Rapid application development is a great way to share innovation with customers.
David Packard and Bill Hewlett’s 1939 Palo Alto garage collaboration made history. They created the HP 200A Audio Oscillator for our test engineers. There is also John Mowgli and J.J. That was 1943.
How about Apple, which released the first iPhone, making available downloadable features (just called “apps”) in 2007?
These examples of innovation are success stories for any company that wants to grow. It is about using innovation to solve problems and create value. Even if this project is not a source of income, the necessary thinking and developments are sometimes more valuable. Sometimes simple attempts can, in turn, lead to more innovation.
Encourage the spirit of innovation
To foster this state of mind, every tech company must offer its teams an innovation hub. This would make it possible to consider problems with concrete ideas, by linking creativity with techniques. Concrete example: The ServiceNow Innovation Lab relies on sharing applications built internally to bring value to the Now platform.
The lab aims to deliver demo projects to our clients as quickly as possible, without compromising the client’s experience or security. Customers can use these new features on their ServiceNow instances with their own data and provide feedback to the tester for debugging and improvement.
Our process is certainly easy to describe, but difficult to implement.
We always start by asking the question or defining the problem to be solved, then we experiment, learn, share and apply. Ideas that make it to implementation are passed on to internal teams who implement and test them.
These teams provide feedback, and thanks to an app-based organization, we finalize solutions much faster than with traditional product development.
Applications must fill a gap or gap. We get our ideas from our employees, from the semi-annual hackathons and sprints from the innovation team. Thanks to these events, we can turn an idea into a tangible application in just a couple of weeks. Popular Innovation Lab apps include calendar, configurable pages, employee and CEO center packages, and CIO dashboards.
Try and try again
One of the first successes of our lab was the QR Scan for Mobile app. The smartphone camera is used to report a problem with the computer. Operating it is simple: just point the camera at the device, and the app identifies it and offers the employee a repair or replacement. This helps ensure fast and easy IT support, regardless of your location.
Another example: When teams went back to work on site, many struggled to find and book meeting rooms on the go. We have created a conference room booking app that allows them to find and then book a conference room using their phone’s GPS. In a few clicks, the meeting is confirmed.
However, in innovation, every success also masks failure. One of our internal apps projects was to generate quick peer feedback on proposals. Finally, it was deemed too complicated to use, and was not suggested. The fact that other similar apps were already available didn’t play in its favor either.
The teams’ evolving proximity to our customers allows us to understand the importance of creating digital workflows that automate their manual processes as much as possible.
The ultimate victory happens when we make an app available to our customers through the Innovation Lab App Store. It’s a win-win situation: customers have access to experimental projects and ideas from the lab, and they experiment with new functionality without having to invest their own resources or wait for a product to be released; In return, we ask them for suggestions for improvement. Product management then uses this feedback to validate feature integration in a future version of the platform.
Experimentation is key
Exploiting emerging technologies also plays an important role for the innovation team.
After discovering the blockchain, we developed a way to take advantage of it: ServiceNow Digital Certificate Authentication. Our customers can validate ServiceNow Training Certificates for their teams and future recruits, which is an essential requirement in our markets. In this case, the blockchain has made it possible to satisfy an obvious need of our customers.
As we evolve alongside our customers, we understand the importance of creating digital work flows to automate manual processes as much as possible. The Innovation Lab takes advantage of system flaws to offer many possibilities to quickly and easily solve them. And unlike traditional product development processes, these apps allow us to test the waters before we go all out.
During the development process, we experiment, learn, share and apply. If successful, we share these new applications with our employees and customers. In conclusion, as our fellow Spaniards like to say: Long live the innovation!