Yet another buzz word in IT. The emergence of hundreds of cloud vendors is causing enterprises to consider how and when to do ‘Cloud Sourcing’. Over the last few years, there has been a shift towards cloud-based hosting of applications and infrastructure. It is a well-established process for a business to carryout all of its computing requirements to a cloud based supplier so that they can take advantage of the benefits and reduce their expenses. How can the march towards cloud sourcing help to reduce those for a business?
A lot of businesses have periods when they require extra staffing for peak periods. This might be to take orders during the run-up to festive seasons or to take customer enquiries after a product launch, or maybe they just want regularly updated content for their website. Instead of spending lots of money to train permanent staff members to do that job, many companies hire temporary staff to cover that peak period. A large business might well have already looked into business process outsourcing (BPO), or even have moved that function overseas to save costs. The next evolutionary step to this process is cloud sourcing, which combines the BPO model of outsourcing business processes or services and utilizing cloud technology to find the staff to complete that process wherever they are based.
One of the oldest sites using this kind of model is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), where employers submit tasks that they want to complete and workers from around the world complete the tasks. The majority of tasks on this site are simple jobs, such as tagging images or checking search queries, that pay very little, but there are also other tasks offering several dollars a time. Workers in India and USA can choose to be paid direct to their bank accounts, while workers elsewhere have to work for Amazon.com vouchers. It is straightforward to get simple and repetitive tasks completed this way, however quality control could be an issue if you want more complex tasks completing in this way.
Larger Tasks and Small Recurring Works
Freelancing sites, where workers bid to complete more complex tasks for employers are also becoming more popular. The jobs listed on these sites are usually more complex in nature, and range from content writing and translation services, up to complete application development and support.
For a business wishing to fully outsource an entire service, there are a number of options. A business may want to outsource an entire business process, such as sales or support, to another business, just like in the BPO model. The cloud sourcing companies are responsible for staff recruitment and training and juggling their staff between different clients to satisfy their requirements. Several large organizations are starting to offer this service, an area that has immense scope to grow.
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