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Crowdsourcing Taps into Power of App Development Community to Speed Enterprise Digital Transformation
By Rick Sullivan, Vice President & General Manager, Application Services, DXC Technology
Enterprises that engage with crowdsourcing community effectively and at scale will gain an edge for their digital transformation initiatives. The challenge? Most enterprises don’t know where to begin. Unsure about how to tap into the applications crowdsourcing community or uncertain about how to best manage such an initiative, an enterprises may see the practice as risky.
A mountain to climb
To understand why this is so, let us consider the “old-school” applications development approach: In the past, it could take months to construct a fundamental version of an app. And because of organizational silos, developers often did not know if their application, once deployed, would meet the wider business objectives or KPIs. So, in-production testing validating their product idea added weeks or months to the development process.
By contrast, today’s app development calls for fast, lean innovation, with expertise in next-gen technologies, supported by agile software development practices such as robotics, AI, and automation.
While every company tries to secure the best and brightest talent, developers with the most sought-after, scarce skills may choose the work with the newest, well-funded startups or the large digitally native companies, or to go freelance and join the gig economy.
Enterprises often find it difficult to quickly get to a place where they can develop apps rapidly and then iterate on them for continuously improving their customer services.And just as a company enhances a specific app, a competitor may innovate apps in a similar category raising a cycle of “one-upmanship.”
Enterprises that engage with crowdsourcing community effectively and at scale will gain an edge for their digital transformation initiatives
What then ensues is a relentless race to meet increasing customer expectations for uninterrupted, superior service. This situation also dictates how frequently enterprises must deliver new and improved app offerings to differentiate their business and their overall customer experience.
The wisdom of the crowd
Not surprisingly, companies are searching for a nimbler approach—one that encourages an entrepreneurial mentality. But for large enterprises, it’s no easy task to foster a new culture for fast and lean development, where new app features are conceptualized, created, and deployed swiftly.
Crowdsourcing has the power to change all that. While not a new concept, crowdsourcing allows companies to take an “outside-in” approach to their business by leveraging the expertise of a community that stretches far beyond the company’s borders. App crowdsourcing can be applied to just about any kind of application in the digital era—mobile apps or web apps: It is methods of engagement rather than systems of record that are at the forefront of this trend. For example, a retailer might use this method to develop a portal for its branch locations, or a hospital could use the approach to develop an app for monitoring patients’ health-related activities.
The real trick is to do this at scale. By teaming with a technology services provider that has already established an app crowdsourcing best practices approach, enterprises may more readily pivot from an effort-based to an output-focused or outcome-based applications development model. The key is to engage an IT services provider that has both the reach to engage a million worldwide developers with next-gen skills through its app crowdsourcing approach and has experience in truncating large projects into smaller chunks to cut delivery times from months down to days. To get a sense of this, picture a combined internal and external crowdsourced talent pool, providing an ecosystem of hundreds of thousands of highly qualified developers, ready to bid on and deliver app dev projects in real-time.
The key to scaling up
Some useful advice: Seek an IT service provider that has already “industrialized” the crowdsourcing process and has an established system where the work of multitudes of developers are monitored and reviewed carefully. Assess whether the provider has an industrialized approach to crowdsourcing that allows requests for new apps to be mapped against an existing service catalog for every step along the way—app design, information architectures, code development, testing in the wild, or solving mathematical challenges in the data science realm. Each service should have a predefined path that speeds development and keeps it secure.
Clients for DXC Technology’s app crowdsourcing service tell us that the best part of moving through this process is the opportunity to review several options for their app design, wireframe, or app code, and, for that step, have to pay only for the final one chosen.
By partnering with a company that has experience with crowdsourcing, enterprises can be faster and more agile. This idea busts the industry status quo, accelerates innovation, and delivers value directly to customers, so their experience is uninterrupted.
In short, enterprises today are increasingly teaming with technology services providers to take advantage of crowdsourcing in a structured, scalable manner to power innovation and creativity of the crowd.
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