It's been a week since News Corp's latest internal hackathon, but the company has plenty to show for it.

The latest hackathon, which News Corp brands internally as a 'foundry', focused on data reuse.

It delivered at least two workable applications that will now be pushed into production. One is a dashboard that gives journalists a real-time view of the demographics of the audience that reads their stories; the other manages customer consent.

They join five other production-ready apps that started life in one of News Corp's foundries.

News Corp head of innovation Mark Drasutis said that corporate hackathons challenged the "seven most expensive words in business - 'we have always done it that way'."

Hackathons, he told Information Age, were a kind of "tent pole for ideation across the business".

"Coming up with ideas is not the problem - but allocating the time to execute them is," he said.

Innovate fast

Hackathons typically run for a day or weekend - and one of the reasons businesses turn to them is they draw a line in the sand for turning ideas into workable prototypes.

As one article recently stated, the time constraints of a hackathon force people to act on ideas rather than park them for later when they think they will have more time to work on them. "That's the beauty and driving force behind a hackathon - there is no later," the article states.

"Only having a few hours to do something is a great clarifier. Is this thing going to work or not?"

Deloitte is another firm to have embraced the corporate hackathon culture.

The consultancy ran its first internal hackathon, dubbed "#hackthedot" in January 2014. The next one is slated for mid-July 2015.

"The branding of Deloitte is the green dot, so #hackthedot was to look at ways to provide different services internally that we could reuse," Deloitte Digital partner Steve Hallam told Information Age.

However, Deloitte has taken things a step further and permanently made mirrors of its production systems available to employees to 'hack' at any time.

"They are constantly on and people are constantly working with them," Hallam said.

In that way, while #hackthedot could be considered "a figurehead type of event", innovation had become baked into Deloitte's culture and did not require a specific event for it to be realised.

Deloitte has also produced hackathons with clients, including NAB and Transport for NSW.

Payment giant MasterCard is in the midst of a global hackathon that concludes at the end of this year.

"It started mostly on finding ways to expand the technology that is made available to our traditional partners - the banks, large merchants - to other companies or developers," chief developer evangelist Sebastien Taveau told Information Age.

Though the major focus of the hackathon is effectively a competition aimed at getting external developers to create apps using at least one MasterCard API, there is also an internal component to get employees to innovate.

Employees won't compete with external teams for any prizes on offer, but the top 15 will be brought to Silicon Valley later this year to participate in the hackathon's grand final event.