Crowdsourcing is a practice that can definitely be an important resource for business, regardless of its size, but nevertheless is very little used in Europe (and less in Spain).
On the one hand, this situation is due to unknowledge. The term crowdsourcing is a young term that is maturing fast, but that has not yet definitively laid its foundations. Despite this , it is becoming known, here in Spain especially through crowdfunding platforms as lanzanos o goteo.
On the other hand, there are a number of myths surrounding crowdsourcing that can intimidate those who venture to practice it: the people involved are insufficiently prepared (which, as seen in the previous post about amateurs, is not true ), a new type of exploitation (just look at the article published in the spanish newspaper elmundo.es when the term crowdsourcing was born), etc.
- The use of CS provides access to an enormous amount of labor force from outside the company, to a crowd.
- Inside this crowd, the company may have access to different types of experts. A crowd properly formed can provide access to specialists working to solve more complex tasks.
- The contact with different specialist may lead to the creation of communities of specialists.
- Allows not only to obtain the solution of a problem, but also gather ideas from the broad and diverse collection of individuals with different experience and different points of view than those that exist within the company.
- Allows the outsourcing, and therefore the reduction, of the risk of failure. This reduction is due to the absence of a dependence on a single company. This fact reduces the possibility of not getting a correct answer or the task done.
- The enterprise only has to pay for products or services that are consistent with its expectations.
- Increases creative originality.
- Increase the quality understood as the number and complementarity of the tasks that are achieved and as the characteristics of the solution to a problem (because there are many participants, there are many possible solutions).
- Allows to obtain results more quickly.
To complement this, each type of crowdsourcing initiative will have its own advantages. For example, in initiatives that involve the creation of a product, crowdsourcing contributes to its innovation. Normally, in this type of initiative, the consumer becomes a co-designer, situation that implies a reduction in the cost of innovation and a clear improvement of the product as it allows its configuration. It also implies an increase in productivity by the more efficient use of resources and increases the turn-over.
Regarding the relationship with the market, crowdsourcing provides three distinct advantages:
- Time to market: the time it takes to develop new products is reduced.
- Cost to market: the costs of innovation are reduced
- Fit to market: the market acceptance of new products and consumers’ willingness to buy them is increased
- New to market: consumers’ subjective perception of the actual newness of a new product is increased
Can you think of any other benefit or advantage of using crowdsourcing by companies?
- Estellés Arolas, E., González, F. (2011) Crowdsourcing desde el punto de vista de la empresa: ventajas y desventajas de su aplicación en la resolución de problemas, III Congreso Iberoamericano SOCOTE y VIII Congreso SOCOTE “Tu + TIC = Innovación + Competitividad + Sostenibilidad” Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 11-12 Noviembre de 2011
- Kleeman, F., Voss, G. G. and Rieder, K. (2008) Un(der)paid Innovators: The Commercial Utilization of Consumer Work through Crowdsourcing. Science, Technology & Innovation Studies, 4, 1 2008), 5-26