Elements of an Internet of Things Strategy – Think Outside the Box with Design Thinking

Part 3

While the first and second parts of this blog series discussed the current status of Internet of Things strategies in the markets and different approaches to transforming business models, I have chosen “Design Thinking” for this post. This method makes you look outside the box to find innovative solutions for your customers. The Internet of Things involves people in many disciplines, and Design Thinking brings them and their expertise together.

Watch the video below to hear the discussion I held with four IoT experts during our IoT Architects Meeting in Heidelberg.



Design Thinking – A Brief Overview

Design Thinking is an interdisciplinary method that supports collaborative creativity. It focuses on the user, addressing his pain points and challenges. It also considers creative and analytical aspects because it connects engineering with design theory. Its credo is “Problems can be complicated – solutions are not.” Six steps must be completed during an iterative Design Thinking process:

  1. Understand
  2. Observe
  3. Define a point of view
  4. Find ideas and choose solutions
  5. Make a prototype and test it
  6. Implement it

My Experience with Design Thinking

I have applied the Design Thinking method many times with customers. My aim is to make sure that our discussion takes place outside the box and beyond company borders. This is because I have found that most discussions about innovations within companies are restricted by their internal views.  What has succeeded has been visioning and trying to imagine what could happen in the future. Whether we talk about drone deliveries or self-driving cars, it is crucial to motivate everyone to think outside their comfort zone. How could a competitor attack the company’s market share or future growth? I can remember many eye-opening moments.

Take a Look Outside the Box

“What was the greatest wish of kids in the ‘70s? The answering machine. Today, it’s there: We have Google and we have digital assistants like Siri.”

The point of this example is that we already have all the technology. We just have to find ideas on how to leverage it. This is why it is important to think outside the box. Whatever we can imagine can somehow become reality in the future. And Design Thinking is a great tool for finding those ideas.

The final part of the “Elements of an Internet of Things Strategy” will be about people. In the upcoming blog post we will talk about the drivers of the Internet of Things within organizations.

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