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The emergence of crowdsourcing



In the increasingly competitive world of web and mobile applications, getting to market quickly and app quality can make or break the success of your app -- or your company. With new applications wrestling for media attention and customer dollars, the pressure to get apps built, tested and launched as quickly as possible has never been greater.

Software executives and tech managers have a number of options for staffing and sourcing the various tasks of software design, development and testing. These companies can now build in-house expertise, while maintaining the operational flexibility that comes with external service providers.

However, outsourcing and off-shoring typically involve the displacement of large-scale project resources, lack of accountability, and hidden management costs, and many companies are searching for an alternative. Executives are tired of being burned by time zone challenges, inflexible contracts, hidden costs and a loss of control and quality. For a growing number of companies, the alternative is crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing enables companies to tap into the creativity and diversity of a community of skilled professionals. The trend has been adopted across many industries, including graphic design, animation, development, testing and R&D. By bringing in diverse and talented professionals on an on-demand basis, products can reach the market faster, with higher levels of quality and at a lower total cost.

Such a community can function as a virtual team for startups or as an on-demand extension of in-house department in larger, more mature companies. Communities of skilled professionals who bring fresh eyes and ideas, and who care about building their online reputations are being used to complement in-house resources to design, build, test and launch world-class desktop, web and mobile apps.

The six essentials: launching better web & mobile apps with crowdsourcing

The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it does not require an "either/or" commitment. Companies can easily experiment with crowdsourcing on a per-project basis, and strike a balance between in-house personnel and on-demand community members. The following list describes how to maximize the benefits of crowdsourcing for app development and testing:

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