How Co-Design enables real transformation

Many businesses and organizations recognize the need for digital transformation but have struggled to successfully achieve the wide-scale transformational impact they desire. Being digital is not limited to have a website or an application. Real transformation lies in the ability of a company to harness the potential of a certain technology to serve a greater vision and strategic purpose, not only to achieve increased productivity or greater efficiency.

Co-Design, a generator of tangible outcomes

To achieve this real transformation, the challenges that are met by a company can be tackled by design, “a strategic problem-solving process that drives innovation, builds business success, and leads to better quality of life through innovative products, systems, services and experiences”.

Design generates tangible outcomes. Data shows that companies that apply design consistently and intentionally tend to have better financial results with much higher return on investments. Indeed, investing in design, for instance through co-design sessions, is relatively cheaper than investing in technology alone and more profitable by comparison.

Generating new meanings

The purpose of co-design sessions is to provide new value and competitive advantage across economic, social, and environmental spheres. It generates new solutions based on users’ needs, enable to move quickly to prototyping, engage employees in the company processes or even create radical new meanings for products and services.

The creation of a new meaning is at a higher level of innovation as the meaning a product hold is related to the reason why people buy and love certain products. As American economists B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore put in their namesake book (1998), we live in an experience economy in which experiences are an important differentiation asset. Companies now want to build a unique experience around products and services.

The user will not only be influenced by the speed of the service but also by the way information is visualized. To create new meaning, you need to look at the users in their context but also to grasp both invisible, hidden, and latent needs and desires by looking at new and emerging socio-cultural models on the long term and towards the future.

The purpose is not to design eccentric products or services, though. Innovation is found when the product is viable for the business, desirable for the users and technically feasible.

Triggering innovation

When we ask the same people the same questions, we enter in a circle of unimaginative certainty and innovation is found outside of this circle. Cocreation sessions enable companies to break this circle. Innovation is facilitated by the diversity of the people’s backgrounds, skills and geography included in the thinking sessions and by insights coming from diverse sources of data, keys to go beyond the limits of individual imagination and find new connections.

Co-design is divided into 5 main phases:

  • Mindshift: Establish a common design space in which all parties can create new value using diverse and creative thinking to open to new possibilities.
  • Vision: Align the business challenge with the overall business or organizational goal to focus effort on a strategic imperative. This is the first phase of our cocreation sessions.
  • Proof of Concept (PoC): This is a quick and pragmatic manifestation of an outline concept that demonstrates the emerging solution is feasible and meets the vision. It is the last phase of a cocreation session.
  • Proof of Business (PoB): This is a rapid and practical means of testing and confirming that an early-stage solution meets success criteria and work in the field.
  • Scale: After being verified by the PoC and the PoB, the designed solution is converted into concrete business-as-usual products and services that achieve the ambition of the vision and delivers transformation value.

Fujitsu specificities

Fujitsu has a long heritage of human centered design that can be traced back to early computing in the 80s. Since then, the approach has been accelerated with an agile approach, has opened up to non-design experts and has extended outside of Japan to address global societal challenges. We are constantly embracing new design trends such as design sprint. Thanks to years of experience in cocreation sessions, we have identified the keys to accelerate innovation.

In our approach, we notice the need for fitting the digital solution within the company strategy. This mitigates against designing a solution that only serves a singular tactical project purpose and help ensure long term benefits. Digital solutions are enabler for new business models, services and new users’ behaviors and experiences, which involve all complex decision making, implementation of new processes, following technological trends, reskilling and communicating with the teams, ensuring compliance and financial investments... The broad range of services offered by Fujitsu from conception and implementation of infrastructures, conception and development of applications, cybersecurity, and compliance as well as business consultancy means that all our services can collaborate to provide a better answer to your specific challenge.

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