Outsourcing labour to the cloud

Various forms of open sourcing to the online population are establishing themselves as cheap, effective methods of getting work done. These have revolutionised the traditional methods for innovation and havecontributed to the enrichment of the concept of 'open innovation'. To date, the literature concerning this emerging topic has been spread across a diverse number of media, disciplines and academic journals. This paper attempts forthe first time to survey the emerging phenomenon of open outsourcing of work to the internet using 'cloud computing'. The paper describes the volunteer origins and recent commercialisation of this business service. It then surveys the current platforms, applications and academic literature. Based on this, a generic classification for crowdsourcing tasks and a number of performance metrics are proposed. After discussing strengths and limitations, the paper concludes with an agenda for academic research in this new area.