Well, maybe we should start with, “What is innovation management anyways?” At its most basic, it is the purposeful organization and management of ideas within an organization to create meaningful change. Companies use it to gather new product ideas, improve processes and discover new markets and business models. The White House used innovation management processes to cut government spending, Home Depot used this process to identify new product lines, and the DREAMS Challenge used innovation management software to fund new projects that would halt the spread of HIV (just to name a few).
But if innovation management often starts by asking large groups of people for new ideas, why is it important for innovation management programs to be secure? Here are just four reasons why:
Why Security is Important for Innovation Management:
- Intellectual Property: One of the principle reasons that organizations formalize an innovation management program is to gain a competitive edge on the competition. Even if the initial ideation phases are open to everyone, a lot of work goes into developing and refining those ideas. That refinement is often the difference between an incremental idea and a transformative one. If companies don’t protect those later stage refinement activities, they could lose the competitive edge they gain by instituting an innovation management program in the first place.
- Data Integrity: Innovation Management systems rely on lots of data to help prioritize and validate initiatives. We could be talking about votes and comments on ideas, ROI data, and beyond. If innovation management systems aren’t secure, this data could be stripped or tampered with. It would be easy to make an idea or project appear more popular or more valuable if the system can be gamed. And the opposite could be true, as well.
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Everyone who participates in an innovation management program shares at least their personal information in order to log on to the system. In an era where privacy is everything – innovation management systems should protect all their users as a matter of course.
- System Interconnectivity: Innovation management software interacts with a variety of other systems (project management, social software, and beyond). Vulnerabilities in one system can lead to vulnerabilities in others, which is why any innovation management system has to be equal to the systems with which it interacts.
This is why we have prioritized system security in 2017. It’s also why we’re pleased to partner with Centrify. Not only is Centrify a leader in the field of enterprise security, but both Centrify and IdeaScale are in process for FedRAMP authorization – a rigorous and demanding attestation offered through the US government.
Can you think of other reasons why innovation management systems need to be secure?
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author blog are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Centrify.