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August 18th, 2015

Innovation in IoT – The Design Thinking Way

IoT, an emerging market of $2.3 trillion holds a huge potential in terms of redefining lifestyle for the next generation. Leaders and niche players in the space of IoT are tirelessly discovering use cases that will make the day in life better. Considering that IoT is in the peak of the Gartner’s hype cycle, it is a perfect breeding ground for innovation.

Design Thinking
Design Thinking is a human centered approach to innovation by addressing the needs of the people through the right use of the technology and by meeting the business needs. In other words, Design Thinking is an approach to innovation that is a harmonious intersection of desirability, feasibility and viability.

Empathy Design
Thinking advocates the philosophy of starting from the human. Intense observation provides insight and insight in turn helps to identify the needs and desire. “If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse,’” said Henry Ford. User interviews and surveys are only helpful in incremental changes, not for game changing innovation. However, acquiring insight into a day in customer’s life and translating the empathy into the needs and desire is pivotal to Design Thinking.

In many occasions, a powerful voice in a brainstorming session can overwhelm others and cause the group to settle for a mediocre idea prematurely. The way to come up with the best idea is to have lots of them. That is precisely the approach of Design Thinking. One of the key principles of Design Thinking is to diverge to generate as many ideas as possible before converging to filter out based on feasibility and viability.

Rapid Prototyping
The paradox of Design Thinking is to fail fast to succeed sooner. A low fidelity prototype that is a tangible manifestation of the idea provides instant feedback as to what works and what does not. Due to the crudeness and unfinished look of the prototype, the cost is lesser and the value in the form of feedback is immense before production.

Design Thinking Framework
We have a unique framework to apply Design Thinking within an enterprise to promote
innovation and drive strategy. The framework of Design Thinking uses a bottom up approach that
is inclusive in nature and taps into subject matter experts, executors, strategists and leaders. The
framework is typically executed in an intense workshop setting where every idea is heard during the diverge
process. The storm of sticky notes are then organically scored by a collaborative session of affinity
mapping leading to a creamy set of ideas that are ready for rapid prototyping. We walk hand-in-hand
with the customer to execute rapid prototypes and draw out the strategy and roadmap to see the
value of the design thinking.

The common challenges such as ROI with respect to connectivity, identifying compelling use cases in the space of IoT, executing the development in an untraveled path with the cutting edge of technology and drawing the big picture of enterprise strategy, can be best addressed.

Mohan Jayaraman

Tags: Design design thinking framework empathy design ideation IoT Rapid Prototyping

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