CrowdSourcing Vs OutSourcing
Of late crowd-sourcing is becoming popular day by day. If you have not heard about it or heard but don't know what it is : This is about out-sourcing the work to a large crowd typically by dividing the whole job into smaller packages.Crowd-sourcing takes the advantage of the collective knowledge or skill set of a large number of people.We can safely consider crowd-sourcing as a type of out-sourcing.
Out-sourcing is done to a company or organization, the people working on a outsourced work belong to a company. But crowd-sourcing is done to individuals or freelancers, typically people not related to each other and they work independently on their own terms. Crowd-sourcing is not a completely new concept, the development of open source software is also crowd-sourcing. Other popular crowdsourced products are:
But these are open source products developed by people in their leisure time who are passionate about the technology or the particular area of interest. But other type of crowd-sourcing platform being used in the freelance websites like oDesk , vWorker , elance , Guru where the workers get paid for their contribution.
For software testing utest has become a preferred crowd-sourcing platform for software testing professionals as well as IT companies who wants to get their software tested by community of testers.
Crowd-sourcing is not just limited to technical task, the busy high net worth individuals or professionals crowd-source their personal work to Virtual Assistants. These services take advantage of typical labor cost arbitrage between developed and developing markets.
So can crowd-sourcing be a serious threat to out-sourcing? Not likely.
Both have their pros and cons. Crowd-sourcing can solve some complex problems but a large project with highly interrelated components can't be crowd-sourced. Cost has the obvious advantage of crowd-sourcing over out-sourcing, its similar to direct marketing : meeting place of the real customers and real worker replacing all the intermediaries and hence their cost and overhead. But crowd-sourcing requires micromanagement of the tasks as the customer is dealing with individuals not bind by any contract or SLA. Anything goes wrong in between that becomes a huge risk for the task which may also happen in case of out-sourcing but chances are less.
So crowd-sourcing can eat some of out-sourcing market share but can not replace or be a serious threat as of now.