In this article, Dr. Hrastinski explores and categorizessoftware platforms for open innovation.
Most open innovation software focus on open idea management.
Despite that it is widely acknowledgedthat technologies are of key importance inopen innovation practices (Chesbrough,2003), little research has studied howvarious technologies can be strategicallyused to enable and support openinnovation practices (Dodgson, Gann, &Salter, 2005). For example, Chesbrough(2003) argues that new technologies cansupport open innovation, but do notexplore how, for what reason, and to whatextent different information technologiescan be used when innovation is desired(Dodgson, et al., 2005).Drawing on the above, in Hrastinski et al.(2010), we explored how current openinnovation software (OIS) are designed,by whom they are used and reflect on theirpotential to support open innovationprocesses.
The current focus is on idea collection
We classified a sample of 51 systems andfound that most OIS are not veryinnovative because they provide similarfeatures. Typically, users are asked todescribe an idea or the managementspecifies a problem to be solved. Then, aphase that includes problem solving andevaluation in collaboration follows. Insuccessful cases, these processes lead orcontribute to an innovation.Our review reveals that a vast majority of OIS focuses on the front end of openinnovation through an emphasis on thecollection of ideas or problem solutionsrequested by the management of technology industries.
Four types of open innovation software
When scrutinizing the reviewed OIS, fewattempted to take a step towards OIS thatsupport more than the collection of ideas.Drawing on the reviewed software, wesuggest a classification, which includesfour types of OIS. The four types of OIScan be used by organizations to reflect onhow they are using IT to support openinnovation, and most importantly, howthey could use IT to support openinnovation in new and innovative ways inthe future.
IdeamanagementsoftwareLets users suggest, evaluate anddiscuss ideas openly or withinpredefined categoriesProblemsolvingsoftwareProvides opportunities for definingproblems and then suggesting,evaluating and discussing solutionsInnovationmarketplaceAsks users to suggest solutions toproblems defined by an organization,and use rewards and recognition as anincentiveInnovationanalysissoftwareProvides sophisticated tools forevaluating and analyzing the qualityand potential of ideas and solutions
WHAT IS OPEN INNOVATIONSOFTWARE?
Stefan Hrastinski, Uppsala UniversityApril 2010