Outsource Magazine Issue 28 - (Page 30)

Service marketplaces promise a revolutionary way of connecting buyers and providers of services – across multiple geographies and with potentially huge gains for both ends of the trade. Steve Bynghall examines a rapidly growing space – and asks what it means for the future of work… Steve Bynghall Steve Bynghall is a freelance consultant and writer, specialising in knowledge management and collaboration solutions. He is a columnist for Outsource online. At Your Service? D espite four years of global economic gloom and uncertainty, there are some businesses that have been experiencing exponential growth. One corner of the outsourcing landscape which has been enjoying considerable success is the group of webbased marketplaces which offer a variety of different services predominantly to smaller businesses. These service marketplaces operate by providing a web-based platform to access the talents of a global army of freelancers and contractors. Generally this works by an individual or a business posting a job (“the employer”), freelancers and teams bidding for the work, and then one being selected by the employer to carry out the work. The sites provide value in a number of different ways including providing an online reputation system based on employer ratings of each provider, as well as a platform to help manage projects, payments and the like. The service marketplace makes most of its profits by taking a small percentage of the earnings made on each project. ExplosivE growth All three of the main big international service marketplaces – oDesk, Freelancer.com and Elance – have almost been doubling in size each year. oDesk enjoyed $225m in overall fees in 2011, up from $115m in 2010. In 2009 this figure was approximately $60m. Meanwhile Elance claims that in 2011 “the number of businesses hiring on Elance and the number of online professionals working on Elance grew more than 120per cent.” Naturally this growth has drawn the attention of investors. In January 2012 Elance announced they had secured $16m in funding, with oDesk securing $15m in March. Under this top tier are a layer of smaller “Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 30 ●●●● www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.Freelancer.com http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 28

Deep Thought
John Seddon
At Your Service?
Plenty To Chew On
The Power of Two
Big Data
Invested Outsourcing
Tim Cummins
NOA Round-Up
Managing Knowledge in a Partnership
A Long Way Still To Go
Recruitment Process Technology
Let’s Talk About Our Relationships
Great Expectations
Transformative Technology
The Future of Rightshoring
Top Ten
The Legal View
HfS Round-Up
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 28