The term â€ścrowdsourcingâ€ť has been a huge buzzword for the past few years and I think it will continue to be one as we move through 2012 (Google returned 10.7 million results for the term). I also think it's a safe bet that crowdsourcing is far more common in small and medium-sized businesses than in their larger competitors.
When a large organization has a complex project that requires a great deal of resources, it will probably necessitate the involvement of multiple departments to get the project completed. The marketing department works with the product development department who works with the accounting departmentâ€¦I think you get the idea. Now take a smaller organization, 10 to 20 employees, they donâ€™t have the luxury (or is it the curse) of specialized departments to complete a similar project.
Having worked for both a global media company as well as a company that consisted of two employees (counting myself) I am very familiar with the advantages as well as the disadvantages of crowdsourcing.
- Specialization should equal high quality products and services
- Collaboration can lead to greater creativity
- Can be a great recruiting tool
- Easier to lose sight of the long-term objective
- A lack of continuity
- No ownership or teamwork
- Fixing mistakes can be costly
It is because of both experiences, both good and bad, that I was thrilled with the concept and completion of our Crowdsourced Marketplace. It is literally a marketplace for all parties. If you are a small business owner who knows that you need IT infrastructure, but donâ€™t know exactly what youâ€™re looking for, our Crowdsourced Marketplace is perfect for you. Or maybe you're a systems administrator who is extremely well versed in the web hosting industry, you have the opportunity to show off your skills and get paid within the Crowdsourced Marketplace.
Each solution (or product) within the Crowdsourced Marketplace comes with detailed instructions as well as the credentials of the architect (image below). This ensures great transparency between both builders and buyers. I know I may be a bit biased, but I truly think this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity within the infrastructure-as-a-service community.