Javier Tabernilla Senior Consultant

Intraentrepreneurship in technology consultancies: fostering innovation from within

The technology world is constantly evolving, which has led technology consultancies to look for innovative ways to meet the challenges and changing demands of their clients. One strategy that has gained popularity is intra-entrepreneurship, which refers to fostering entrepreneurship within the organisation itself.

In this article, we will explore what intrapreneurship is, its potential benefits and present success stories of companies that have used it to achieve unprecedented success.

What is intrapreneurship?

Intrapreneurship, also known as corporate entrepreneurship, refers to the practice of fostering and supporting entrepreneurship within an established organisation. Rather than relying solely on traditional ideas and solutions, technology consultancies take a more flexible approach, encouraging their employees to take risks and develop new projects and products within the company's framework.

This approach fosters internal innovation and enables technology companies to stay ahead in a highly competitive market. Intra-entrepreneurship can take many forms, such as internal incubator programmes, free working days dedicated to personal projects, prizes for innovative ideas, and access to resources and budgets for the development of new products and services.

Intra-entrepreneurship refers to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit within the organisation itself

Benefits of intra-entrepreneurship in technology consultancies

  • Stimulates innovation. Intrapreneurship allows technology consultancies to explore new ideas and solutions, which keeps them up to date and relevant in the market.
  • Increases employee productivity and motivation. By giving employees the freedom to explore their own ideas, they feel more engaged and motivated, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Adaptation to change. In an ever-changing technological environment, intrapreneurship allows consultancies to anticipate and adapt to new trends and challenges.
  • Talent retention. Encouraging intrapreneurship creates an attractive environment for ambitious and creative professionals, which helps to retain the best talent within the company.
  • Development of new sources of income. Successful internal projects can become profitable new lines of business for the technology consultancy.

Success stories of companies using intrapreneurship

  • Google and its "20% free time". Google is famous for allowing its employees to use 20% of their working time to pursue personal projects. This practice has led to successful products such as Gmail and Google Maps, which grew out of ideas generated by employees during their free time.
  • 3M and its innovation policy. 3M, a multinational technology company, has fostered intrapreneurship for decades through its innovation policy. Employees are encouraged to spend time on independent projects and, as a result, popular products such as Post-it and Scotch tape have emerged.
  • Facebook and its hackathon. Facebook regularly organises hackathons, where employees can work on projects of their choice for a set period of time. This initiative has led to significant improvements in the platform and generated ideas for new features and services.
  • Microsoft and its "Microsoft Garage" programme. Microsoft has created the "Microsoft Garage" programme, which allows employees to work on experimental projects outside their normal responsibilities. This has resulted in the development of popular applications such as Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft Kaizala.
  • Atlassian. Software company Atlassian is known for encouraging its employees to work on parallel projects and providing them with the time and resources to complete them. This intrapreneurship mentality has led to the development of popular tools such as Jira and Confluence.

Intra-entrepreneurship fosters internal innovation

Success story at our client Acciona SA

In the Governance area of Izertis we have also started to actively put intra-entrepreneurship into practice with our clients. In the case of our client Acciona SA, the team of consultants serving them has proposed new projects thanks to active listening and proactivity.

A concrete case was the implementation of a pilot project where a platform for active communication from the PMO to the different ICT teams was established. This pilot has led to a much larger project where this platform has been given its own entity and is now the main source of information for communication to ICT teams by the PMO.

On the other hand, taking into account the success of the pilot, other business areas have seen the capacity and importance of this project and have been joining this platform in an escalating manner.

Intra-entrepreneurship within Izertis

The concept of intra-entrepreneurship, as we have discussed throughout this article, can also occur within the company itself, and it is in these cases, generally, where it is quicker and can generate an impact in a shorter period.

Intra-entrepreneurship can take place within the company

From the Governance area of Izertis, thanks to the promotion of intra-entrepreneurship and agile communication and decision-making with the higher levels of the organisation, it is possible for employees to propose improvements such as the one we are going to discuss below.

Success story: a new methodology to improve staff adaptation within the area

A pilot is currently being worked on to improve the current methodology when a new employee starts in the company. In this case, a methodology has been created to actively accompany employees in order to improve their adaptation to the area and reduce turnover.

To this end, regular meetings with tailored themes are set up to discuss issues such as the goals employees want to achieve during the year, issues that might be of concern to them or even areas for improvement that they have identified. This is then passed on to the area manager for evaluation and implementation.

Thanks to this intra-entrepreneurship, we hope to improve the adaptability of the employees in the area, as well as making them feel heard and have a voice to propose improvements within the organisation. We are finding that, by implementing this methodology, we can anticipate possible staff departures. On the other hand, employees within this pilot report feeling more motivated and with a greater sense of belonging to the company, as they say that they feel that their voice within Izertis is now more visible than ever.

It can be concluded that intrapreneurship in technology consultancies is a valuable strategy that fosters innovation, increases employee motivation, and enables companies to stay relevant in a highly competitive market. Through the implementation of programmes that support and reward creativity and experimentation, these organisations can reap the benefits of successful projects and the continuous development of new solutions and services. With the right approach and support from top management, intrapreneurship becomes a key pillar for the long-term success of technology consultancies.