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The Latest Trend in Outsourcing: Microsourcing / Cloudsourcing Rudy Hirschheim Louisiana State University © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
The History of Outsourcing The 1 st wave: The 1 st wave: IT to Business Process Outsourcing – Kodak opens the outsourcing door – Outsourcing, Insourcing, Cosourcing, Multisourcing – EDS, IBM, CSC The 2nd wave: The 2nd wave: Offshoring …welcome to India – To India: American Express, back-office, 1994; and GE Capital,1997 – Offshoring, Nearshoring, Rural sourcing – TCS, Infosys, Satyam, and Wipro The 3rd wave: The 3rd wave: Microsourcing/Crowdsourcing – Platforms emerge to handle online sourcing – Open Sourcing, Crowdsourcing, Online Sourcing Marketplace, Online Sourcing Community, Open Innovation, Human Cloud – Rent-a-Coder, TopCoder, Guru, Elance 2 © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
Microsourcing Vendors 3 Paid Crowdsourcing, Smartsheet.com, 2009 By 2015, market is expected to exceed $20 billion (Evalueserve, 2009) © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
Outsourcing Trends From local to global, maybe to mixed options From closed interorganizational relationship to open boundary practice From long-term to short-term From mega-deals to multisourcing to micro-deals From face to face interactions to virtual working context From dyadic client-provider relationship to a triadic structure composed of clients, provider, and platforms Some have argued that this trend is “The biggest paradigm shift in innovation since the Industrial Revolution” (Kaufman, 2006) Virtual enterprise and organizations E-lancers proliferation; the workforce and wisdom of the crowd (Howe 2006; Malone 1998) 4 © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
Key Contention The future will bring “the non-ownership of assets”. While this notion is not new (e.g. companies renting office / manufacturing space, hiring contractors, etc.) the depth of such ‘renting’ and where/what the assets are, is illustrative of the Third Wave. We coin the term ‘human crowd’ to describe this microsourcing/crowdsourcing phenomenon, and define it as: a sourcing environment where a pool of online workers, or suppliers, can be tapped on- demand to provide a wide-range of services to any interested buyer around the globe. 5 © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
7 Stakeholders Platforms (Websites) Labor Pool (Suppliers) Clients (Buyers) © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
8 Stakeholders and Interactions with Each Other Through the Website(s) Platforms Websites Bring Together Clients and Labor Pool Facilitate Work Process Hiring Collaboration Payment Arbitration Clients Post Project(s) Select Talent Monitor Workers through Webcams, IM (Elance) Rate Performance Written Contract, Non-Disclosure Agreements Labor Pool (Individuals/Groups) Post Information Find Job/Project Compete by Bidding Awarded Job Deliver Project Paid through the Site New twist on familiar idea of online auctions © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
9 What Tasks Can Be “Outsourced”? Administrative Support Engineering Finance (Accounting) Legal Projects Research Sales & Marketing Tutoring Services Writing & Translation Web Design & Development Web Programming Database Development Testing/QA Assurance Project Management General Tasks and IT Focused © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
Platform Type DescriptionExample FirmsTraditional Use Cases Key Benefit Average Number of Suppliers on Three Largest Platforms MicrosourcerConnect service providers directly with buyers through a bidding process Elance, Odesk, Freelancer, Coffeeandpower Any ServiceRelationships of trust established with individual service providers 1,600,000 FilterEngage multiple providers competing for a prize 99Designs, MediaPiston, Innocentive, Witmart Logo Design, Graphic Design, Idea Generation, Choose from among multiple completed projects 80,000 AggregatorAggregate hundreds or thousands of micro- tasks performed by multiple workers Mechanical Turk, MobileWorks, CrowdFlower, CloudFactory Transcription, Content Generation, Categorization, Internet Search Large quantities of work done very quickly 400,000 IntermediaryProvide project governance services coupled with qualified workers TopCoder, Trada, UTest, 10EQS Software Development, Sales and Marketing, Software Testing Facilitation and management of complex projects 50,000 Main Types of the Microsourcing/ Crowdsourcing Models 10 © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
Human Cloud The Future – Networked Enterprise 11 source: Kaganer, Carmel, Hirschheim, Olsen © Prof. R. Hirschheim, LSU, 2012
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