Acquisitions have been thriving in the design space. In the past, the acquisition of top design firms such as Fjord and Lunar by Accenture and McKinsey had turned many heads. But it has become increasingly common of late. Last year we saw some high-key acquisitions such as management giant Ernst and Young going for Seren, Wipro buying DesignIt. However, the most relevant of them all was the purchase of Adaptive Path by a top bank, Capital One.
There were many high profiled venture capital firms behind empowering these enterprises with design expertise. Why do you think big enterprises are paying big bucks for bringing design partners on board? The reasons are many, let’s explore.
Increasing influence of user-centered design
Steve Jobs’ interest in design has been a key factor behind Apple’s rise from a sinking ship to the most profitable company. Currently, enterprises are going through a major transition from being featured focused to customer focused. Understanding the human behavior has become critical to unlocking business value for enterprises. The insights gained are used to mold the development of products that solve real human problems.
The design partners help big brands build products that customers want with features they will find useful. They want enterprises to invest in the strategic power of design as there is a lack of customer focus among their employees. The design agency brings a strong user centered design process and an innovative thinking to transform even legacy products.
Shortage of UX talent
The design awareness is at all time high and the professional design agency can help enterprises in meeting the demands of existing clients by providing professional digital expertise and cross sell more services. But the main reason, the design agencies also bring a heap of creative talent on board. Hence, solve the talent shortages and boost in-house design skills of enterprises. UX talent is an extremely hard to find and the supply is really low.
The decades of design experience of an agency is more instrumental than hiring a bunch of UX designers. Many enterprises are bringing agencies to start a new creative division and integrating design into their long term strategy.
Bringing an entire problem-solving team on board
Simplicity, engagement, and context awareness are hard to find in an enterprise product these days. The design partner also brings on board an entire team collaborating to stay ahead of customer needs and solve actual problems than building just features.
With UX agency, comes a package of individuals who observe human behavior. Individuals who try to make sense of what it means and applying that knowledge to make better design decisions. The design focus can transform existing businesses whereas designers find opportunities to unearth innovation. Innovation skills, which are core to UX design agency are very hard to find among the employees of large enterprises.
Design as an expertise to clients
Enterprise clients are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of design and want the digital design to infuse at a deeper level. But hiring designers when you get the work is not a good strategy. It better to acquire partner agency that can execute the design work for you as the requirement arises. The newfound design focus will help enterprises to acquire new projects by offering design as an expertise.
Moreover, the design expertise increases the service portfolio of the enterprise, enabling them to charge clients and increase their revenues.
Agencies need enterprises as much
The business scene is more competitive than ever and agencies need to invest resources and capital in research and development to drive innovation. While the enterprises need agencies to substitute the dearth of talent, agencies need enterprises to survive. The collaboration with enterprises brings with it better ammunition.
Enterprises are either acquiring design agencies or building in-house design teams. Therefore, it’s increasingly difficult for independent agencies to find project and opportunities to work with bigger firms that pay handsomely. Moreover, consultancy firms have started offering design as a part of the package, making things more difficult for small design firms.
Acquiring Design agencies is the way to Disrupt
To conclude, enterprises can’t survive with their traditional way of doing things. The only way to survive and disrupt the market is building something useful for the user. The reality is, enterprises are incapable of doing so with their traditional processes and mindset. Acquiring user experience design agencies is the only way for an enterprise to thrive and disrupt the market. Let us know your thoughts.