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9/7/2011
06:30 PM
Stacey Peterson
Stacey Peterson
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20 Innovative IT Ideas To Steal

InformationWeek 500 innovators have creative solutions to not-so-unusual business problems. How can these help your company?
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Looking to harness the energy and passion of its employees to solve problems, Allstate wanted a way to challenge people to come up with new mobile apps that would help them do their jobs better. That led to the App Attack contest, in which 100 employees on 43 teams competed to conceive, design, and code a mobile app in just 48 hours. Entrants worked at Allstate's Technology Innovation Lab and remotely, some as far away as Ireland. Tech experts provided guidance, and teams included coders and people outside IT. Company execs judged the initial 43 entries, picking eight finalists from which winners were selected. The success of the first App Attack in 2010 spawned App Attack II in January. Seventy-four teams were challenged to design a mobile app to help people be safer drivers. Many entries applied game mechanics to driving behaviors in order to reward safer driving. In the end, 13 finalists were picked and two took home prizes. All of the ideas could be picked up by a sponsor inside the company, and one now has a patent pending.

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