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:

Yahoo Answers

          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. 


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