The birth of the Internet marked the year zero in the way of communication. A click and the whole world of information opens up before you, offering you only the embarrassment of the choice.
Among the first links that the search engine tells you most of the time, there is Wikipedia, the only encyclopedia that each of us has at least once “browsed”.
The only encyclopedia “written” by an indefinite number of users, by ordinary people with specific knowledge they choose to share. Wikipedia is the prime example of Crowd sourcing.
What is crowd sourcing?
Crowd sourcing from the English crowd (collective crowd) and outsourcing (outsourcing) consists in entrusting to the virtual community the resolution of a given problem, project processing or any other activity instead of having recourse to its employees, to external companies or professionals.
In reality, it has existed for some time but only in recent years has it been finding wide application in the business world.
Initially, in fact, crowd sourcing was the way to get free collaborations from the web in creating and spreading content as well as solving various types of problems.
The network became the desk around which the most disparate personalities could confront each other.
How does crowd sourcing work?
The operation is very simple: a subject proposes an activity or exposes a problem to the virtual community and anyone with certain skills and abilities can participate by making their own contribution online through proposals, solutions, ideas.
The benefits and risks of crowd sourcing for companies
Crowd sourcing has innumerable advantages for companies, including:
- the reduction of costs and work times, offering the possibility to carry out projects that for budgetary reasons would be set aside;
- the direct connection between companies and consumers;
- the possibility for freelance workers (both professionals and amateurs) to offer their services on a vast, totally delocalized market.
Crowd sourcing is not an easy process to manage and also presents some risks that should not be underestimated:
- reduced costs are not always synonymous with quality;
- it is difficult to monitor work and manage people located in geographically distant locations or who use work methods and different times;
- the network does not always give the best solutions;
- it is difficult to protect one’s ideas;
- the inclusion of economic elements (such as rewards, remuneration, etc.) creates a certain competition and rivalry between people and this can block the true idea of ”sharing” and collaboration.
The state of the art of new technology in Italy
Until a few years ago Italian companies have passively witnessed the various innovations born from the web and crowd sourcing was obviously no exception. However, things are slowly changing, especially after the recent economic crisis.
All ‘ entrepreneurship Italian opens a new scenario: the possibility of being able to secure the cooperation of many different professionals around the world (including noteworthy are our compatriots who seek fertile ground for their creativity and entrepreneurship in a foreign country).
Finding new ways to reduce costs and open up to innovation has become vitally important for any company and this is naturally encouraging the spread of these new technologies.
In addition to crowd sourcing , in fact, there are also other technologies such as crowd funding and 3D printing that are catching on, so much so that we start talking about a real new industrial revolution.