Open Innovation And Freelancing Online

Open Innovation and Freelancing

 

Back in 2007, before the cloud was called the cloud, the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI), an organization formed by the U.S. Congress to assist in cleaning up the lasting damage from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, sought to find creative techniques for separating oil from water in recovery barges in the sub-freezing temperatures of the Alaskan winter, where everything turns solid, or at least extremely sludgy, making cleanup extremely difficult. The OSRI turned to InnoCentive, a centre dedicated to open innovation by opening up challenging engineering and scientific problems to the world, and providing rewards for people who are able to come up with a solution. The OSRI found a solution in the mind and experience of one John Davis, whose background was not in the oil industry, but rather in the concrete industry, where vibrating metal poles were commonly used to keep concrete from hardening too soon. He proposed that the same technique should be used for the oil sludge, and thus brought together two worlds that had previously seldom interacted.

The OSRI example is just one of many case studies that highlight the growing power of connecting people through various cloud technologies, such as crowdsourcing, open innovation and freelancing.

Access to FaceBook in the Workplace, for example, has long been maligned by senior management circles as being a timewaster and a poor example to visiting customers. However other organizations are recognizing major benefits from the data and atmosphere of FaceBook-style social media: it connects internal people who might otherwise never meet, allowing their mutually compatible talents to be joined and used for the benefit of the organization. Others are starting to recognize that an employee’s social media profile might actually be a better indicator of performance than more traditional personality tests, and research, such as that done recently at Cornell University backs this up.

Freelancing, too, has become a major new channel of employment opportunity for professionals of all ages, from students just starting out, to more seasoned workers either looking for new horizons, or having the choice forced upon them through downsizing. Cloud-based freelancing sites such as elance.com, freelancer.com, guru.com and odesk.com provide an opportunity for people to meet: those who need talent and those who have skills to sell. The pay for many of these jobs is lower than it might be inside the walls of a bricks-and-mortar company, but they often lead to repeat and referral jobs and in some cases, longer-term contracts.

Companies are discovering that instead of simply being time wasters, the social side of cloud technology actually helps people connect in ways they simply cannot or will not in more traditional avenues, such as meetings and email. Superconnectors, those people who are naturally able to network and communicate – the movers and shakers of any corporate community – are more likely to be found through the various channels of the cloud than anywhere else. Innovative minds, too, might not be easily spotted using traditional terminologies of résumés, but instead through keywords and hashtags.

Companies that stand to survive into the next decade are ones that see the cloud revolution as not simply one of technological change, as in shifting data from internal servers to cloud-based storage, but instead that envision a wholesale change in relationships with employees and with employees’ talents. Those that embrace a dynamic cross-pollination by allowing the social media side of the cloud to become a fully supported element of workplace society will benefit from a degree of innovation and interaction that is no longer a luxury as it is a necessity.

By Steve Prentice

Yuliya Melnik
DevOps Services Outsourcing The sooner you release your unique idea to the public, the higher the chance that it will receive the lion's share of the audience's attention. Delays in development can lead competitors to ...
Ray Meiring
Proposal Management Software Benefits Amid the COVID-19 pandemic-induced supply chain and market challenges, 2021 started to course correct, allowing many companies to resume business operations. As a result, request for proposals (RFPs), sales proposals, and ...
Sofia Jaramillo
Augmented Reality in Architecture Augmented reality (AR) is a growing field of study and application in the world of architecture. This useful tool can help us visualize architectural designs by superimposing them onto real-world scenes ...
Louis
Why Services CPQ Is Too Slow Today When PS organizations compete in sales cycles, the first competitor to have a complete quote with accurate pricing, schedules, and an engagement plan will often win. However, getting ...
Cloudtweaks Comic Ai
How AI Is Important for Businesses Shifting to Remote Work The Coronavirus Pandemic has taught us that organizations must have remote work choices. It is no longer possible to work in a digital environment. The ...

SECURITY TRAINING

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.

  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.