The emergence of the digital world, which seems to be a unstoppable force, is pushing every enterprise to think differently so as to remain engaged with this new model. The global IT outsourcing industry has also become an active participant in this digital scenario and in some cases being in the vanguard of developing innovative solutions.
The global IT outsourcing industry with its key strength being technology and people are engaged in a new way thinking to deal with this rapidly changing world in what is called as—Design thinking. Leading IT companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant are driving numerous initiatives through design thinking which makes the customer the centre point of all their activities in truly trying to understand what are the requirements of the individual.
As Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka during a recent analyst said, “Design thinking teaches us that every product or service, every innovation, has three dimensions to it—the desirability, or the end-user dimension; the feasibility, or the engineering technology dimension; and the viability, which is the economic or the value dimension.” He felt that these three elements are breaking new barriers and brings about fundamental change in the way the IT outsourcing industry will deliver its services.
Today, the global IT outsourcing industry has taken cognisance of the fact that the current process driven model is unlikely to deliver any fundamental innovation which will drive business growth. The industry operates on a highly process oriented methodology which provides the efficiencies in terms of cost and quality, but lacks the quotient of innovation.
Here, design thinking coupled with technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence and automation will lift an IT company to an altogether different level. Forrester Research, in a recent paper titled “Leverage Design Thinking To Spark A Customer-Obsessed Innovation Culture”, said, “The discipline of design thinking can help members of your team understand why they need to change and how they can become customer-obsessed. A number of companies have immersed their senior leaders in design thinking principles to spark customer-obsessed behaviours.”
Cognizant, in its paper on the title “How Design Thinking Can Power Creative Problem-Solving, Drive Change and Deliver Value” said it is based on developing a thorough understanding of what the user goals are from multiple viewpoints—emotional, psychological and behavioural.
Design thinking is becoming more mainstream for many of the companies who believe that this whole culture has to be imbibed within the organisation. For example, in the case of Infosys, it has already trained over 80,000 employees through various workshops besides engaging with its clients on this new way of thinking.
Phil Fersht, chief executive officer, HfS Research, said, “Ambitious organisations are increasingly using Design Thinking methods to improve and re-imagine their business and IT operations, and Infosys is being recognised for driving impactful results through this approach. We are impressed by the firm’s focus on training each employee with Design Thinking methods to help them challenge themselves and their clients to explore new ways of defining and realising their desired business outcomes.”
However, to engage the employees and customers in this entire cultural change is easier said than done. As many of
behavioural thinking process will have begin internally from the organisation. According to Forrester, Design Thinking is a set of good principles and not a silver bullet. “Design thinking principles help crystallise the mindset that technology and business leaders need to develop to become customer-obsessed and augment their chances of successfully leading digital innovation. For most companies, creating a customer-obsessed culture will take years.”
It has been generally observed that the behaviour of the markets change much faster than any enterprise can come up with new solution. Added to this the digital world throws up more challenges which even the established technology companies struggle to deliver the solution. According to Cognizant, “Rethinking a product or service through design thinking is all about interacting with the customer in a new way, based on learning and anticipating never before unearthed insights into what the customer actually needs.”
Sikka on the progress made by Infosys in the area of design thinking said, “We have more than 150 clients that have done design workshops with us already, and I believe that this is a great way for us to innovate in consulting by making design thinking the centerpiece of the way that we bring consulting to our client.”