development to drive successful projects.

Kazuhiko Yamada

Director of ICT Promotion Division, Policy Planning Department, City of Setagaya

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