In a company, collaborating with different departments—especially with IT—can be hard if not impossible.

But as corporations start to embrace the idea of software-first future, they’re taking a page out of the tech book by adopting hackathons for everything from R&D to talent retention.

"Industries that you would never think are trying see how they can harvest the benefits of hackathons," says Angelhack founder Sabeen Ali. "It’s decentralizing their IT in favor of a greater collaboration between developers, marketers, and CEOs to create products or simply get ideas flowing outside the typically constrained box."

Ali, who has worked with Verizon, Qualcomm, and Ford, says hackathons needs to be managed like an internal workflow shift—not an event. "We put a change strategy toward it, meet with stakeholders, and we help them sustain the result of the hackathon."

To sustain results, Ali says an ecosystem is put in place where all participants and developers are stakeholders and regular incentives are rewarded to bring hacks to the finish line.

One of America’s oldest toy companies, Hasbro, recently held a hackathon where 150 developers came and developed 45 products—equivalent to billions of dollars in traditional R&D, Ali says.

In India also lot of companies like MeraEvents,Purple Talk etc have started their hiring and talent acquisition through hackathons.

Industry Experts says,In a traditional hiring sometimes we end up acquiring talents who can focus in one technology but when it comes to collaborations even internally in the companies itself then it doesn't go so well.

With this short coming of lack of collaboration ,the companies conduct hackathons by setting an agenda to test the right skills of a candidate with the collaborative skills .

Companies also conduct internal hiring with which stands out a great way to help enable a 'maker' culture that is required in a modern technology company.

"These can be a place for a developer to scratch an itch or experiment with new tools or platforms."

With shifting environments comes risk, whether or not Fortune 500 companies see it as a viable one is a different question.

"Every single time, our organizers are amazed at what the internal teams come up with," Ali says. "At the end of the day, it comes down to how big of a risk do they want to take. Ultimately, the bigger risk you take most and likely will be the bigger reward."

Have you attended or thrown a corporate hackathon? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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