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06.17.14 | blog
Author: Jared Fletcher & Carly Kaplan

Crowdsourcing for Disasters

Mother Nature, an inevitable, yet terrifying force to be reckoned with, forces people to surrender to her fury, adapting to the ebbs and flows of the seasons, often wreaking havoc on businesses, taking their entire operation down. Most of us have been there, fretting the day disaster strikes, only to bring down our processes and hinder our business. As a result, most people take a responsible approach to their business’ success, creating  a holistic, well thought out, time-consuming plan – in the event that Mother Nature or an unforeseen event strike – to stay resilient. We’ve all witnessed the countless organizations that have seen their fate held by the hands of disasters, only to destroy their operations.

Never thinking of the possibility that Mother Nature’s dark side is escapable, organizations often develop extensive business continuity plans to stay profitable and afloat during disasters. An invaluable crutch post disaster for the business unit in the affected area, organization wide business continuity plans are slowly becoming archaic, as businesses are slowly moving to the collective power of the crowd to ensure their business’ success. That’s not to say that business continuity plans are not useful, they are. However, BC plans are only worthwhile to the part of your business affected by the event. In other words, crowdsourcing will allow you to keep your business up and running during an unforeseen event, leveraging parts of the crowd unaffected, compensating for workers in devastated areas. The idea seems logical, simple, and innovative, but how do you crowdsource to guarantee your businesses success during weather impacting events? These three elements have proven to be the keys to remaining successful during unexpected events.

Geographically Dispersed Crowd

Build a bullet proof armor around your organization, make sure your crowd is dispersed across the globe. Mining from a crowd that is in a central location won’t allow you to leverage parts of the crowd in other areas of the world when you need it most. All areas of the world are susceptible to nature, unforeseen events and disaster. The type and scale of these events varies from place to place. Having support across the globe is a neat trick to thrive. For example, if the Northeastern U.S. is experiencing a Polar Vortex throughout winter, your portion of the crowd based in the Southeastern U.S. can pick up that work, as hurricane season doesn’t begin until summer.

Geographically Diverse Crowd

Understanding your constituent base is the key to success. Thus, your organization’s interaction with your customers is pivotal, requiring your crowd to meet the demands of the business. For example, if your business provides technical support to Spanish speaking customers, then you must ensure that Spanish speaking, technical support providers are available to service your customers. Just because one facet of your business was stalled, doesn’t mean that your customer’s needs halt as well. Not only does a geographically diverse crowd ensure that the customer and enterprise needs are met, but diversity also leads to a higher quality customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

Crowdsourcing is the way of the future, whether it be innovating a new, proprietary technology, or seeing your business thrive following a disaster.

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