The Most Underutilized SaaS Tool for Businesses
When it comes to SaaS, there are certain types of programs that virtually every business has heard of, and which most of them use on a regular basis. CRMs, ECMs, and other programs targeted at general project management are common fixtures in most enterprises. In fact, not having these types of programs in a large enterprise can be a major business faux pas that costs your company time and money. But there are other types of SaaS that too few businesses are leveraging.
In fact, one type of SaaS is so incredibly underutilized that implementing it in your company can give you a significant advantage over the competition. What is this undervalued business tool? The answer is innovation management software.
What Is Innovation Management Software?
“Innovation management” is a phrase used in many businesses to refer to a number of things. While some corporations may use it to refer to ideas specific to product development, others use it to refer to any type of business innovation. And while some companies simply use the term to refer to the collection of these ideas, others use it to refer to a broader approach to innovation, including the development of gathered ideas. However, the important thing to note here is that innovation management is not something that is connected exclusively to R&D. As described by Wikipedia, innovation management “involves workers at every level in contributing creatively to a company's product development, manufacturing and marketing.”
But regardless of whether your enterprise is focusing its efforts internally or externally, and whether you want to zero in on collecting ideas or developing those ideas, the proper tools are essential to your success. Collecting ideas is useless if those ideas aren’t properly organized for review. And ideas are difficult to develop properly without a system for development in place. Innovation management software is a platform that provides all of the essential tools to gather, review, analyze, track, and develop innovative ideas from a number of sources—making innovation within a business faster, more effective, and more affordable.
Why Aren’t Businesses Using It?
So if this SaaS tool is so valuable in guiding business innovation, why aren’t more companies using it? There are two primary reasons for the underutilization of this type of program:
- Sources of innovation are rapidly expanding. In the past, it was easy to manage your innovation with much simpler tools like suggestion boxes and project management programs. This was due largely to the fact that businesses rarely looked outside of their business for new ideas. But with growing connectivity around the world, enterprises are now allowing individual consumers to offer up ideas for new products, features, and improvements. With so many new avenues of input, a more robust tool is necessary to manage these sources of innovation.
- Companies are stuck in the old ways. As already mentioned, simpler tools may have worked for innovation management efforts in the past. Because they believe their current processes to be “good enough,” many companies aren’t even looking for a more effective way to manage this process. But with the growing complexity of this business effort, companies should be using a SaaS that is designed exclusively for the purpose of innovation management, with tools to aid in those efforts, rather than a simple project management program.
Why Do You Need It?
If you fall under the category of believing your current innovation management processes are “good enough,” then consider this:
- Manual processes have a higher rate of error. Great ideas are far more likely to fall through the cracks if you’re not using the right kind of system to collect, review, and develop these ideas.
- An unprofessional innovation process limits the amount of input you’re going to receive. For example, if your current process isn’t capable of sorting large numbers of ideas and suggestions, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accept innovative input from your customers. And many businesses are discovering that consumers make excellent innovators.
- The right software can increase levels of engagement in your innovation program by allowing participants to earn recognition and awards, and receive feedback.
- Opening your company up to more consumer input can help you to track and stay ahead of consumer trends, leading to important innovations that can drive profit and increase sales.
Ultimately, innovation drives business. Companies that fail to innovate and companies that don’t last long in this fast-paced world. With this fact in mind, more companies should consider making innovation management software a cornerstone of their business.