Mobile Innovation: Why it Pays to Leverage a Community of Minds

May 26, 2015 John Gorup

mobile apps for mobile innovation

Today, smart businesses recognize the power of diversifying resources in order to reduce the time and iterations required to achieve success. For example, Pebble famously used Kickstarter to raise funding for the production of its now hugely popular watches and consumer wearables. Similarly, Vitaminwater® found success through the crowd with an online campaign that called for the public to identify the next water flavor to come to market, ensuring a product that would resonate with consumers. These examples show the benefits of tapping into the crowd to increase the success of funding a project or researching a product. However, the way in which to use crowdsourcing to create real business impact remains a mystery to many organizations. One emerging opportunity for companies to find power in the crowd is in the consumer-driven nature of enterprise mobility.

The reason for the growing relationship between mobile apps and crowdsourcing stems from economics. The rollout of new devices, rising expectations of employees for a consumer-grade mobile experience at work, and a shift to digital business are driving the demand for enterprise mobile apps. But a lack of resources and internal development talent is proving to be a major barrier to supplying this demand. Crowdsourcing provides the perfect solution to fill this gap, while actually improving potential outcomes.

Our research has shown that crowdsourcing can produce up to 65 percent more development output than traditional sources. This increase in output comes from the fact that with crowdsourcing customers pay for results, not time. Because a community of minds all working toward the same solution can provide multiple solutions, the time and iterations required to get to the enterprise mobile solution needed is greatly reduced. Not surprisingly, this kind of payoff in spending on mobile innovation is starting to get noticed. As Gartner predicts, within the next 3 years, over 75 percent of high-performing enterprises will be using some type of crowdsourcing for business process services.

Here are the major benefits to crowdsourcing mobile app development:

  • Access to talent – crowdsourcing gives you a global collection of diverse development, UI/UX, and design expertise, offering access to innovation beyond the limitations of your resources.
  • Reduction in wasted time and spend – with crowdsourcing you only pay for results, not time, so you get the right result for your money while avoiding time wasted on solutions that don’t meet the needs of your users. By getting multiple solutions, you increase the chances of success sooner in the development process and will reduce future iterations or re-work on your app.
  • Respond to tough problems quickly – utilizing the on-demand talent of a crowdsourced community removes the cost of locating and hiring full-time internal application development team members who have the necessary experience to tackle new issues. Crowdsourcing allows you to supplement your existing team with a community of experts to address problems as they arise.
  • Ability to innovate at scale – by nature, crowdsourcing allows you to see more results in a shorter amount of time and brings ideas beyond those you can produce within your four walls. This allows for innovation to occur on an unprecedented level, ensuring your company is creating mobile apps that bring extreme value to your users.

Clearly, crowdsourcing is an emerging method to supplement organizations’ development efforts. Simple economic forces are helping to push this trend, but more importantly, crowdsourcing breaks organizations out of their creative ruts and drives innovation. Crowdsourcing will become an increasingly key method for building the mobile apps that drive business and allow companies to win in the age of enterprise mobility.

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