The Computer Revolution/Outsourcing

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Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a term used when referring to work that is contracted outside of the locale of a business, to somewhere that offers more benefits to the company or the consumer. To the consumer, this could be beneficial by outsourcing something such as tech support(for a service targeted to a certain demographic) to a country predominately governed by the language of that demographic, so that communication barriers are not an issue. To the business, this could be beneficial by outsourcing labor(such as the assembly of different parts into a product) to a country renown for cheap labor or high quality.

Tech support is the largest export of work from America. Other tasks that are outsourced include customer service, payroll accounting, and credit card processing.

The Netflix Prize

Crowdsourcing, a combination of the terms “Crowd” + “Outsourcing”, is the practice of taking a job traditionally performed by an employee and making an open call to a large group of people to help them complete it instead. Business can use crowdsourcing to solicit feedback on a product or service, or to find people who will be paid to complete a task. The most famous use of crowdsourcing is the ‘Netflix Prize’ which awarded a $1 Million grand prize to a team that designed an algorithm that out-performed their own. The majority of crowdsourcing takes place on the internet, on web sites such as http://www.crowdSPRING.com and http://www.Elance.com. (Morley, Deborah, and Charles S. Parker. Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow. 13th ed. Boston: Course Technology/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.)