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Turnkey Innovation with the IBM Cloud Garage

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Turnkey innovation

Sure, it’s possibly a conflict of terms but I believe that’s what the IBM Cloud Garage has achieved over the past five years.

Our initial hypothesis was that we could help our customers innovate while moving to the cloud. We’ve proven that. The measures? Numerous client success stories, continuous improvements to our methods, and satisfied customers. Growth to 15 Cloud Garage locations worldwide in five years also demonstrates our customers’ desire to work side-by-side with us to explore, design, and build innovative solutions to well-defined problems.

The IBM Cloud Garage Method extends beyond innovation

The Cloud Garage Method, our industry-leading cognitive and strategic methodology codified from our learnings and expertise, has proven extensible beyond innovation to other problem spaces, such as Blockchain, Data Science Insights, and Digital Business Automation. Design thinking, a key player in our methodology, often helps our clients find the best first application of these technologies as well as clear path to adoption, with minimized risk.

We are, and remain very much, a startup within IBM. Along the way, we’ve focused on continually improving our methods. We’ve created and tested new workshop exercises to more efficiently help our clients focus on addressing their users’ pain points.

The response to our continual attempts at improvement

What’s particularly satisfying for me as a designer at the Toronto Cloud Garage is seeing the great outcomes from these improvements driven by client feedback. For example, at the end of each design-thinking workshop and during MVP (minimum viable product) build cycles, we make heavy use of retrospectives (a central tenet of agile). Below is a word cloud summarizing client feedback from dozens of workshops.

Word cloud illustrating customer feedback from Cloud Garage workshops

Comments like “team alignment,” “perspective change,” and “efficient use of time” make me think that my colleagues and I have made a real difference in our customers’ businesses. We often find that customers come to us with either strong preconceptions of a particular outcome or with various opinions on a variety of solutions. At the end of our two-day workshops, clients leave with not only a great definition of what they all agree to build, but also why they are building it.

All that in two days and an MVP build in weeks—yes, I think it safe to say we’re achieving turnkey innovation.


This blog is a part of a series celebrating the fifth anniversary of the IBM Cloud Garage. 

To learn more about the IBM Cloud Garage, find our story, resources, and method here. If you would like to see how the IBM Cloud Garage can help your business, schedule a cost-free, four-hour virtual visit with us. We’d love to help you turn that idea into a reality.

User Experience Design, IBM Cloud Garage

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