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FrontRunners 2024

Aha! is the world's #1 product development software. We help more than 1 million product builders bring their strategy to life. Our suite of tools includes Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Whiteboards, Aha! Knowledge, and Aha! Deve...Read more about Aha!

Wellspring Innovation Management

Wellspring Innovation Management is a cloud-based solution designed to help small to large businesses track internal innovation projects, discover disruptive startups and search emerging technologies for the market. Features inclu...Read more about Wellspring Innovation Management

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FrontRunners 2024

Asana is a comprehensive project management tool that offers a range of technical features to streamline workflows and enhance collaboration within teams. With its user-friendly interface and robust capabilities, Asana provides or...Read more about Asana


FrontRunners 2024

Lucidspark is a cloud-based software designed to help businesses of all sizes record and share ideas, discuss projects and organize information on a virtual white-board. The platform enables organizations to capture suggestions an...Read more about Lucidspark

Planview IdeaPlace

Spigit is a cloud-based idea management solution suitable for banking, insurance, construction, engineering, energy, utilities, manufacturing, health care and pharmaceutical industries. It offers innovation management, business cr...Read more about Planview IdeaPlace

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OI Engine

OI Engine is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations to collaborate on shared objectives. The OI Engine workflow includes research, ideas, refinement, evaluation, identify top ideas and impact. Users can structure obj...Read more about OI Engine

5.0 (2 reviews)


OrganisedFeedback is an idea and innovation management solution for businesses of all sizes. Both cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. It’s suitable for various industries including law firms, state governments, l...Read more about Consideration

5.0 (4 reviews)

Idea Drop

Idea Drop is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for the midsize businesses. It offers an idea submission portal, collaboration tools, campaign management, idea curation and analytics. Idea Drop features idea subm...Read more about Idea Drop

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Wazoku is a cloud-based idea management solution that offers an idea submission, collaboration, gamification and analytics functionalities for large and midsize businesses. Wazoku lets users design submission pages using custom...Read more about Wazoku


Managing innovation at a large company can sometimes seem impossible. You have an endless list of stakeholders to engage, an infinite number of data points to consider, and a multitude of obstacles and landmines to avoid... But ...Read more about Qmarkets

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Viima is a cloud-based idea management platform that caters to small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include idea contribution and development, idea ranking, campaign management, email notifications, an activity da...Read more about Viima

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Codigital is a cloud-based idea management solution that helps corporate and member organizations in brainstorming, collaboration, conferences and gathering requirements. It enables users to generate, refine and prioritize the ide...Read more about Codigital

5.0 (2 reviews)

Medallia Ideas

Crowdicity is a cloud-based idea management and crowdsourcing platform for small, midsize and large businesses. It is suitable for businesses in industries including retail, banking, financial services, media, communications, manu...Read more about Medallia Ideas

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Exago Smart

Exago is an idea management solution for midsize and large businesses that helps collect, improve and review idea portfolios and execute selected ideas. Key features include customizable processes, idea pipeline management, multip...Read more about Exago Smart

4.8 (8 reviews)


Brightidea is a cloud-based innovation management solution designed for midsize and large companies. It offers communication tools and suggestion management. Android and iOS apps are also available. Brightidea features discus...Read more about Brightidea

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Co:tunity is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for small and midsize companies that offers idea submission, collaboration, review and analytics functionalities within a suite. Android and iPhone apps are available. ...Read more about Co:tunity

Mind Vector

Mind Vector is a cloud-based mind mapping and idea management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers idea mapping, idea ranking, brainstorming, activity dashboards and collaboration functionalities within a suite. Android...Read more about Mind Vector

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UseResponse is a Cloud-based and Slef-Hosted customer support solution that provides users with customer service tools and customer feedback solution. It features a Help Desk Ticketing Solution, Feedback Community System, Knowledg...Read more about UseResponse

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IdeaSpies Private

IdeaSpies Enterprise is a cloud-based idea management solution suitable for small and midsize businesses across different industries such as agriculture, AI, dining, healthcare and more. This solution helps businesses’ employees t...Read more about IdeaSpies Private

5.0 (1 reviews)

Sideways 6

Sideways 6 is an idea management platform for companies that use Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Yammer or Workplace from Facebook. Sideways 6’s solution is based on an integrated approach to idea management: Employees share ideas...Read more about Sideways 6

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

“There's no good idea that can't be improved on.” Michael Eisner, CEO of Walt Disney Corporation 1984-2005.

Ideas come and ideas go. Some live, some die—and some need to be chased down. The trick to profiting from the good ideas is, as Eisner implied, to continually improve them. But given their intangible nature, identifying and improving upon good ideas is much easier said than done.

Idea management software—also called ideation management software—is a new collection of tools designed to help companies do just that: identify and develop the best ideas they come across, whether from customers, employees or members of the public. This Buyer’s Guide will help you understand how idea management software works and how it can help your business. It covers:

What Is Idea Management Software?

Common Features of Idea Management Software

Software Market Trends You Should Understand

Example Idea Management Workflow

What Is Idea Management Software?

Idea management software is designed to help collect, develop and collaborate on ideas that are relevant to your business. The software helps companies categorize ideas and even open up idea submission and development to customers and other interested third parties.


Home page in Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight, showing four categories of ideas for an example company

It’s not always immediately obvious if a new idea is actually worth pursuing. But, few new ideas seem worthy until they’re developed at least a little. Not wanting to waste time on fruitless ideas, most companies are forced to ignore all but the most obviously great ideas. This leads to missed opportunities or, worse yet, competitors developing the same idea at a later date.

The main goal of idea management software is to prevent good ideas from going to waste. It does this by systemizing the process of idea management, so that new ideas can be vetted with less effort. This helps the company consider more of them and miss fewer opportunities.

Common Features of Idea Management Software

Idea management software has elements in common with other genres of software, like mind mapping software, knowledge management software, even project planning and project management software.

But despite some general similarities, idea management software is purpose-built for the workflows, processes and permission controls needed for idea submission, collaborative development and selection. It is available in many forms and different packages that will contain some or all of the following applications:

Idea campaigns

Organize ideas by grouping them into specific campaigns and challenges. Campaigns can be open to the public, employees or select groups.

Idea funnels

Set up discrete stages for ideas to pass through as they progress from initial idea to final approval, helping systemize, monitor and benchmark the entire process.

Mind mapping

Visualize how the various elements of an idea (or several ideas) relate to one another. These are graphical tools, usually with drag-and-drop UIs.

Collaboration tools

Many idea management platforms come with tools that help teams work together, like document and file sharing, collective to-do lists and automated notifications.

Custom branding

Some idea management platforms allow for custom visual branding, so the interface can match your website and the look and feel of your brand.


Make idea sharing and development part of a contest, competition or on-going game. Gamification can encourage people to help in the ideation process.

Customizable workflows

Rearrange and configure the various stages of the idea management process and control which users get to participate in which stages.


Organizing ideas by category with Qmarkets idea management software

Software Market Trends You Should Understand

Cloud-based software, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is an SMB’s best friend. Compared to on-premise installations, cloud software can usually be expected to be more:

  • Affordable: It typically uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model—meaning no large investment is needed to get started. Services are also easier to cancel.

  • Accessible: Cloud-deployed software can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

  • Integratable: It’s also often easier to integrate applications. Since the apps are deployed from the vendor’s servers, you won’t need to set up or maintain your own.

For these reasons, most idea management systems suitable for SMB use are cloud-based. It’s the best option for a majority of SMBs, excluding only those with very specific IT integration requirements.

Example Idea Management Workflow

Idea management software typically allows for a lot of workflow flexibility. This is helpful, even necessary, given the fact that companies have very different approaches to and requirements for idea management. That said, the idea of idea management might be entirely new to you, so below is an example of the types of stages that could be used.

  1. Collection. The company puts up a public-facing website with a description of the problem it’s trying to solve. The company invites its customers, employees and members of the public to submit ideas directly on the website.

  2. Vetting. The company’s management looks over the submitted ideas, eliminating any that are impractical or don’t sufficiently address the problem. They create a shortlist of five of the best ideas. All five ideas could work, but management is unsure which would work best.

  3. Voting. The company creates a new page online to present the five best ideas, each with a short explanation. Employees and customers are asked to vote for their favorite idea and add any additional comments.

  4. Selection. Management reviews the comments and tallies the votes, selecting two finalist ideas. Potential problems and downsides are listed for each idea. Company employees are invited to comment on the ideas, adding any potential problems and solutions of their own.

  5. Refinement. The company uses its idea management software to internally collaborate on, improve and implement the remaining ideas.


Idea Funnel overview in Qmarkets’ idea management software. It shows the quantity of ideas being actively considered as they progress through the various stages.