The pervasiveness of emerging technologies, global connectivity, and ever-increasing competitive pressures are reshaping the businesses like never before. Digitization of physical objects is making existing brick and mortar businesses obsolete. Competition can spring up from any corner - and not just from the known competitors. As a result, the businesses today are not only concerned about their future in the business; but the future of the business itself! This is forcing organizations to become ever more relevant, efficient, and innovative. This quest to become future-ready means that they have to re-skill, re-tool and even re-imagine their businesses! This cannot be achieved without mastering and experimenting with emerging technology-led solutions. But when it comes to incubation, the organizations are struggling with:

  • Inability to master emerging technologies – There is significant shortage of emerging technology skills. Organizations spend most of their effort in getting the technology to work and not in contextualizing it to solve business problems.
  • Making innovation sustainable – The lack of a systematic approach makes it difficult to sustain the innovation efforts.
  • Lack of business centricity to the innovation process – The innovation initiatives are often run as technology programs. But in reality they are business programs. The innovation efforts must start with identification of the right problem to solve. The organizations often miss this.

The organizations are struggling to keep up with the speed at which these factors are unfolding. The constant pressure is overwhelming, making the clients stressed. Naturally, they are looking to their technology partners like Infosys to help them navigate these disruptions.

Living Labs is a program led by Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions (iCETS) which helps create innovative solutions for clients by contextualizing emerging technologies. The team leverages design thinking, technology and design capabilities of the Infosys innovation ecosystem to incubate and deploy at scale . The program consists of -

  • Leveraging design thinking to help clients identify the right problems or opportunities
  • Ideating and experimenting to identify the most desirable, feasible & viable solution.
  • Incubate those solutions by leveraging emerging technologies.
  • Help build and nurture an innovation ecosystem of partners - including customers, end users, vendors, startups, academia and others.
  • Help clients instill a culture of innovation within their organizations

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, this program is based on a conviction that ‘Innovation is about exploiting change as an opportunity… and is a systematic discipline that can be learned and practiced.’

Living Labs has been successfully offered to the clients for the past several years.

How is Infosys delivering value to customers through Joint Innovation?


Living Labs is a new kind of sustained engagement offering from Infosys to help clients become future-ready. By combining the strong design skills with the emerging technology expertise in Infosys Centre for Emerging Technology Solutions (iCETS), the program helps organizations to “Innovate at scale with Emerging Technologies & Design".

Through interventions such asIdeation workshops; Visualization engagements and Rapid Prototyping; and with supporting interventions such as Idea Events; Hackathons & Trends Sensing - it endeavors to holistically address the client needs for emerging-technology-led-business-innovation.

Living Labs help clients systematically de-risk the Business Uncertainty (through the use iterative prototyping and early & frequent inclusion of the end users in the design process) as well as de-risk the Technology Uncertainty (with our expertise in emerging technologies; fail-fast approach, and rapid prototyping). It provides a well-developed operational model that uses core-flex teams; realistic and flexible IP model, optimal utilization of our global presence, and competitive pricing. Most importantly, it brings a strong bias for action to move the needle forward and to avoid merely doing innovation theatre!


Challenges & Solutions

Emerging technologies are evolving at break-neck speed. Most internal IT departments are focused on the operational aspect of the business. It is difficult for organizations with these limited resources to stay on top of the new technologies. Living Labs allows them to leverage a core-flex staffing model, which allows the clients to tap into the vast pool of Infosys expertise as and when needed – without having to maintain a large bench. Infosys team brings in the expertise in emerging technologies – hence the time can be spent on contextualizing those technologies to solve business problems – and not merely on getting the technologies to work! This approach provides a systematic channel through which the expertise that exists within Infosys can be harnessed to create value for clients. In addition, it also helps client organizations to become familiarized with emerging technologies and build the expertise in-house.

The Living Labs program provides clients with a systematic approach to innovation, covering all aspects of a sustainable innovation program.The business centric & design thinking driven process for problem identification helps identify the right problems that need to be tackled, increasing the relevance of the program. The rapid, advanced, safe and economically viable, and sandboxed environment allows for ‘fail-fast’ experimentation around innovative ideas, allowing decision makers to explore whether a particular idea would work or not, much earlier than in the conventional process (hence fail-fast). This means that the cost of implementing an innovative idea, and the risk associated with its potential failure are significantly minimized. Systematic efforts on the building of the partner ecosystem ensures that all stakeholders participate in the process. It also means that ideas emerge from a variety of sources and address multiple point of views. Efforts to instill the culture of innovation within the client organization ensure that the innovation program is internalized.

All of these help to make the innovation program more sustainable.

The innovation offerings, by definition, involve a high degree of business uncertainty (because they explore new business models) and a high degree of technology uncertainty (because they utilize emerging technologies). The innovation programs usually fail because they are unable to de-risk these uncertainties. The Living Labs program systematically allows clients to de-risk innovative, potentially high-reward solutions in a sandboxed, fail-fast, rapid environment. In the conventional, waterfall model, the problem is identified, and the solution is designed, reviewed and accepted. However, in the later stages of building the solution, these initial assumptions are rarely, if ever, revisited. The experience however shows that the actual problem is often very different than what is assumed in the earlier stages of the project. This leads to the failure of innovations – as what is built is often not what the end users need! Leveraging Design Thinking ensures early and constant end-user participation in the incubation process, thus significantly enhancing the chances of coming up with a relevant, successful solution that meets its objectives of desirability (functional and emotional), feasibility (organizational and technological) and viability (economic). The program systematically ensures that the focus is on understanding the problem first – and not on jumping to a solution. This is why we engage with the business community within the client organizations as the primary stakeholders of this program - this ensuring the business centricity.