Deloitte Pixel

How can Enterprise Crowdsourcing help you harness the power of the Crowd

We help businesses explore the potential of crowdsourcing. We pilot and experiment with running activities in the crowd. We deliver solutions which incorporate content and data from the crowd and ensure what the crowd produces can be embedded into existing processes and systems.

Deloitte’s crowdsourcing capability, Deloitte Pixel, enables clients to source and utilise the right crowd and execute effectively.

What is Enterprise Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, usually via a digital or online platform rather than traditional routes i.e. employees or suppliers.

Enterprise Crowdsourcing leverages this functionality to provide solutions for business problems as opposed to content creation (e.g. youtube or istockphoto) or shared economies (e.g. Airbnb or Uber).

We can support businesses through a range of enterprise-scale platforms across a number business domains to reach broader crowds, examples include: Strategy and Market experts in the Knowledge and Expertise domain or top developers and digital talent in the Technology and Data Science domain, and many more.

These communities are capable of generating answers and executing tasks faster, more creatively and more cost effectively than any single enterprise could.

Why are more enterprises considering crowdsourcing?

  • The internet is the engine behind the modern-day crowdsourcing platform:

It provides both a broadcast mechanism for organisations to set or announce challenges and a network for connecting people and their diverse ideas, skill sets and knowledge.

This combined with the growth of high-speed, mobile, internet access means the tools required to participate in the crowd are more accessible than ever before which has resulted in some platforms having communities nearing a million members. 

  • Digital and data are driving change: 

As more customers become ‘self-directed’ and highly adapted to the online world, the pressure is on all businesses to produce credible digital propositions to attract and retain their customers.

Digital-first competitors in your industry aim to disrupt the market and attract customers with digitally-driven offerings.

  • Attracting skills to react to this change is challenging:

Companies with traditional business models and structures have skills based around their existing processes. Consequently, retraining or attracting talent with new, in-demand skills is challenging, time-consuming and expensive. 

Talent, especially those with high-value skills, are also changing the way they work, with a growing trend towards freelance working.

Learn more about the changing attitudes and goals of the millennial workforce.

  • Variable requirement for resource:

All business units are being asked to deliver, develop and maintain the services they provide within the business or to the end customer across an ever changing landscape.

The crowd enables businesses to flex resources more easily to respond to demand spikes or market seasonality or to access large populations to do one-off tasks seamlessly.

  • Flat or reducing budgets: 

OPEX and other more discretionary budgets continue to be squeezed whilst departments are expected to deliver more. Department leaders will have to find and adopt alternative delivery models and new ways of working to adapt successfully.

Utilising the crowd: five key considerations

As with most things on the upward phase of the hype curve, the enthusiasm for crowdsourcing is greater than real live experiences. Whilst there are plenty of tangible benefits, these won’t be realised without insight, effort and organisation.

  1. Realising the full benefits of crowdsourcing isn’t straightforward: 

Switching from playing around the edges to embedding it as part of a core business process or delivery will take commitment, time and investment. And you may need to change policies or how your business operates today: think about the introduction of offshoring.

2. This isn’t just about adding capacity or reducing cost: 

Using the crowd brings greater impact in terms of ability to deliver quickly, accessing skills on demand and bringing outside-in thinking to a business. That doesn’t always mean a low price for those skills.

If your business isn’t prepared to operate at ‘crowd-speed’ you might find a new capacity bottleneck appears.

3. The crowd can’t deliver everything:

There will be some aspects of your requirements that will always be too risky, too niche or too proprietary to expose to the crowd. Understanding where an organisation will realise maximum benefit, at the right level of risk, is key to using the crowd successfully. 

4. Aspects of delivery may increase in cost:

In the same way it often requires overhead to setup and manage an offshore or outsourced team, the crowd represents a different kind of remote connection, which might need investment to enable it. 

The governance required and use of additional parties may initially require more project management than usual and/or changes to physical systems and structures or the acquisition of new licenses or framework agreements.

5. Understanding the boundaries between crowd and enterprise is key: 

Simply sending a job to the crowd and receiving the output isn’t the end of the story. For that job to result in a usable output means having a plan to manage the hand-offs between the enterprise and the crowd, knowing upfront the barriers to process or system integration and finally - planned and effective stakeholder management.

Why work with Enterprise Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing still offers many clear and tangible benefits that when managed and implemented in the right way, offer significant potential and radically change and improve how you do business, through:

  • Faster design 
  • Faster prototyping 
  • Greater diversity of ideas – outside thinking in
  • Faster research or analysis
  • Higher quality output
  • Greater resource elasticity 
  • More efficient handling of repetitive tasks 
  • New pools of external talent
  • Better engagement and retention of internal talent, and
  • Lower cost

Deloitte are fully committed to helping our clients, as well as ourselves, to transform existing processes and delivery models through embedding crowdsourcing as business as usual.


We have recognised crowdsourcing as one of the four strategic disruptors in our firm’s innovation strategy with board-level sponsorship. Deloitte Pixel is our dedicated team of crowdsourcing specialists.