4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Idea Management Software

to build or not to build

Ideawake has features to help track the innovation pipeline and assign ownership to ideas, which ultimately optimizes the process from start-to-finish.              

Anna Talamo|
August 2, 2018

There are a lot of factors primary decision-makers need to consider when it comes to implementing idea management software: buy it, build it or don’t even bother with it (hint: that’s a bad idea.)


The utilization of idea management software has been proven to increase engagement, decrease costs and grow revenues, meaning that ignoring the need for it any longer isn’t in the best interest of your company and stakeholders.


While it may seem enticing to build your own customizable idea management software, the cost ultimately outweighs the benefit since it provide little value over standardized off-the-shelf programs. There are a lot of downsides to going at the process alone.


Here are four reasons why buying idea management software is more efficient than building your own.


Building your own software can take more time than expected

Planning, designing, developing, coding, implementing and maintaining a software takes a lot of time and support from IT. IT departments typically wants to feel contributory, which can lead to promises for a fast turnaround time that isn’t actually feasible, halting the innovation process completely.


Click here to discover all of the features that make Idea Management software so effective in our “Crash Course to Idea Management Software” whitepaper


On average, we’ve found that IT’s implementation process of idea management software is at least 2-3x longer than Ideawake’s time frame. This delay in execution can cause excitement to wain and quickly dissipate, making the software’s impact significantly smaller.


There’s no support system in place to effectively facilitate the software

To ensure a high long-term engagement rate and positive return on investment for an idea management program, what’s just as or more important than choosing a platform is the process and strategy for rolling out and managing the innovation process.


It’s essential to have expertise to help overcome common obstacles and leverage best practices. Without that support system, management with have to expend more time and effort in making the program successful and reduce chances of achieving a high participation rate and a positive return on investment.


Idea management companies like Ideawake have refined and perfected the process for setting up the correct infrastructure, rollout plan, communication and strategy for taking selected ideas and transforming them into implemented projects that result in realized revenue growth and cost savings for an organization.


Time and money is spent on developing and managing the program rather than implementing results

You know the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Another saying goes “if it’s already developed and works, don’t spend the time and money making your own.” In many cases, already-developed software gets the job done, and gets the job done well.


In addition, implementing an already-made software that has a staff ready to support innovative efforts for your company is significantly less expensive than hiring a full-time innovation manager to monitor an in-house program. For a fraction of a full-time salary, your company is able to collect, evaluate and implement ideas with software prepared to handle the task.


When your company produces its own software, someone needs to maintain and monitor the technology. With off-the-shelf software, experts are put in place to expedite the process, reducing time and costs associated with getting the program off the ground.


Tracking results may not be a priority even though it absolutely should be

Off-the-shelf software has been proven effective for businesses trying to increase innovation and engagement within their practice. Since these systems track ideas from inception to implementation, key metrics become easily traceable, such as how many ideas were submitted compared to how many were implemented.


This tracking element is essential for program participation. Stakeholders that have shared their ideas want to see them fleshed out and developed into real solutions. And without data tracking, there’s the risk of having innovation management initiatives shut down or lose funding, meaning that innovative ideas will never come to fruition.


Ideawake has features to help track the innovation pipeline and assign ownership to ideas, which ultimately optimizes the process from start-to-finish.



One thought on “4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Idea Management Software

  • By Doug - Reply

    I like the message. Good job. I might add something to the effect, “The typical return on invested capital is over 500% the first year and the implementation is achieved a minimum of 9 months earlier.” “Results usually it the bottom line during the current fiscal year and, therefore, may not need capital approval.”

    I had to reload page. A pain.

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