No matter how much businesses know how important it is to innovate, managing ideas online is met with suspicion and skepticism instead. It seems to be the online element of idea management software that worries managers the most. They feel that it is not possible to be truly creative without direct engagement, because that is what drives creative, personal exchange. However, the world is becoming increasingly digital, and it is undeniable that having a software package in place to capture ideas and other forms of data is ideal. So what are businesses to do? The official recommendation is: both! Combine online idea management with face to face discussions. This makes the entire process more inclusive and therefore better.
The Benefits of Using Online Idea Management Software
There are a number of key benefits on using online idea management software:
- People can participate to the process regardless of where they are or what time it is. Through online communication, people are able to get involved at their own convenience.
- You ensure that introverted people can still share their insights. Introverts have a tendency to be very quiet and often be forgotten because of this. Yet, they have equally good ideas, but just need a different method of expressing this.
- A greater quality of ideas. Through idea management software, people can put forward what they think of a certain subject, but it doesn’t end there. Rather, other people can then start commenting on those ideas, developing them into achievable realities.
- A greater diversity of ideas, because you give people the opportunity to think outside of the confines of their own department.
- A transparent system that ensures people are far less resistant to using it to their advantage, because they can see exactly what happens with every idea, every step of the way.
- It gives you a snapshot of how your business is doing in terms of innovation at any point. Idea management software can also give you reports on things such as how many ideas are submitted, how many are commented on, and so on.
The Drawbacks of Using Online Idea Management Software
At the same time, there are some drawbacks that you have to be aware of when it comes to online idea management software. By being realistic about this, you are also in a better position to combat these drawbacks. They include:
- This type of online software allows you to analyze and discuss ideas. Testing and prototyping still needs to be done, which makes some people feel that software is somewhat superfluous.
- The process of gathering ideas is often a very positive one. However, implementing them leads to conflict, because people are resistant to change. It is difficult to gauge just how big the resistance will be through an online platform, and it may paint an unrealistic picture of acceptance.
- It can be more difficult for managers to be motivated to actually implement the ideas, because they don’t have the pressure of the direct exchange.
- There is a lack of atmosphere in the online world, although this is something a younger generation is likely to not agree with.