Enterprise Design

What is Enterprise Design?

Enterprises are attempting to incorporate digital channels, customer insights and a much faster rate of change into their business models. In daily business, however, interactions with private and public sector organizations are often complex due to what we sum up under the term Enterprise Awkwardness: silos, bureaucracy, IT legacy and technical islands and resistance to change, which prevents us from shaping coherent customer experiences.

Even straightforward activities, such as booking tickets for a journey, paying your taxes, subscribing to health insurance or resolving a problem with your energy supplier require customers to embark on a laborious journey. Enterprises lose track of the conversation, get stuck in inflexible procedures, communicate in bits of incomplete information and often ultimately fail to deliver what they promised.

Such experiences happen with companies, government institutions and other types of enterprises, making them appear slow rude, and inhumane. While most of these failed relationships are simply annoying and just make you go somewhere else, some have a profound impact on people’s lives. They result in lost customers, demotivated employees or even scandals being echoed in mass media. On the other hand, those enterprises that successfully establish and sustain meaningful relationships with key actors can successfully disrupt markets and transform their ecosystem.

The relationship challenge

Designers recognize that keeping up to the promise of delivering great service experiences requires not just innovative ideas, but relies on adoption and transformation. Because relationships fail or succeed at the enterprise level, it is also on this level that they need to be considered. If we want to bring our designs to life, we need to shift the enterprise implementing them. We need to get a large and diverse group of actors on board, and change the way they do business to achieve transformation at scale.

This sparks the need for getting closer to the enterprise, while maintaining the focus on customers and users that comes natural to design thinking and practice. In order to deliver, we have to take design practice to the enterprise level: expand our methods and tools, find new allies, and find ways to effectively bridge strategic design with tangible outcomes.