Magazine article HRMagazine

A Cloud of Workers

Magazine article HRMagazine

A Cloud of Workers

Article excerpt

Human resource professionals are at the center of a trend to use the cloud computing model as a way to organize work. Just as cloud computing entrusts computer operations to a remote service provider, a "human cloud" of workers can be assigned a range of work tasks via an online platform.

An academic team of global business researchers-Evgeny Kaganer, Erran Carmel, Rudy Hirschheim and Timothy Olsen-recently published their framework for the evolution of the human cloud in the MIT Sloan Management Review. The human cloud is currently only a small part of the global sourcing landscape. But the researchers posit that rapid development of such networks and platforms will have a significant impact on how companies organize work processes and access talent in the future. The human clould eventually could match potentially millions of individual contractors around the world with thousands of organizations both large and small.

Any development on this front is of critical interest to HR professionals because it could open up a vast source of skills and talent. HR professionals have identified finding and managing qualified workers to be among the most important challenges they face in the coming decade.

The human cloud has the potential to make skills-matching a more precis e endeavor and to reveal to organizations of all sizes a world of talented "microsuppliers." Content generation, sales and marketing, design and optimization, and research and development are among the tasks most commonly supplied by today's human cloud platforms, according to the research. …

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