Ideation Principles

It is important that idea generation is nourished with input mixed from multiple sources. Sometimes the best opportunities are identified while searching for something else or when inviting unorthodox stakeholders to join inspiration workshops. Glaze recommends having external industry experts facilitate ideation workshops while proposing a structured process for refining the best ideas into complete business cases consisting of budget, verification, solution description and project plans.

Contributing to opportunities

Business model development usually begins understanding customer needs and from there derive a compelling value proposition. For all opportunities finding an appropriate business model for the idea determines the anticipated value contribution from a new product, its services and possible subscription models.

 The customer input

Companies with long-standing customer intimacy will know at least some improvements are aired repeatedly by loyal customers. Systematic analyses on customer churn when being less intimate with the market, may prove difficult getting to know why customers turn to a competitor for their next purchase. Statistics indicate almost 2/3 of all features are rarely or never used – but how to justify the need of enhancing and improving those functions adding value?

 IoT Trends

The continuous assistance from Moore’s Law – still cheaper electronics, connectivity and advanced data analysis – allows for amassing and scrutinising insights from the product itself reporting back usage preferences by integrated sensor technologies.

Current products and near field

Companies may have experienced niches where new market entrants or players from adjacent businesses start carving out their existing business value – thus conclude it is time for fighting back and bring more value to loyal customers by servicing unaddressed needs.


An opportunistic idea might appear out of thin air by adding completely unrelated entities. A company servicing solar panels on domestic buildings may connect the installations to measure real-time power output and surface temperature for performance logs. Their data grid constitutes an accurate indication of the local weather which may prove valuable as instant feedback to meteorological services.

Ideation on opportunities

Glaze offers a structured ideation process guiding customer companies through a range of workshops to identify and consolidate the most profitable opportunities identified. Work packages are steps through the phases of the generic business modelling process depicted below:

Activities and deliveries

Explicitly we help initially considering the value proposition for all key stakeholders (e.g., users, customers, and partners) and suggest the methods of how to test and evaluate the proposals. Our workshops focus on engaging internal competencies who will co-create a vision of change necessary to win.
On above figure the IoT-Inspiration Workshop will provide inspiration on what is possible with IoT-systems and form a base for classifying identified opportunities. After this Workshop interviews of representatives of specific IoT-opportunities will be held to carry out an IoT-Assessment Report.
The IoT-Assessment Report serves as decision gate for deciding whether further exploration of IoT-opportunities should be carried out or not.
Opportunity Identification Workshop is only carried out if the IoT-Assessment Report recommends further exploration of the IoT domain. In this workshop IoT-opportunities are ranked and classified so that the most suited opportunities can be identified for further exploration.
Initial solution descriptions are conducted for selected opportunities from the Opportunity Identification workshop.
Based on the Initial Solution Descriptions opportunities are further refined and ranked.
Hence next step, after the Initial Business Cases that is part of the Refinement activity, is to undergo Exploration activities, which in short means to develop early pilot-projects as input to final business cases.

Ideation – and evaluating the outcome

Glaze will assist in screening for relevant business models and setting up experimentation leading your company from the ideation phase into a preparation of viable product or service proposals. Inspiration can unfold from examining adjacent or completely different markets and it is perfectly acceptable to copy with pride – others will do so anyway in your absence. The aforementioned sets of business model patterns act as inspiration.
In an IoT context, one should distinguish between the local ROI, directly generated through the IoT solution (e.g., via hardware sales, service subscriptions) and the overall impact of the new IoT product/service on the company’s business case (through offering differentiation, improving operational efficiency, etc.). Thus, even with a negative local ROI, the additional funding required might be the cost to compete from an overall company perspective.
The effort to create new business and service products will require a Coalition of Change to steer the governance of the entire lifecycle redesign. The change leadership assisted by Glaze can define and communicate the vision for the new ventures and make sure quick wins are announced to leverage and anchor the change to sustain in the corporate culture.
So far this section has focused on the business drivers and only briefly touched upon changes in architecture and design. Glaze can assist in tailoring product development processes and the needed organisation to deliver, e.g. revamping the sales process from handling artefacts to hi-tech selling support including guided installation, setup and providing automated feedback to product management.
Further details on the offering from Glaze throughout all process steps – business innovation, architecture, process, and organisation – are available upon request.

Continue reading: go to IoT Technology Fundamentals Theme