Design in Large Enterprises
In a study of more than 400 large enterprises, conducted by Capgemini and MIT for the book Leading Digital, authors George Westerman (MIT), Didier Bonnet (Capgemini), and Andrew McAfee (MIT) determined that business model innovation and digital transformation begins with designing compelling customer experiences from outside in. The same user-centric, design principles that startups apply, can be incorporated into innovation in large enterprises. But, this approach must be envisioned together with the necessary platform capabilities required to deliver the experiences.
The main difference from a startup’s approach to design for large enterprises is leveraging existing customers, assets, and channels in their business model for innovative design. The researchers termed large enterprises that excelled at design ‘Digital Masters.’
The Digital Masters approach design and usability by honing the following:
- Understand how to affect customer behavior by first identifying what they do and why, how they do it and where
- Envision innovative ways to enhance experiences across channels
- Increase usability and accessibility across channels to enhance reach and engagement
- Incorporate customer data and analytics at the heart of superior experiences
- Provide seamless digital and physical context into compelling integrated experiences
- Excel at refactoring core operations for developing innovative platform capabilities to enable the superior customer experiences
The study reveals: When combined with effective leadership that understands the importance of design, business performance benefits of a good design can be compelling. As per business performance metric, design matters. The Digital Masters by far outperform their competitors with 26 percent more profitability. These enterprises generate 9 percent more revenue than companies that do not have a design focus. For the large enterprises with more than $500 million in revenue, included in the research for Leading Digital, this advantage can represent many millions of dollars to the bottom line.
Leading with Design and User Experience
Companies can no longer afford to ignore or gloss over the importance of design usability and compelling user experiences. They must recognize that value creation begins with designing; an act of spray painting at the end does not help. They must also realize that design is an investment that can be leveraged, because usage grows with an increasing user audience.
For a startup, a design-centric approach makes things happen faster. For a large enterprise, design is about how the company stays relevant to its customers. As additional modes of interactivity come to fruition via virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, smart devices and innovative form factors such as wearable technology, design is the means to stay ahead of the curve in reaching new customers and unlocking value creation. With these new mediums for business model innovation, some design questions come to the forefront.
What does design look and feel like for virtual reality and augmented reality experiences? What does it mean to enhance a customer experience with IoT sensors and intelligent devices? How will the mobile application evolve in an increasingly connected world of intelligent platforms? How can natural language processing and artificial intelligence be incorporated into the design equation? How does platform engineering advance to support increased levels of scalability and distributed processing to support new modes of interactivity, richer contexts, and event-driven information delivery?
These are design challenges that present a significant opportunity for ventures in digital transformation and business model innovation to unlock market value. The answers to these questions may not necessarily come from large enterprises but from the lone designer making the next big thing in his/her garage. Design is a disruptor. A new era of design is about to begin. It is time to design for the future, and the future is NOW.