As Tim Brown (the CEO of IDEO) beautifully puts “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
The importance of design has been constantly increasing over the years. The consumers of today’s generation have quick access to the global marketplaces. They do not distinguish between physical and digital experiences anymore.
This has made it difficult for companies to make their products or services stand out from the rest of the competitors.
Infusing your company with a design-driven culture that puts the customer first may not only provide real and measurable results but also give you a distinct competitive advantage.
All the firms that have embraced a design-driven culture have certain things in common.
First, these firms consider design more than a department. Firms that primarily focus on design tries to encourage all functions to focus more on their customers.
By doing this, they are also conveying a message that design is not a single department, in fact, design experts are everywhere in an organization working in cross-functional teams and having constant customer interaction.
Second, for such companies, the design is much more than a phase. Popular design-driven companies use both qualitative and quantitative research during the early product development phase, bringing together techniques such as ethnographic research and in-depth data analysis to clearly understand their customers’ needs.
Why Design Thinking?
Thinking like a designer can certainly transform the way companies develop products/services, strategies, and processes.
If companies can bring together what is most desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and also economically viable, they can certainly transform their businesses.
This also gives an opportunity to people who are not trained as designers to utilize creative tools to tackle a range of challenges.
Design Thinking Approach
Empathize: Understand your users as clearly as possible and empathize with them.
Define: Clearly define the problem that needs to be sorted and bring out a lot of possible solutions.
Ideate: Channel your focus on the final outcomes, not the present constraints.
Prototype: Use prototypes for exploring possible solutions.
Test: Test your solutions, reflect on the results, improvise the solution, and repeat the process. (Recently, we had Mr. Ashish Krishna (Head of Design – Prysm) addressing our interns about the same Design Thinking Approach )
Facts that prove the importance of having a Design Thinking Approach
The chart displayed below clearly indicates that the design-centric companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by a massive 211%.
Source: The Design Management Institute
Some years ago, Walmart had revamped its e-commerce experience, and as a result, the unique visitors to its website increased by a whopping 200%. Similarly, When BOA (Bank of America) undertook a user-centered design of its process for the account registrations, the online banking traffic shot up by 45%.
In a design-driven culture, firms are not afraid to launch a product that is not totally perfect, which means, going to market with an MVP (minimally viable product), learn from the customer feedback, incorporate the same, and then build and release the next version of the product.
A classic example of this is Instagram, which launched a product, learning which features were most popular, and then re-launching a new version. As a result, there were 100,000 downloads in less than a week.
ROI from Design
Let’s take a look at some examples of how design impacted the ROI of companies.
The Nike – Swoosh, which is one of the most popular logos across the globe, managed to sell billions of dollars of merchandise through the years. The icon was designed in the year 1971 and at that time the cost was only $35. However, after almost 47 years, that $35 logo evolved into a brand, which Forbes recently estimated to be worth over $15 billion.
Some years back the very popular ESPN.com received a lot of feedback from users for their cluttered and hard to navigate homepage. The company went ahead and redesigned their website, and as a result, the redesign garnered a 35% increase in their site revenues.
Some Benefits of having a Design Thinking Approach
Helps in tackling creative challenges: Design thinking gives you an opportunity to take a look at problems from a completely different perspective. The process of design thinking allows you to look at an existing issue in a company using creativity.
The entire process will involve some serious brainstorming and the formulation of fresh ideas, which can expand the learner’s knowledge. By putting design thinking approach to use, professionals are able to collaborate with one another to get feedback, which thereby helps in creating an invaluable experience to end clients.
Helps in effectively meeting client requirements:As design thinking involves prototyping, all the products at the MVP stage will go through multiple rounds of testing and customer feedback for assured quality.
with a proper design thinking approach in place, you will most likely meet the client expectations as your clients are directly involved in the design and development process.
Expand your knowledge with design thinking: The design process goes through multiple evaluations. The process does not stop even after the deliverable is complete.
Companies continue to measure the results based on the feedback received and ensure that the customer is having the best experience using the product.
By involving oneself in such a process, the design thinkers constantly improve their understanding of their customers, and as a result, they will be able to figure out certain aspects such as what tools should be used, how to close the weak gaps in the deliverable and so on.
If we take a closer look at a business, we will come to a realization that the lines between product/services and user environments are blurring. If companies can bring out an integrated customer experience, it will open up opportunities to build new businesses.
Design thinking is not just a trend that will fade away in a month. It is definitely gaining some serious traction, not just in product companies, but also in other fields such as education and science.
The impact of digital technologies would be far more in the healthcare industry, which is yet to see the full impact of disruption due to technology. The increasing complexity of medical practice, globally aging population, rising demand for quality and consistent health care forces current systems to become smarter.
To this end, an evolution towards improving services and reducing costs has begun. The use of technologies was limited to the digitization of the EHR / EMR, rather than it providing the real impact and value to the providers and to the consumers.
The increasing maturity of the digital technologies is creating a fundamental inflection amongst the healthcare providers. The estimates of the digital enablers to provide more effective treatment, enhancing the doctor productivity and managing the patient care would be able to bring the overall health care costs down by 40%.
We have been observing that digital and technologies are fast transforming the entire patient lifecycle:
a) Changing the Patient Engagement Models.
b) Integrated Pre-treatment: Cohesive Diagnostics, Enhanced Screening, and Patient Information Management.
c) Superior Treatment: Intelligent treatment enablers.
d) Rigorous and Continuous Post Treatment Monitoring: Therapy Adherence, Continuous Remote Monitoring and Home Care.
Changing the Patient Engagement Models
The patients today have an increasing need to be informed and educated to be able to take a knowledgeable decision on their disease as well as to ensure that they take the right decision to choose the right provider partner for their requirements. This has enhanced the need for the providers to engage with the customers appropriately with the educational technologies to deliver education and information to patients and their carers.
These technologies need to be integrated with the current information access. One of the most common categories of mobile applications is wellness, medical reference and fitness apps. The Providers further need to ensure that they make the patient experience seamless across the functional areas of the patient in terms of patient on-boarding, Doctor / Lab appointments basis the acuteness of the patient need, integration with the payer and most importantly integrating the entire pre-treatment phase of the patient.
This is amongst the fastest growing market within Healthcare technology and is providing over a $6.5 Bn market already, which is expected to grow exponentially. Efficient pre-treatment is used by the providers to enhance their efficiency by increasing their ability to cater to a larger audience.
Digital technologies using IoT have significantly enhanced the efficacy of patient diagnosis and using wearables, teleconsultation, self-assessment kiosks and remote wireless monitors are facilitating efficiency for the providers.
Portable digital imaging tools and innovative digital sensors are enhancing the diagnostic scanning and in vitro testing to enable the patient monitoring and diagnostic mechanisms much faster.
Further, the interaction mechanism for the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare providers integrate the treatment capability to enable faster and better treatment lifecycle.
With the inclusion of digital support in treatment selection, the accuracy of treatment has considerably improved. Digitization has helped the physicians across the world gain access to an excessive amount of sources that include cross-specialty, this allows them to be on par with the developments that are happening in the field of medical practice, while also supporting treatment personalization.
Digital technology promotes adherence to therapy: A good number of patients suffering from chronic diseases do not adhere to treatment. Some of them, with their limited knowledge, adjust medication on their own and others take completely wrong doses or do not follow timings. This is mostly because of the inadequate knowledge about health care or due to the patient’s forgetfulness. Digitized systems help in keeping track of certain physiological parameters such as sleep, body temperature, and blood pressure etc, it drives the patients to adhere to their therapy. These systems can clearly identify patients who do not adhere to treatment and allocate interventions accordingly. The health care providers must put these digital systems into use in places that require intensive therapies, such as the HIV affected patients, to detect a multidimensional health care problem and take necessary action accordingly.
Constant monitoring made easy: Most of the patients incur huge costs due to frequent clinic visits. On the other hand, in constant monitoring or improper treatment can put the patient’s health at risk through an adverse effect on treatment plans. With the emergence of digitization in the healthcare sector, there has been an increase in the number of healthcare devices that are put to use for the constant monitoring of the patient’s health condition. The healthcare professionals are now in a position to clearly assess the health condition of the patients and do the needful to treat them.
Rigorous and Continuous Post Treatment Monitoring
A patient’s life cycle after the treatment is completely dependant on both the healthcare professionals and the patient collecting and communicating health indicators. Years ago, this was based on regular visits to the hospitals, thereby requiring more time and money in addition to inconvenience because of travel, particularly in remote localities.
Digitization has now led to the automation of medical facilities via electronic healthcare based on cloud and mobile. The incorporation of analytical capabilities facilitates continuous care and support. Some of the post-treatment services have completely reformed the way the healthcare industry functions.
Online prescription services: By sending out the medical prescription directly from the general practitioner to the pharmacy through electronic means, patients will be able to manage their repeat medication efficiently and in a timely manner.
Remote monitoring: This is a highly effective process where the power of technology is utilized to monitor changes in a patient’s health condition outside of the health care centers. It lets the patient use certain devices for performing routine tests and send the data across to the healthcare professionals. With the emergence of wearables and apps, patients are in a much better position to get regular updates about their health condition. The advancement in biosensing wearable technology is now extending its capability to go beyond just tracking activity. At present, there are devices that can constantly monitor a wide range of physiology and then convert this extracted information into outputs via advanced connectivity. Through these biosensing wearables, patients with chronic conditions can effectively monitor and track real-time changes in their health status. The data retrieved from these wearables can be then updated into the patient’s health records. These data can be used for providing a complete medical history and real-time information in order to support early diagnosis and prevent crises.
In order to have a successful entry into the digital era, the healthcare professionals must undergo some essential training on how to use technologies and be extremely good at processing complex data and detecting genetic risk indicators. Digital literacy and awareness are vital in order to make the best use of technologies in the healthcare industry.
Digital innovations can play a vital role in addressing some of the rapidly growing healthcare issues that we have today. Embracing digitization can significantly optimize the way in which the healthcare industry functions.
HashedIn has helped several healthcare companies such as Manipal Hospitals, a fortune 100 HealthCare company, and one of the biggest hospital chains in NCR (National Capital Region) with digital transformation. With the power of technology, we helped them improve the pre and post-care. The key differentiator for these initiatives was the patient experience. Let us know if you have any specific problem/use case, where we can provide more information or consult you.
The paradigm of strategic sourcing is undergoing a fundamental transformation as Technology is becoming fast evolving, complex and becoming a clear differentiator.
Digital technology has become ubiquitous and core to most of the businesses. Digital technologies create new risks, including business risks, in terms of providing expected returns on investments.
In order for the business to manage these risks and stay ahead of the curve, there is an imperative for the businesses to address some fundamental strategic questions with regards to their technology investments:
Are we investing ahead of the curve? What if we get caught in the first mover disadvantage?
If we invest behind the curve, would we lose the battle if we move after the competition?
What proportion of these investments is a differentiator for the organization?
Are these technologies truly changing the customer behavior and expectations as they stand today?
Should the technology processes map the current organizational processes or should we initiate a Blue Ocean strategy to think which aspects of the business would be disrupted and hence develop new age processes for the organization?
As the businesses address these queries to define their technology direction, they need to choose an appropriate technology partner to implement these changes as well. Organizations need to rely on partners and business models that focus on costs which manage risks while ensuring the outcomes and rewards.
This transformation and the role of technology is impacting the key outsourcing decisions. Outsourcing decision has been moved from a cost-based decision to a competitive edge decision, from a generalist base to a specialist base. Hence, the decision making between large companies and boutique is based on:
Large Technology Partners
Boutique Technology Partners
Integrated Technology Solutions
Complex organizational design internally makes it difficult to break the silos.
Multiple facets of the digital wave including customer engagement mechanism, organizational process mapping, and organizational decision-making process are all getting merged with the technology products & solutions and are best brought by new age product services organizations.
Executive Sponsorship & Thought Support
Thought support from the Consulting team with limited top management support
Ensures alignment of business strategy, technology architecture and software solution
A depth of Knowledge at execution
Traditional focus of large companies has been to “train the talent” rather than “hire the right talent” for execution.
Boutique companies are able to bring high-quality talent and groom them on technology solutions leveraging new age solutions including artificial intelligence, machine learning, iOT, a virtual reality much better.
Software Quality Mechanism
Standardized software processes ensure greater standardization of the outputs across the clients.
Boutique players are higher on the innovation and the strength of the processes could be limited.
While the development mechanism has moved from “Waterfall mechanism” to agile technologies, the expected speed to deliver products is shrinking far more.
For boutique product development companies, the expertise yields them for a specific faster go to market than traditional software providers.
These imperatives have led organizations to take a conscious call on seeking support from specialized boutique organizations for their solutions and product development with in-depth technology awareness to provide agility and guaranteed outcomes.