Definition

innovation management software

Contributor(s): Mary Pratt

Innovation management software enables the digital management of enterprise innovation, starting from the generation of ideas developed by internal and external sources through multiple stages of evaluation to the selection of top ideas destined for implementation.

As such, this class of software offers content and collaboration functionalities as well as basic idea management capabilities. Innovation management software also includes idea submission, idea evaluation, workflow, campaign management, rewards and recognition, analytics and visualization, brainstorming tools and project management capabilities.

Today’s leading products enable both internal and external collaboration, support complex use cases such as crowdsourcing, open innovation and prediction marketing.

Innovation management software is a niche segment of the enterprise collaboration software market, which has been around for more than two decades. Innovation management software grew out of more simplistic idea management systems. The rise of cloud computing and social platforms enabled the growth of innovation management software from the earlier software product, and both cloud and social platforms now support much of the innovation management software capabilities.

Enterprises most commonly use idea management software for enterprise idea management, idea contests, co-creation and open innovation. Innovation management software has been deployed by organizations in various industries, including financial services, pharmaceutical and consumer goods.

Innovation management software can help organizations launch innovation initiatives and shorten time between ideation and implementation. Innovation management software also can reinforce an organization’s best practices around innovation because those best practices can be embedded within the software tool itself.

However, innovation management software cannot replace or substitute for innovation management from an organization’s own leadership. Furthermore, innovation management software can easily become simply a repository for ideas and suggestions when organizations fail to put in proper oversight, integration and structure for their innovation programs.

Cost for innovation management software various significantly, ranging from free licenses for open source tools to $50,000 or more for typical large enterprise deployments. Although there are dozens of vendors in the space, only about 12 to 15 produce innovation management software targeting large enterprise use. Vendors in the space include BrainBank, Brightidea, HYPE Innovation, Qmarkets, Spigit, Imaginatik, Innocentive, IdeaScale, Kindling, NineSigma, Planbox and yet2.

This was last updated in April 2016

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