For going on four years now, IBM has been working to reinvent itself as a design-led business. In 2012, the computing behemoth employed just one designer for every 80 coders. Today, that ratio stands at 1:20. By the end of 2016, the company hopes to narrow it to 1:15. All-told, the company is investing more than $100-million in an effort to become a design-centered corporation.
Charlie Hill, chief technology officer of IBM Design, says the plan is to completely overhaul IBMâ€™s corporate ethos. For years, he says, â€œour teams had a very engineering-centric culture.â€ But in 2012, everything changed. â€œWe wanted to shift that culture towards a focus on usersâ€™ outcomes,â€ Hill says.
To that end, IBM today published its very own set of design thinking guidelines â€” a selection of best design practices the company hopes other big businesses will look to as they seek to remain relevant and profitable in a rapidly evolving corporate landscape.