An expert network is a platform where leading specialists offer their services to third parties who need them. They leverage highly specialized skill sets outside their clients’ knowledge base to provide consultation or expertise.
We thus note that expert networks serve as a way to assist companies who are venturing into uncharted territory. While it could be difficult for managers to learn the ins and outs of an industry quickly, expert networks can easily connect them with professionals who can meet their needs.
This promising outlook sheds a favorable light on workers seeking to offer their services on expert networks. If you’re wondering what this growth might mean for specialists using platforms for the same, the emerging trends below might give insight into the future of work in the expert network industry.
Providing solutions to industry shortages
One of the most significant benefits of expert networks is bridging shortages in certain industries. Because expert networks can provide clients with services just as they need them, companies aren’t pressured to set up and maintain specialized departments. This is particularly true in industries like tech and healthcare.
Take the challenge the economy is facing this year. This 2022, we’re seeing a severe shortage of software developers. This is mainly attributed to the difficulty in maintaining current talent, working with limited resources, and increasing customer demand. In short, while almost everyone requires software development in their companies, not all organizations are equipped to manage tech departments.
Now, the truth is that there are many skilled software developers trained for extensive careers in computer science. They’re ready to build, test, and run any program your business needs to roll out on technological devices. But the issue is really just how to reach them.
Because expert networks are available for hire on a subscription or transaction basis, companies can reach out to them for the exact type of service that they require. Instead of nurturing a tech team, businesses can instead hire skilled developers for their needs. This effectively bridges shortages by satisfying customer demand.
Growing opportunity for freelance workers
Technology is, without a doubt, the greatest advantage that specialists enjoy on expert networks. Gone are the days when professionals had to be on the phone for hours or rely on in-person meetings to form a client base. Now, they can be connected immediately and remotely through expert networks to offer services on demand.
This is why the growth of expert networks goes hand in hand with the increasing popularity of freelance work.
Freelancing has always had significant advantages. Having control of your workload and being able to set your fees and work hours is one. Another is being able to forego traditional modes of employment. But with the explosion of remote work in recent years, freelancers are enjoying more and more the benefits of offering their services through expert networks.
It is perhaps for these reasons that experts at Forbes expect freelancing to keep growing. Although there were 57 million freelance workers as of 2021, survey data shows that 20% of current employees, or 10 million people, are considering doing freelance work. That’s a 17% increase in those who prefer being independent contractors.
The efficiency and reliability of these networks allow professionals to forego the trouble of finding their clientele through other means online, such as social media or personal websites. Instead, they are provided with a platform specifically intended to connect them directly with the third parties that need their specific expertise.
This optimizes the process for freelancers, further enhancing the ease with which they can market themselves to potential clients worldwide.
The emergence of technological developments in expert networks
Technology-focused expert networks serve businesses well, especially over the past couple of years that saw dramatic growth in remote work.
In the management consulting industry, remote work gave rise to new business needs like remote consulting, on-demand services, micro-projects, and professional insights. The firms that were able to meet these client needs were the ones who turned to expert networks to fill management micro consulting jobs.
This is because the expert network industry is implementing more sophisticated technologies to heighten the efficiency of finding the perfect professionals to suit clients’ needs. These networks use technologies and algorithms to optimize the process of connecting experts with their clients. Maryville University notes that modern IT trends, like automation and cybersecurity, are used with these technologies as they contribute to a company’s safety and lead to greater time- and cost-efficiency.
These technologies facilitate enhanced matching capacities using artificial intelligence and machine learning, two emerging technologies that enable automation. This allows platforms to identify patterns and make insights and recommendations as accurately as possible. As such, businesses can find solutions to problems similar to the management consulting industry, where a sudden demand for newer services is required.
It also heightens cybersecurity, which can protect both freelancers and clients. Researchers from Zaozhuang and Zhengzhou Normal University in China noted in a global study that organizations of all levels — including individuals, non-government, and government institutions — are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can harm them financially. Since expert networks often store data online, the sensitive information of users can be vulnerable to attacks. Advancements in cybersecurity prevent malware from penetrating these systems so that personal and professional details alike remain safe.
The expert network industry has been one of the most advantageous developments in the labor market in the past couple of years. With the growth of online work and the rapid development of technology, the industry is opening broader opportunities for specialists and businesses alike.
This article is exclusively submitted to CleverX by Renee Janine.