Over a quarter (28%) of all software deployed in large enterprises goes unused.

That’s over one in four software systems purchased by your typical FTSE500 company that ends up not being used, even by the departments and employees who purchased it.

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Of course, every purchase starts off with the right intentions. We have problem A, and we need some software with features X, Y and Z to solve this problem. In many situations, companies will then go out to the market and purchase a new system with a fantastic list of features and functionality.

This is exactly the process typically used to procure idea management systems.

What’s the problem?

Change is hard. Adoption is hard. Human beings don’t deal well with friction. As well intentioned as it might have been to go for the all-singing, all-dancing solution, unless you have substantial change management resource you’re fighting an uphill battle.

Trying to convince thousands of people in your organisation to sign up to, log in to, and learn a brand new system which – as much as you’d love it to be – isn’t as important to them as it is you, is a major struggle. It’s a struggle that almost a third of solutions never get past.

Think about the last time a different part of the business tried to push you into using some new software. Perhaps it’s the employee benefits solution or a market-leading HR system. You might have seen that it would benefit you, but were you excited to start using it? If it’s not a system that you have to use, have you used it?

What’s the solution?

In short, make it easy. Remove as much of the friction between the average employee and participation in your idea crowdsourcing challenge as possible.

In an ideal world, there would be one piece of software that did everything, was beautifully designed and easy to access. Unfortunately, despite the attempts of most major software players, we’re not quite in that ideal world. However, thanks to recent breakthroughs in integrated enteprise software and the increased use of APIs in the enterprise, we’re getting closer.

Platforms like SharePoint and Yammer can replace the front-end of your traditional idea management solution. Employees can suggest and discuss ideas in an environment they’re already familiar with, eliminating the need for change management. You can integrate idea management via an API, giving you all the features you need to find the best ideas and act on them. The best of both worlds.

1Gartner, 2012

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