Transformational times like these create opportunities for your firm to introduce net-new services that extend your market value.


The global COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll, not just on lives but world economies. We are all experiencing massive life changes that affect how we work and how every business operates. Amid all of these changes, it may seem counterintuitive to launch a companywide innovation campaign, yet there may be no better time to look for creative ways to solve problems for your customers and stake your claim as an innovation leader and driver of change.

To help protect their employees, most companies are asking them to work from home right now, which might seem like a barrier to collaboration. But the market-leading innovation management platforms make it easy to engage remote workers (all your employees, plus any contractors and third-party partners) in these types of campaigns via websites, mobile apps, and social media. These platforms empower everyone’s engagement beyond just coming up with ideas. As shown in our latest Forrester Wave™ evaluation of this software market, the strongest vendors help you drive engagement with your full market across ideation, idea selection, iterations of solutions generated by your ideas, and, once validated by the targeted customers, a go-to-market strategy.

The very best of these vendors, such as Planbox and Qmarkets, also provide strong connections to data sets that flesh out your campaign topics and can be leveraged by your teams to verify the credibility of their ideas. The leaders also help you identify and engage the in-house and third-party resources that have the skills and talents necessary to build the chosen solutions. Vendors such as HackerEarth and Brightidea can help you conduct virtual MVP hackathon sessions to prototype your selected ideas.

Conducting virtual innovation campaigns at a time when most employees are working from home is a way to enhance your employee experience (EX). Employees will see how your innovation efforts aren’t limited to your R&D team or only to those commuting into your headquarters or engaging in person with your CTO. And by extending collaboration efforts beyond just your own employees, you ensure that you are able to capture the broadest and most transformative innovation ideas possible.

Be sure that you don’t just select innovation ideas that are incremental extensions of your existing products and solutions. Transformational times like this create opportunities to disrupt traditional market moves that are falling short and craft net-new services that extend your firm’s value. And to circumvent tactically focused teammates who tend to block disruptive moves, the leading innovation platforms help you shield these efforts from them until they are validated. As an added benefit, if your tactical teams still want to block these types of innovations, the leading platforms have networks of startups and third-party vendors you can partner with to bring these disruptive solutions to market for you.

Driving these types of campaigns (and following the best practices shown below) will help your employees and partners feel dramatically empowered.

Best-Practice Innovation Flow

Source: Forrester’s Q1 2019 North American Technology-Driven Innovation Online Survey

Which platforms should you consider to help kick off these types of campaigns? Take a close look at all the vendors analyzed in our Forrester Wave evaluation of innovation management platforms. What differentiates Forrester from other analyst firms is our practice of sharing with you the scores of all evaluated vendors — across all our evaluation criteria. You can select and re-rank the criteria to align with your specific needs and circumstances — helping you find vendors that best align with your requirements.

And if you follow our advice and, through these campaigns, drive innovations that reposition you for future market leadership, we’d love to hear from you about how these efforts went.

For a good set of examples of innovations that your peers have launched to address today’s COVID-19 challenges, take a look at Forrester’s FORRward blog series.