Technology Strategy and Innovation

Design Thinking helping digital transformation

72% of executives think that the next three years will be more crucial for their industry than the last five. Nowadays, every company is looking for something that will differentiate them from the competition and will propel them on the innovation track. Does a magical solution really exist? It’s hard to say. However, placing the human at the center of the business processes and eliminating the work done in silos is a major technique for innovation. It’s the logic behind Design Thinking.

Process of Design Thinking - Talsom

What is digital transformation?

We live in an era punctuated by transformations and changes due to the current technologies such as cloud, the internet of things, Big Data, artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality. All these innovations are improving external work with clients and internal processes inside organizations. If the idea of digital transformation was ambiguous for most executives a couple of years ago, as of 2017[1] it was a center part of their strategies. A deeper digital transformation of the firm is only possible if a thorough reflection is done prior to the change. It needs to be well organized and comprised in a continuous process.

For Talsom, digital transformation is about the evolution of the entire business model and value chain while relying on an innovation process and recent technologies. Gain your hedge, by targeting higher than obvious solutions and increase the forward-looking potential of your products and business model.

As you all know, doing e-commerce is not sufficient to enter the era of digital transformation. You must rethink your products, internal functions and the integration of your organization in its ecosystem. To achieve this major transformation, silo work isn’t an option anymore because the impacts of technology are throughout the entire organization. Technology modifies the relations that you foster with your employees, suppliers, distributors and clients.

A few months ago, while I was meeting a business leader, he was wondering how technology could support his strategy and growth. Nowadays, the question you should ask is «which impact will technology have on my ecosystem and how can I prepare myself for it? ». There’s no already made answer for this question but rather a variety of possible scenarios. To identify them, you must see your organization with a new perspective.  This is the role of Design Thinking.

The collective creativity

Design Thinking is mainly the art of understanding people. Clients, suppliers and partners must be acknowledged so the proposed solution is aligned with their expectations. If we want to implement a good digital transformation, every stakeholder must be considered, listen and understood. When we do a complete immersion in the user’s world, we identify its problems with ease. We can then define a solution that suits perfectly their needs. By interrogating its business ecosystem or observing the user in a real situation, we can obtain objective data.

Once your needs are defined, gather people with various expertise and distinct roles around a table, either inside your company with – marketing, finance, human resources, customer service, technology-  or in your business ecosystem with – clients, partners, suppliers, board of directors –.  Merge their vision in collective creative workshops and you’ll explore unexpected technological scenarios.

Prevent stakeholders from working in an isolated way will allow the collection of all their perspectives and promote the construction and deconstruction of ideas.

Furthermore, the solutions are achievable only if they can come to life. That’s why the ideas should be filtered according to viability and feasibility logics so the result is durable and adds an economic value for the user. All of this is facilitated with the help of technologies.

The concepts can be materialized in a variety of ways, with a post-it wall, a game play, a brainstorming, an object, an interface or even a storyboard. Every stakeholder can test a prototype and interact with it, which reinforce the construction of efficient solutions. Once again, the staple approach of human-centered innovation revolves around co-constructing solutions, as each phase broadens comprehension.

 The interconnexion of human and technology

Currently, Design Thinking is used in a lot of sectors and activities such as human resources, marketing and technology. By adopting this approach, you maximize the chances to increase your result rate regarding digital transformation. Not only will you be able to see your business model with a new viewpoint but you will do it in a way that mobilize your teams.

A connection exists between human and technology, but the starting point for your digital transformation is undoubtedly a discussion between coworkers and business partners. Ask the right question, at the right time and you will create value. Thereafter, what will emerge of these exchanges will allow you to identify your target, the rest of your actions and will help your think outside the box.


Article co-written by Charlotte Cagnet

[1] Communiqué de Presse: Gartner Survey Shows 42 Percent of CEOs Have Begun Digital Business Transformation. Avril 2017.
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Published on 29.01.2018