A review of recent consulting firms embracing crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing efforts have appeared to flourish throughout many industries and specialties in recent years. For example, data scientists can work on a complicated algorithm on Kaggle, physicians may help with medical diagnoses on SERMO and there is even a resource for crowdsourced stock ratings, Vetr. Consulting services have also joined the crowdsourcing trend, whereby upstart services and even seasoned consulting firms are now spearheading efforts to join the crowd.
A review of the concept of crowdsourcing in The New York Times indicated that speed and cost savings may be top reasons why companies turn to the power of the crowd for their research and analysis needs. A busy CEO who can log on to a crowdsource portal, set up a request, review candidates, hire talent and obtain quality information is likely to enjoy the quickness, efficiency and lower cost of this method of professional assistance. Even consulting firms, themselves, are turning to the crowd for help. Such firms as Deloitte and PwC have initiated crowdsourcing efforts for themselves and even sometimes for their clients.
Consulting Firms Embracing Crowdsourcing
Wikistrat may be one of the more familiar names in crowdsourcing-based consulting. A recent article in Fast Company that profiled the firm actually noted that crowdsourcing might be the future of problem solving. Wikistrat engages analysts from across the globe to participate in gamified simulations in order to solve problems or predict future occurrences. The hundreds of experts that are a part of Wikistrat’s network are paid a flat fee in addition to bonuses based on performance.
Deloitte Pixel was recently launched in 2016, which is the firm’s enterprise crowdsourcing initiative. This resource helps Deloitte staff and clients to access a world of talent. The set-up is based on crowdsourcing vendors that help to deliver the needed expert mind power. Hard-to-find talent can be found through this service in order to help problem-solve, design products/services or to generally spur innovation. Deloitte had studied crowdsourcing since at least 2014 in order to develop this offering.
PWC’s TalentExchange is another undertaking of consulting firms reaching out for external expertise. This resource matches crowdsourced talent with ongoing PwC projects. The platform allows professionals to browse projects, be accepted to work on a project and even organize their payment for work completed.
Niche crowdsourcing companies like RegDesk have also developed. This firm matches pharmaceutical regulatory consultants with life sciences companies in order to speed development of drugs to market. A client can post a project on the portal, review experts’ proposals through the tool and start working with their chosen consultant within a short timeframe.
The future will tell whether crowdsourced consulting will increase in demand or will see less than expected traction. Various issues may come in to play when deciding upon having freelance workers and other non-employees work on projects, such as guaranteeing quality and concerns regarding the security of intellectual property. Indeed, clients may experiment with varying services, both traditional consulting and crowdsourced help, in order to gauge which solutions suits them best.
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