7 Trendy Workplace Innovation Strategies for 2019

Ann Monroe
Ann Monroe  |  April 1, 2019

If you really want to innovate, it’s time to stop pushing paper and start thinking outside the cubicle.

Every organization experiences a work rut at some point. Your team may have exhausted or outgrown the capabilities of your existing technologies and processes, so you end up spending valuable time on error-prone processes and administrative tasks. These are actions that should be helping the business instead hold people back from doing meaningful work.

Progress stalls. Employees are frustrated. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Prior to using a Workplace Innovation Platform to build a custom app to address their work rut, 96% of businesses surveyed reported problems with business processes and 94% cited challenges with existing apps and software.

Workplace Innovation Platforms give problem solvers at every level the opportunity to address the underlying causes of a work rut. Both developers and non-developers can create custom apps to automate processes and eliminate inefficiencies with the help of these high-productivity tools.

7 Effective Workplace Innovation Strategies

How might these seven workplace innovation strategies grow your business in 2019?

Innovate your own way


Problem-solvers aren’t exclusive to the C-suite or the IT department anymore. You know your pain points best, so it only makes sense that you take the initiative and find strategic ways to address those specific issues or opportunities. You just need to find the right tool to help you do it as efficiently as possible.

Sure, you can make do with task-based appliance apps or attempt to customize packaged software to tackle your challenges. But it’s 2019––why settle for solutions that aren’t tailor-made to address your needs?

There are plenty of options for Workplace Innovation Platforms on the market, and they’re not just for teams at enterprise companies. In fact, most Workplace Innovation Platform users come from small and medium-sized businesses. Workplace Innovation Platforms are changing the game for problem solvers across all industries and business sizes. You can build custom apps with your unique situation in mind, whether your coding skills are professional-level, rudimentary, or nonexistent.

Address problems fast


Once you identify the Workplace Innovation Platform that will work for your organization, you don’t have to wait long to start seeing progress on your problems. More than half of businesses using a Workplace Innovation Platform had a custom app built and in use in less than three months.

custom-app-adoption

The best news? 93% of businesses who implemented a custom app report a reduction in inefficient tasks, 91% report increased team productivity, and 85% report saving time and money. Employees get to spend less time on manual data entry and other administrative tasks. They get to escape the work rut and do the important work that helps grow the business.

But it doesn’t end with deployment. Workplace Innovation Platforms give you the flexibility to keep customizing your apps to do even more for you, your business, and your customers. Dream big, innovate your own way, and continue to improve your solution as you advance your coding or development skills.

Innovate and share instantly, anywhere


Your location and devices shouldn’t limit your access to information in today’s increasingly mobile workforce. Businesses like yours know how important it is to keep mobility in mind as they compare and consider technology solutions. In a recent survey, 77% of respondents rated mobility as average, very, or extremely important to their business.

The workplace is everywhere––construction sites, cornfields, coffee shops, you name it. Eighty percent of the global workforce is deskless, including employees in major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. Even employees that have a desk in an office might not always work there. In fact, 20–25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency, and that number is only projected to go up.

And anywhere there’s work, there are opportunities for innovation, even without a desk involved.

Today’s Workplace Innovation Platform, an evolution of the Rapid Application Development Platform, lets you build once and deploy across any device, whether you’re accessing your app on your office computer or on a tablet in the field. Gone are the days when you have to learn multiple coding languages to build one app for desktop, another for mobile. Your custom app has a native look and feel and real-time visibility across devices. No pinch-and-zoom difficulties on a smartphone, no microscopic text on desktop.

Outsource it to the experts


You have the inside knowledge, you have the vision, but you might not feel confident building a custom app with the robust features you’re hoping to implement. Or, like many problem solvers in businesses of all sizes, you might just not have the time.

Luckily, it’s not all on your shoulders when you decide you want a custom app. Freelancers and certified development professionals can take the information you give them about your dream solution and turn it into reality while you hold down the fort.

do-it-youself-app

If you’re not keen on totally outsourcing your app creation but aren’t in a position to take it all on yourself, some Workplace Innovation Platforms have templates designed by professionals to help you get started. Use them to give yourself a head start, then customize based on your unique business needs.

Got more time? Go DIY.


As you build your custom app, you can be your own best teacher with a little help from your Workplace Innovation Platform’s resources. Check out some tutorials, consult the community, and access important learning tools that will help you take your idea from concept to customized solution. You might even be able to access in-person training from experts to help build your skills.

These resources don’t lose their value once you have the first version of your custom app up and running in the field, either. You can continue to take advantage of them as you explore potential improvements, adaptations, and integrations that will help your app address even more of your business challenges.

Integrate your custom app with the other cool things you’re doing


Your custom app gets along great with the tech solutions that are currently working for you––CRMs, ERPs, email marketing software, and more. A Workplace Innovation Platform allows you to connect your custom app with these systems and with the cutting-edge technologies you’ll explore in the future. The integration options are endless.

integrate-custom-apps

Take connected devices and the Internet of Things, which will only become more important through 2019 and beyond. Sixty-nine percent of organizations surveyed have concrete plans implement IoT in their business, and custom apps only increase IoT’s potential in organizations of all kinds. A commercial kitchen can use a custom app that connects with their oven to bake items at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time. A water softener company’s custom app can take advantage of connected sensors in customers’ tanks and automate treatment shipments based on real-time salt levels.

Workplace Innovation Platforms that support app-standard APIs also set you up for smooth integration with new and emerging technologies as you continue to innovate.

Take your concept global


Built something really cool? Be an entrepreneur and share it everywhere. Workplace Innovation Platforms make it a snap to share your custom apps with other departments in your organization and help lift them out of their own work ruts. And it doesn’t stop there.

Let’s say you’ve used your Workplace Innovation Platform to create a successful app that you believe could benefit other companies like yours. A Workplace Innovation Platform partner can help your app marketing by taking it global through licensing and distribution. Now that’s the entrepreneurial spirit!

Make 2019 the year you escape your work rut.


Don’t let the work rut keep you from success any longer. With a Workplace Innovation Platform, you can take your front-line knowledge of what’s holding your business back and turn it into a custom app that pulls you out of the work rut and propels you into innovation. Create the solution to your current struggles and take advantage of opportunities in the years to come.

You aren’t limited by your industry, the size of your company, or your knowledge of coding.

If you’ve come this far, you have a problem solver’s mindset. You’re the type that gets excited about innovation, improvements, and potential. As you read, you were thinking of what kind of custom app you’d build if you had the right Workplace Innovation Platform to get it done. Make 2019 the year you do it.

Ready to make your first app? Learn the cost of making an app in 2019.

Ready to learn more about creating an app in 2019? Learn about the best mobile UX design practices for app developers and designers.

 

Ann Monroe
Author

Ann Monroe

Ann Monroe is vice president of worldwide marketing and customer success for FileMaker, Inc, an Apple subsidiary that makes the FileMaker Platform, a Workplace Innovation Platform for teams of a few to a few hundred who are stuck in a work rut that neither appliance apps nor enterprise systems help them escape. By making powerful technologies accessible to everyone, the FileMaker Platform quickly solves unique problems—even as they change. Monroe holds an MBA degree from Stanford University School of Business and a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Loyola Marymount University.