Innovation proves vital for companies across industries, but carries key importance in the technology field. Mainstream perception of the tech industry conjures illustrations of cutting edge, never-before-seen products poised to disrupt and revolutionize daily lives.

This type of future-forward expectation poses unique challenges for tech companies:

  1. As purveyors of ingenuity, they need a steady stream of fresh ideas to flourish
  2. As initiators of ease and speed, agility must be embedded into the company’s operations to optimize speed to market
  3. As growing companies, they must be resource-conscious with talent and budget.

Crowdsourcing offers a compelling solution to the challenges above and saves on two key resources: time and money.

How crowdsourcing elicits innovative and profitable ideas

Crowdsourcing is a powerful tool for testing assumptions about your market by using the voice of actual consumers to influence decisions. Involving the crowd ensures that there is a ready pool of buyers when a new tech product comes to market. The good news is that it reduces risk if there isn’t enough demand to justify the development; the project can be stopped or shelved before a significant amount of money is spent.

In addition to testing existing ideas, crowdsourcing can exceed expectations by introducing entirely new ideas from within and outside of your company. Platforms like IdeaScale make it easy to manage these types of crowdsourcing campaigns and choose the best ideas.

The proper crowdsourcing software will embed necessary checks and balances into the innovation cycle to help you avoid pitfalls and launch a well-rounded product.

How crowdsourcing accelerates speed-to-market

The most successful organizations are the ones that are able to get new ideas to the public first. Studies show that speed-to-market is positively correlated with new product success. This is especially true in uncertain markets – markets with unfamiliar parameters and rapid changes. Today’s technology market is nothing if not uncertain, with quick changes happening every day. As a result, speed-to-market is vital for success in today’s technology landscape.

Crowdsourcing offers the unique ability to capture speed without haste. The proper crowdsourcing software will embed necessary checks and balances into the innovation cycle to help you avoid pitfalls and launch a well-rounded product. This attention to detail will help you fast track your ideas to market in the most thoughtful manner.

How crowdsourcing stretches manpower and budget

Crowdsourcing helps tech companies solve the issue of manpower and budget. Small companies with even the most devoted workforce will be tested when running full speed, or when expected to wear many different hats. With crowdsourcing, your organization can gain significant staff hours without hiring any new employees. You can spread out the time required for testing and development over a much larger group of people, many of whom are volunteers.

The challenges tech companies face result in them innovating far less than they need to remain competitive. Fortunately, that can be different for you – simply by incorporating crowdsourcing into your innovation efforts.  Not only can crowdsourcing reduce the common roadblocks discussed above, but it can also help you iterate quickly, and perhaps reduce your speed-to-market.

Download our White Paper for best practices for technology crowdsourcing + examples of effective campaigns from Google Maps, US Gov, and more.

By Rob Hoehn

About the author

Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.