Turning ideas into reality by applying the scientific method

How IBM Consulting partners with IBM Research to transform our clients’ businesses

By and Mark Weber | 2 minute read | March 8, 2022

What does the scientific method have to do with business? Everything. Scientific thinking is needed in business and society to tackle business problem large, or small. And while you may not be a scientist, you can use the same approach if you study, hypothesize, test and iterate.

This method separates fact from fiction, grounding blue-sky thinking within the art of the possible. This is why scientific thinking is ultimately the basis for the development of today’s integrated solutions and the future we aim to create. A positive aspect of using scientific thinking is it requires embracing complexity, ideating both creatively and analytically, then persisting through experimentation as a path toward innovation.

Research is essential to the scientific method and it is what fuels ideas and invention and what inspires new thinking and ways of doing business. For over 110 years, research has been at the heart of IBM, acting as the foundation for pioneering new technologies and applying them to transform business and industries. Today, IBM Research® infuses scientific thinking into everything it does to accelerate discoveries that will affect daily life, influence industry-innovation and guide government policymaking.

Under the umbrella of IBM, IBM Consulting and IBM Research partner to bring competitive advantage directly to clients by applying research innovations, understanding client needs and challenges and by using joint resources to uncover first of a kind ideas to hypothesize and test.

From patent to solutions to deployment, this relationship accelerates the possibility for clients by providing access to advanced capabilities not yet available on the market. IBM Research provides ground-breaking research in AI, hybrid cloud, quantum computing, edge computing, sustainability and more, and IBM Consulting is using the products of that research to deliver innovation and differentiation for our clients to provide first-mover advantage.

For example, IBM and Boston Dynamics asked the question: Can plant data be safely collected and analyzed at the edge? Could the two companies help eliminate the need for personnel to manually collect data or put themselves in harm’s way on factory floors, while reducing the requirement and associated costs of instrumenting every piece of equipment? The answer was a resounding “yes”… Boston Dynamics and IBM are bringing their technologies together to create an AI-based solution for Spot, the dog-like robot created by Boston Dynamics. Using Spot already helps eliminate the need to put sensors on every piece of equipment.

IBM Consulting uses the IBM Garage™ methodology in each of our engagements to guide us as we bring the right people together to apply the scientific method for transformative, innovative business. Bestseller India set a very ambitious goal: develop a totally new, bespoke platform with AI capabilities to support preseason design, planning, production and forecasting — essentially modernizing processes by empowering employees with technology…After months of work and iteration, the Bestseller India-IBM Garage team brainstormed 61 unique concepts for the platform — called Fabric.ai — which became the first AI-powered tool for the Indian fashion industry.

Keeping the scientific method core to business transformation, synthesizing this methodology with systems thinking, enterprise design thinking, competitive strategy and agile software development, is a powerful and robust approach to meaningful innovation.