Outsourcing meets Crowdsourcing


India’s IT Industry is warming up to a crowdsourced way of doing things.

Bharath Manjesh

Bangalore, January 18, 2018: Crowdsourcing of technical work is going mainstream in India with more and more IT companies tapping into the power of the crowd to get the work done while saving time and cost overheads.

Topcoder—the world’s largest marketplace for software designers, developers, and data scientists—launched a platform called Hybrid Crowd last month. It is an extension of the Topcoder platform that allows companies to crowdsource work from the public.

“Topcoder and Hybrid Crowd are cornerstones of Wipro’s ongoing digital transformation of both our own business and the services we provide to our customers,” said K R Sanjiv, Chief Technology Officer, Wipro Limited, in a press release. “Hybrid Crowd enables our customer teams to provide an even broader spectrum of digital services and meet just-in-time requirements. It also gives our digital transformation experts increased opportunities to learn new skills, earn, and gain recognition by competing in crowdsourcing competitions.”

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Crowdsourcing technical work is an emerging global trend that technology companies are rapidly catching on to, says a Deloitte report. “As more people from all walks of life shift online, therefore, the crowd can begin to operate at a scale that exceeds even that of the biggest and most complex global corporation, bringing in many more individuals to focus on a given challenge”.

The global trend of crowdsourcing in technology companies is catching on in the Indian IT sector as well. Software testing—which is an essential step in the software development cycle to weed out errors in code—is being crowdsourced by several IT giants in the country. Infosys has a crowd-sourced testing platform Infosys Crowd Testing Platform and Cognizant has fasTest. TCS uses a crowdsourced clinical trial design process for its Life Sciences Digital Solutions service.

There is little doubt crowdsourcing helps. The combination of deep learning and crowdsourcing offers a great value proposition. This combination presents a game changing opportunity for businesses to speed up automation which is very productive for the businesses, said Shashank Pawnarkar, a consultant at TCS.

“Wipro envisions crowdsourcing as the future with investments in platforms, new work models and IPs (Intellectual properties)”, said Wipro Limited on a social media platform.

Tasks of all sizes—micro tasks, medium-sized tasks, macro tasks—can now be crowdsourced, says the Deloitte report. A prominent example of a web service that can carry out micro tasks is Amazon’s MTurk . It is a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence. MTurk can help identify objects in a photo or video, transcribe audio recordings, researching data details, among others. All these crowdsourced services are good for when you don’t want to hire permanent employees or contractors, said the report.

Crowdsourcing is an attractive platform that can help technology companies save time and cost overheads, says an India-based research paper published by Elsevier. Costs of purchasing the hardware and software, hiring software engineers and training them, hiring support staff, and arranging office space can be done away with. This makes crowdsourcing an attractive proposition for technology companies, says the paper.

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