What is IT Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a broad concept that involves temporarily outsourcing staff from an external organization to work on a project. This practice in IT projects fulfills the requirements of a product development initiative. Therefore, IT staff augmentation has become a common phrase in the tech industry.
Staff augmentation involves selecting skilled personnel from outsourcing companies to work on your project alongside the existing in-house team. This is especially beneficial when your in-house team needs more skills and expertise. This is particularly useful in software development services, where extensive research is required to achieve project goals.
IT staff augmentation provides a convenient solution for faster scaling and hiring of a professional. These include developers, architects, test engineers, business analysts, project managers, and other specialists with highly specialized skill sets that may be in short supply in the market or industry.
With IT staff augmentation, you can easily hire “highly skilled” developers with expertise in the specific tech stack that you are working with.
Staff augmentation services allow you to combine the skills and knowledge of your in-house team with the best professionals from external agencies.
Top Benefits of Staff Augmentation
While staff augmentation offers multiple benefits, here are the most common advantages for businesses from all niches.
Cost Efficiency with Quality
Hiring a permanent employee for a short-term project spanning a few weeks or months is often not a cost-effective option due to the associated expenses such as salary, benefits, and tax costs.
In contrast, augmented staffing offers a more flexible solution, enabling you to engage a professional only when needed, without the long-term commitment and costs.
With the new Affordable Care Act in place, hiring full-time staff has become increasingly challenging and expensive due to the restrictive regulations and high health insurance fees. Augmented staffing services can help you navigate these challenges and avoid the additional expenses associated with the ACA regulations and health insurance fees.
By augmenting your staff with highly skilled professionals, you can confidently assign projects and tasks for timely delivery with excellence. Moreover, these mid-career professionals are not temporary workers or interns. Therefore, it requires minimal training or assistance.
With staff augmentation, you can assign projects and tasks as needed, and the augmented team can deliver the required results within the specified timeframe. In addition, the expertise and experience that an experienced professional brings to your project can be invaluable, freeing up your time and enabling you to focus on the bigger picture.
Integrating a short-term staff member into your company or project offers the benefit of obtaining an objective opinion and a fresh perspective on how things are progressing.
As an outsider who only temporarily joins the team, the third-party workforce is less likely to become a part of office politics and conflicts. Therefore, there will be no prior loyalties to any in-house group clouding their judgment.
Whether you require assistance for a specific project or your entire business, identifying and targeting the needed skills can help you swiftly and affordably secure, effective workers.
Instead of hiring someone and hoping that they possess the necessary expertise for the job, you can selectively choose a professional with the precise skill set required for the task.
What is Remote Outsourcing?
Remote outsourcing refers to delegating specific positions or tasks to a third party for completion.
In the post-pandemic world, work-from-home outsourcing has become increasingly prevalent in the current business landscape. According to a Clutch survey, over one-third (37%) of small enterprises already outsource a business process.
For instance, a company seeking assistance with its customer service operations may outsource this function to remote team and employees, who can answer calls, respond to emails, and manage live chat features, thereby enhancing process efficiency while reducing costs.
Top Benefits of Remote Outsourcing
Hiring remote team and employees was a common practice for many companies even before the pandemic, and with the continued advancements in technology, it has become even more popular today. Consider these benefits if you are still trying to determine the advantages of managing remote teams.
Many companies rely on onshore and offshore remote employees to manage critical back- and front-office functions, such as accounting and payroll services or customer support and contact center operations.
Remote team and employees have extensive knowledge and experience of helping companies and businesses achieve their goals.
Successful outsourcing programs require balancing workload, personnel, and expertise across remote locations, and providers of work-from-home outsourcing solutions have proven their ability.
According to a study conducted by Airtasker, a gig economy platform, remote employees put in an extra 1.4 days of work compared to their office-based counterparts.
This ensures increased productivity, possibly due to a better work-life balance and higher job satisfaction. Ultimately, this increased productivity can positively impact a company’s revenue generation.
It is Budget-Friendly
According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics, US businesses that are compatible with remote work have the potential to save nearly $11,000 per employee per year. One of the most significant benefits of work-from-home outsourcing is cost savings.
Implementing virtual outsourcing solutions can eliminate the need to pay for traditional office expenses, such as utilities and rent. Remote outsourcing can also help reduce your tax burden.
Access to Experts
As globalization continues to connect the world, accessing top talent from around the globe is becoming increasingly essential for business owners. Rather than relying solely on staff within commuting distance, recruiting remote outsourcing enables you to tap into the expertise of some of the best professionals in their respective fields.
With a larger talent pool to choose from, you can quickly identify someone who is best suited for the job at hand.
It is Scalable
Remote outsourcing and work-from-home complement each other perfectly. Recruiting remote team and employees help you add extra team members, without worrying about workstations or in-house benefits.
Outsourcing also helps distribute tasks, preventing your existing team from feeling overwhelmed and allowing them to concentrate on achieving broader business objectives.
Should I Choose IT Project Outsourcing or Staff Augmentation?
Deciding between staff augmentation and IT project outsourcing depends on various factors, such as your current team’s capacity and project goals. If you have a competent internal IT team and reliable management, staff augmentation may be a good option, as it allows you to maintain control over the project.
On the other hand, outsourcing your IT project may be a better choice if your IT team is already overburdened and you need to complete a task quickly with minimal internal management.
Pros of IT Project Outsourcing
IT project outsourcing can be advantageous for companies that must meet tight project deadlines while maintaining day-to-day core business IT management.
Dedicated Project Management
IT projects benefit from the outsourcing company that provides you with a dedicated manager for handling project management.
When a project undergoes changes or requires additional resources beyond initial estimation, you can quickly scale up using an outsourcing company rather than staff augmentation.
Outsourcing IT projects does not distract the focus from core business needs. On the contrary, team members are kept from in-house requirements to work on the project, ensuring to meet your core business IT needs.
An internal team may have more flexibility with deadlines, but for outsourcing companies, meeting deadlines is crucial to their success.
An outsourcing company’s contract focuses on the deliverables of the project rather than on individual team members. Therefore, in case of any turnover, the outsourcing company quickly fills the position with an internal or external team member to ensure that project delivery is not impacted.
If your company lacks legacy or proprietary systems, an outsourcing company will likely require little to no training to complete your project.
Reduced Workforce and Other Management Overheads
Outsourcing IT projects can be more cost-efficient than training employees with the necessary skills. It can be especially beneficial if part of your team needs more capabilities to complete the project.
By outsourcing, you skip training and managing remote teams, saving time and money. Additionally, outsourcing allows you to scale up or down your team size as necessary, providing flexibility in managing project needs.
Cons of IT Project Outsourcing
The primary drawbacks of IT project outsourcing is losing control over the project and the potential difficulty integrating the outsourced solution with internal systems.
Not Suitable for Small Projects
Smaller projects may be less attractive or more cost-effective when outsourcing. As a result, outsourcing companies may charge a premium for such jobs.
Integration Can Be Tricky
Integrating outsourced projects with internal systems can be challenging, requiring your business to align its processes and procedures with the outsourced IT team.
Less Control over Your Project
Once the goals, deliverables, and deadlines are in place, the outsourcing company takes on the actual execution of the project. This can lead to less control for the client company.
Pros of Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation can be advantageous for a company when fulfilling an IT project since it allows for greater control over the project and facilitates more straightforward integration with internal systems.
As staff augmentation involves utilizing your internal team, it becomes easier to integrate the new IT project with internal processes.
You are in Control
Staff augmentation is often preferred over IT project outsourcing because it gives companies greater internal control over the project.
Cons of Staff Augmentation
A significant disadvantage of staff augmentation is that it depends to some extent on internal resources to complete the project. This can lead to increased project costs, heavier management workloads, and a diversion of attention from core business needs.
Even though companies do not have to provide technical training to virtual staff when utilizing staff augmentation, training may still be needed to familiarize the employee with internal processes, tools, and other relevant knowledge.
When it comes to an IT project, staff augmentation allows for internal management, but as the project needs to expand, it can lead to higher management costs.
When using staff augmentation, locating or modifying resources in response to a change in the project scope can be more challenging.
It is Time Demanding
The practice of staff augmentation involves a mix of internal staff members and virtual staff members. However, this can often result in pulling your IT team away from core business projects without having to make additional hires.
By entrusting the project to an expert remote team and employees, remote outsourcing allows you to hand over everything from start to finish. In addition, remote outsourcing often charges less than an in-house team or staff augmentation because there is no need to invest in training staff or hiring additional team members.
Hiring remote team and employees for your app development project can be advantageous as it offers efficient services and delivers quality results in less time. It also helps if you are stuck between the Flutter VS React Native debate because expert remote employees will help you make a wise decision, according to your app needs and budget.
How can I Choose Between Remote Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation can be beneficial when local resources are scarce. Furthermore, if you are looking for a solution to meet your business needs urgently or when a talent gap arises unexpectedly, staff augmentation is for you.
In contrast, hiring remote team and employees for a software project is a better idea when you require a team to handle the entire project. Managing remote teams is easier than managing an in-house software development team.
Are There Any Best Practices for Managing Remote Outsourcing or Staff Augmentation Teams?
Regarding staff augmentation, closely monitoring your staff’s performance and efficiency is essential. Ensure your team has access to all necessary information and resources, appropriately addresses priorities, and meets deadlines and budget requirements.
Managing remote teams is simpler because you do not have to manage or treat them as your staff. Outsourcing partners function as independent teams and work toward achieving predefined goals according to a set timeline. You may keep in touch with them regularly to monitor progress.
How is Remote Outsourcing Different from Staff Augmentation?
Remote outsourcing involves outsourcing an entire project to an external company. In contrast, staff augmentation involves adding virtual resources to the existing in-house IT team to assist with managing the workload.
Can You Give Any Examples of Successful Remote Outsourcing Or Staff Augmentation Projects?
Staff augmentation involves hiring external workers to meet specific project needs and objectives that align with the organization’s current staffing. For example, suppose your company plans to develop a gaming app that requires seven developers, but your in-house team only has four. In that case, staff augmentation can provide the additional resources needed.
Examples of outsourcing include advertising, office and warehouse cleaning, and website development. In addition, business owners often delegate tasks such as bookkeeping, maintenance, and recruitment to outsourced specialists, allowing them to focus their resources on their primary activities.
Which Industries Is Staff Augmentation or Remote Outsourcing Best For?
Staff augmentation is ideal for Healthcare, Biotech, Financial Services, Construction, and Manufacturing industries. On the other hand, remote team and employees can provide the greatest benefits for retail and commerce, banking and finance, telecom, real estate, healthcare, and education sectors.
How Can I Select a Suitable Remote Outsourcing or Staff Augmentation Partner?
You can find the ideal staffing partner for your company by evaluating your staffing requirements, researching a potential vendor’s expertise, and examining an outsourcing agency’s global reach, communication protocols, commitment to security, and management approach for contracts and cultural differences.
How Can One Ensure Quality Outcomes from A Remote Outsourcing Or Staff Augmentation Team?
Before working with a staff augmentation or remote outsourcing company, it is critical to have a comprehensive understanding of your project’s requirements and expectations. This encompasses the scope of work, timelines, and quality standards.
Consistency in communication is critical to ensure that your team is progressing as planned and meeting your expectations. Establish regular check-ins and status updates to guarantee that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals.
Is Remote Staffing or Staff Augmentation More Cost-Efficient than Hiring Full-Time Employees?
Staff augmentation and remote employees can aid in reducing costs, as they do not require paying full-time salaries to new employees. In addition, hourly rates for these workers are generally lower than hiring a full-time workforce. That makes both of them more cost-effective for your business.
Are Any Risks Associated with Remote Outsourcing or Staff Augmentation, And Is There Any Way To Mitigate The Risks?
Communication can be difficult when using staff augmentation or hiring remote employees due to time zone differences, language barriers, and cultural differences. That can result in miscommunication, misunderstandings, and delays. To minimize this risk, establish clear communication channels, define expectations for response times, and ensure everyone is on the same page. To streamline communication, use tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software for managing remote teams.