Imagine being able to have your software tested by a large group of people with different operating systems and devices. Now imagine that you didn’t have to pay for their feedback. Crowdsourcing is a growing field that is allowing businesses to get more work done at a faster pace. Is it right for your company?
What Is Crowdsourcing?
According to CBS News, “Definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company would normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider. Yet free labor is only a narrow part of crowdsourcing’s appeal. More importantly, it enables managers to expand the size of their talent pool while also gaining deeper insight into what customers really want.”
What Are the Advantages of This Method for Software Testing?
Obviously, the ability to have your software tested for free is a big deal. This can save your company thousands of dollars in man hours. Another benefit is that your software can be tested across different operating systems, browsers, tablets, smartphones, etc in a matter of hours. The improved speed at which software testing can be done can allow your company to get software published faster, which means more money. There’s also the ability to get feedback from dozens, or even hundreds, of people without having to pay a dime.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
One of the biggest drawbacks is that crowdsourcing doesn’t allow management to be in charge. If you want to try this you need to realize these people will work on their own time. Depending on who you have on a team, you could get quick results or you could be held back. In other words, you might have to go through a few people before you find the right ones for your company. Another drawback is that you’ll need to be open and honest with the people looking at your software. This can be difficult for companies that are used to only providing the littlest amount of information possible to their employees. There’s also the matter of confidentiality. You need to find people you can trust or you risk months of work being ripped off. You want to find professionals that take your company’s hard work seriously.
Software testing can take weeks, sometimes months, when done in-house. Crowdsourcing allows software companies to build, test, and publish titles at a much faster pace. Instead of taking weeks, software can be properly tested in a matter of days, even hours. However, not all crowdsourcing workers want to work at a fast pace and some may be in the business for the sole purpose of stealing the ideas of others. This means you’ll need to work hard to choose the best workers for your team.