Enterprise crowdsourcing: Heralding a new epoch in the BPO industry

Enterprise crowdsourcing has arrived in a big way in the BPO industry. This term was coined by Jeff Howe, a contributing editor at the magazine Wired. Outsourcing has had its share of controversies with allegations about the misuse of cheap labor being hurled from various quarters.

Enterprise crowdsourcing been often associated with irresponsibility from the part of managements. In spite of this, many enterprises constantly look for new avenues of outsourcing that will add to their revenue and growth. Enterprise crowdsourcing has become the buzzword of the hour, with many companies realizing the inherent benefits that this will acquire for their business.

Crowdsourcing aims to seek out ideas and feedback from the customer who utilizes the products and services churned out by the company. It is another form of cheap labor but it does not make employees redundant; rather it puts to good use the views and proposals aired by consumers.

Crowdsourcing Infographic. Image source http://blog.lionbridge.com

In enterprise crowdsourcing, some of the work is done for little or no compensation at all. For instance, the search engine giant Google has set up a small volunteer force in India to plot its roads for creating maps. For this purpose, they have been transferring GPS units to this country.

The coffee company Starbucks turned to its customers in its quest for producing the best brand of coffee.  It has set up a special site for customers to express their ideas about producing the best coffee drink ever.

Even though, many of the proposals may turn out to be trivial, some of them have brought to light important issues that have translated into food for serious thought. This includes offering customers some incentives for recycling plastic. In addition, the company has taken up a proposal for allowing free Wi-Fi in certain US stores.

Enterprise crowdsourcing to yield great turnovers

The leading industry resource, crowdsourcing.org, which offers the largest online repository of information on the topic of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, has provided some estimates that reveal the future of enterprise crowdsourcing.

Enterprise crowdsourcing was approximately worth $750 million in 2011. At the end of 2012, this value peaked up to roughly $1.5 billion. Analysts predict that this rapid growth will be continuing through 2013. Ideation, contest work, and crowdfunding are several other variations of crowdsourcing that will contribute to the growth of the BPO industry in the long run.

The unique feature of enterprise crowdsourcing is that it is a flexible model. It can be modified and adapted to address any business task. Enterprise crowdsourcing may offer a simple solution to companies that are straining to finish variable-volume enterprise-level tasks. On the other hand, some projects may necessitate the involvement of highly knowledgeable and skilled workers, which may enable the efficient and speedy completion of tasks.

Many businesses are now looking towards enterprise crowdsourcing for dealing with labor-intensive processes and are being rewarded with encouraging results. This may be just the cornerstone that the BPO industry requires to channel their strengths to greater opportunities that beckon them in the journey ahead.

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