Difference Wiki

Crowdsourcing vs. Outsourcing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 24, 2023
Crowdsourcing involves obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, typically online; outsourcing involves delegating tasks or jobs to external parties.

Key Differences

Crowdsourcing taps into the collective intelligence or skills of a large group, often an undefined public, for tasks like idea generation or problem-solving. Outsourcing, conversely, involves hiring external firms or individuals to perform specific tasks or services, usually for operational efficiency or cost-saving.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023
In crowdsourcing, contributions come from a vast, diverse, and often voluntary crowd. In outsourcing, a business contracts specific tasks to third-party providers, often professionals or specialized companies.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023
Crowdsourcing leverages the power of community engagement and collective creativity. Outsourcing focuses on utilizing the expertise and capabilities of external entities to streamline business processes or projects.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
Crowdsourcing is often used for tasks like data collection, idea generation, and problem-solving, tapping into a wider array of perspectives. Outsourcing is typically employed for routine, specialized, or labor-intensive tasks, aiming to optimize costs and focus on core business activities.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023
Crowdsourcing can lead to innovative solutions and community involvement but may lack consistency. Outsourcing offers expertise and efficiency but may reduce internal control over the outsourced functions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 24, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Soliciting contributions from a large, often undefined, group of people.
Contracting tasks to external parties or firms.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Objective

Leverage collective intelligence or skills for various tasks.
Delegate tasks for operational efficiency or cost reduction.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Contribution Source

Large and diverse crowd, often public and voluntary.
Specialized external entities or professionals.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Task Types

Idea generation, problem-solving, data collection.
Routine, specialized, or labor-intensive tasks.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Outcome

Innovative solutions, variable consistency.
Expertise and efficiency, potential loss of internal control.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023
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Crowdsourcing and Outsourcing Definitions

Crowdsourcing

Using the internet to gather contributions from a wide audience.
They used crowdsourcing to collect data for the environmental project.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Outsourcing

Delegating tasks or services to external companies or individuals.
The firm outsourced its customer service to a specialized agency.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Crowdsourcing

Engaging a large group for ideas or solutions.
The company crowdsourced logo designs through an online contest.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Outsourcing

Using third-party providers for specific business activities.
They outsourced their IT support to focus on core business functions.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Crowdsourcing

Soliciting services, ideas, or content from the general public.
Crowdsourcing helped them gather diverse opinions for the new policy.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Outsourcing

Utilizing external resources for specialized services or labor.
The startup outsourced its marketing to gain expert assistance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Crowdsourcing

Tapping into collective knowledge or creativity for specific tasks.
The research team crowdsourced their survey to gain varied insights.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Outsourcing

Hiring external parties to perform tasks traditionally done in-house.
Outsourcing manufacturing enabled the company to expand rapidly.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Crowdsourcing

Leveraging a large, often undefined group for problem-solving.
They used crowdsourcing to find innovative solutions for the software glitch.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Outsourcing

Contracting out business processes for operational efficiency.
Outsourcing the accounting department helped reduce costs.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Crowdsourcing

A method of outsourcing work over the internet or similar network by appealing to people to contribute to the project independently or as a collaboration.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Outsourcing

To delegate (a task, function, or responsibility) to an independent provider
"Most retailers outsource the bulk of their manufacturing to Third World countries, where labor is dramatically cheaper" (James Surowiecki).
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Crowdsourcing

The delegation of a task to a large diffuse group in order to introduce new or more developed skill sets and improve efficiency. There is usually no substantial monetary compensation involved.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Outsourcing

To relocate or transfer (jobs) to another labor market
"Although the absolute number of jobs outsourced from developed countries to China remains small, the threat that firms could produce offshore helps to keep a lid on wages" (The Economist).
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Crowdsourcing

Present participle of crowdsource
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Outsourcing

Inflection of outsource
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Outsourcing

The transfer of a business function to an external service provider.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from an online community.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Is crowdsourcing cost-effective?

Yes, it often reduces costs by leveraging voluntary or low-cost contributions from a large group of participants.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What are common examples of crowdsourcing?

Examples include Wikipedia for information, Kickstarter for funding, and Waze for traffic data.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Can crowdsourcing improve innovation?

Absolutely, as it brings diverse ideas and perspectives, fostering innovation.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

How does crowdsourcing differ from traditional sourcing?

Unlike traditional sourcing from specific suppliers or employees, crowdsourcing taps into the collective intelligence of the public or specific communities.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

What industries benefit from crowdsourcing?

Industries like technology, entertainment, consumer goods, and scientific research benefit significantly from crowdsourcing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What are the risks of crowdsourcing?

Risks include quality control, intellectual property issues, and reliance on an unpredictable workforce.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Is outsourcing only for large companies?

No, businesses of all sizes can benefit from outsourcing various functions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 24, 2023

Is crowdsourcing the same as crowd funding?

No, crowdfunding specifically refers to raising money from the public, while crowdsourcing can involve various types of contributions, including ideas and services.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

What are the drawbacks of outsourcing?

Potential drawbacks include loss of control over certain aspects, quality issues, and cultural or communication barriers.
Harlon Moss
Dec 24, 2023

Can outsourcing lead to improved quality?

Yes, if specialized providers with higher expertise or better resources are chosen.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 24, 2023

Can small businesses use crowdsourcing?

Yes, it's particularly useful for small businesses seeking resources and ideas without substantial investment.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

Why do companies outsource?

Reasons include cost reduction, focusing on core business activities, accessing specialized skills, and increasing efficiency.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What is the difference between outsourcing and offshoring?

Outsourcing refers to delegating work to any outside company, while offshoring specifically means moving work to a company in another country.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What is the future trend in outsourcing?

The trend is moving towards more strategic, partnership-based relationships and an increase in outsourcing complex and knowledge-based tasks.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

How is technology impacting crowdsourcing?

Technology, especially the internet, has made it easier to reach large, diverse groups, making crowdsourcing more effective and widespread.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing involves hiring third parties to perform services or create goods that were traditionally done in-house.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

How does outsourcing affect employment?

It can lead to job displacement in some sectors, but also creates opportunities in outsourcing firms and can lead to more strategic employment in the outsourcing company.
Sara Rehman
Dec 24, 2023

What functions are commonly outsourced?

IT services, customer support, human resources, and manufacturing are commonly outsourced.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 24, 2023

How do companies manage outsourced relationships?

Through contracts, regular communications, and quality control measures.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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