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Crowdsourcing: Tackling developer demand through the masses

Ask an IT or HR director what keeps them up at night and they’ll likely mention talent. Technical talent (programmers, developers, data scientists) is excruciatingly difficult and expensive to recruit and retain, yet landing and keeping this talent is crucial to a company’s success.

With the rise in access to technology and advances within this industry, consumer expectation for mobile and digital devices is at an all-time peak. Smart businesses know they need to adopt a digital-first approach business strategy to keep up with customer demand, but finding the workers to create these applications often derails even the best of intentions.

According to a 2014 IDC survey of more than 8,000 mobile developers and 121 IT decision makers, finding those skilled developers is the top obstacle to timely app releases.

This challenge is particularly evident across iOS applications due to the continued rise in popularity of Apple and iOS devices. Enterprise demand for iOS is strong; nearly 89 per cent of corporations provide their employees with iOS devices, and among Fortune 500 companies, 90 per cent of business application activations were on Apple’s iOS operating system. If the war for technical talent is intense, the battle for iOS developers is downright ferocious.

Unlocking the human cloud. What’s a business to do?

One way enterprises are staying ahead of the competition and remaining relevant is tapping into the power of the crowd.

From Appirio’s report on enterprise demand, around 44 per cent of enterprise respondents stated that they’re already using crowdsourcing in some form – a great start. Gartner predicts that by 2017 more than half of consumer goods manufacturers will receive 75 per cent of their consumer innovation and R&D capabilities from crowdsourced solutions. Both are good signs, but not nearly enough organisations are utilising the potential of the crowd.

The power of crowdsourcing goes beyond having immediate access to a global pool of scientific, design and developer knowledge - quite literally genius on demand. It successfully allows businesses to avoid the traditional risks that are often associated with new product development and innovation - not to mention the excess fees and resources needed to scale innovation at this level.

In the crowd, enterprises find the solutions to these problems. Crowdsourcing allows a company to access a flexible pool of the best technical talent in the world whenever they may need it. Crowdsourcing allows enterprise IT departments to quickly churn through project backlogs without the risk, expense, and resource burden of recruiting, onboarding and retaining internal teams.

Crowdsourcing is a hedge against IT failures; it’s reliable and predictable, producing on-target solutions that limit IT’s exposure to risk. Even better -- with crowdsourcing, companies pay only for results, rather than time spent or effort exerted.

If two heads are better than one, a community of 800,000 minds can collectively deliver mind blowing, real-world business solutions.

Tim Medforth, Senior Vice President of Appirio EMEA

Image source: Shutterstock/igor kisselev