What Is IT Staff Augmentation?
IT Staff augmentation can be a better way to extend your development team. The modern IT market is highly dynamic with rapidly changing business objectives and technical requirements, so companies look for more cooperation models and staff augmentation companies provide them with development teams.
Thus, trying to have an in-house team meeting all market needs is a rat race; in such a way, businesses risk spending too much energy, time and money on recruitment rather than project completion and launch.
Let’s find out what does staff augmentation mean and why the demand for it has been growing in a wink for the past few years.
What Is Staff Augmentation?
The definition of staff augmentation can be explained as a type of outsourcing strategy that involves hiring more employees from a vendor for project gaps in compliance with the current business objectives. They are hired based on needed skills and can be hired for short or long-term cooperation (if you are looking for long-term cooperation you should also pay attention to talent acquisition service) with a client.
Staff augmentation is incredibly common in the global staffing industry. One of the primary suppliers of staff augmentation talent is estimated to support $490 billion in annual spending. Another source of staff augmentation talent is freelancing, which has been around for centuries but recently gained notoriety through the rise of global freelance platforms.
But let’s talk more about staff augmentation meaning – in simple terms, it is a cooperation process where a company expands its in-house team by hiring remote specialists to fill some roles’ gaps in it.
These services, in particular, are gaining momentum because of the specifics of the IT industry, growing coder rates worldwide, shortage of talents, and the need for companies to solve development tasks quickly.
In the IT sector staff augmentation companies can provide you with:
- QA engineers
- system administrators
- marketing specialists
- tech support specialist
and other specialists with necessary tech skills and hardware/software for the completion of specific tasks.
In such a way, companies can better perform most tasks with their permanent in-house teams in collaboration with offshore developers.
Define staff augmentation also means flexibility in your working process and unlimited access to superb experts. Moreover, to help you to define staff augmentation, we can say that it is a great idea that helps minimize operational costs while maximizing productivity and efficiency, also adds flexibility in your working process and unlimited access to superb experts. However, before you adopt this model, it is imperative to know how it works, its types, benefits, weaknesses, etc.
How Does Staff Augmentation Work?
If your company has certain project requirements and deadlines, staff augmentation might be the solution you need to get the competitive edge you desire. So, how does staff augmentation work?
First, you’ll need to identify where you have skill gaps in your company. What are the resources your organization or team could benefit from? What expertise or specialization would help you reach your project goals or deadlines? All these factors can simplify a job for your staffing company to find the best candidates for a particular role.
The next step is to search for temporary staff to fulfill your organization’s needs. Of course, you can augment your staff on your own, but many larger organizations utilize staff augmentation services as they can provide the most time and cost-effective method of augmenting their staff.
Once you have found the ideal candidates to help fulfill your organization’s needs, you will want to go through a previously designed onboarding process. By having a successful onboarding process, you can ensure that your
Types of Staff Augmentation
This hiring model comes in two types: short-term and long-term collaboration with remote developers.
- Short-term services
It is commonly used by companies during hectic periods, or if a required in-house specialist is on a vacation or sick leave.
- Long-term cooperation
This type of team extension is more suitable for longer projects.
It is used when there is no specialist with a rare tech stack in the company’s location or specialists with such knowledge charge excessively high rates.
More Types of IT Team Augmentation
IT team augmentation refers to supplementing an existing IT team with external resources to enhance their capabilities, fill skill gaps, or handle increased workloads. Here are some common types of team augmentation:
Project-Based Team Augmentation
In this team augmentation model, external IT experts are brought in to work on specific projects or initiatives. They collaborate with the internal team to complete the project within a defined timeline and scope. Project-based team augmentation is commonly used when organizations require specialized skills or need to accelerate project delivery.
Dedicated Development Team
In this type of team augmentation, an external development team is assembled to work exclusively on a specific project for an extended period. The dedicated team operates independently and follows the organization’s guidelines and processes.
Sometimes, IT teams may need ad-hoc assistance from subject matter experts or consultants to address complex challenges or implement specialized technologies. IT team augmentation expertise allows organizations to tap into the knowledge and experience of external specialists for targeted problem-solving or guidance.
Nearshore and Offshore Team Augmentation
Nearshore and offshore team augmentation involves partnering with IT service providers in different geographic regions. Nearshore teams are in relatively close time zones, while offshore teams are typically in distant time zones. These arrangements offer cost advantages, access to a broader talent pool, and the ability to extend team coverage across different time zones.
Each type of IT team augmentation has its advantages and considerations. The choice depends on project requirements, budget, time constraints, and the specific skills needed to complement the existing team.
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Benefits of Staff Augmentation
IT staff augmentation is gaining fast adoption among companies that want to develop high-quality software. There are many benefits of IT staff augmentation for your projects and easily improve your business on relatively short terms.
Let’s take a closer look at the solid advantages of staff augmentation:
When you get a team of professionals for a certain role in your company who can simply integrate in a new place, they can put the entirety of their focus toward reaching the goals and deadlines you set for them.
Access to Great Talents
You have no limit of potential candidates, you can choose from many talents in top tech hubs worldwide. Impressive, isn’t it? This factor significantly increases your chances to find a perfect match among thousands of professionals.
Yes, you pay a fee for your IT staffing company, but to hire specific specialists you have to put a lot of effort including money and time. When you give to professionals, you save tons of time hence more money.
One of the most significant benefits of IT staff augmentation is that it allows you to increase and decrease your workforce practically on-demand. In a way similar to retail stores hiring seasonal employees during the holidays or busy periods of the year.
Staff Augmentation Challenges
Extending a team with additional IT experts is one of the top staff augmentation challenges many businesses face. Setting up a big software development team with multiple pros working on different projects, a long recruitment process will only extend your time to market.
Challenge to Find a Right Vendor
To find a proper staff augmentation service company could be risky as they can guarantee a high-quality service. With Qubit Labs you are protected from any risks.
Staff Augmentation Process
The staff augmentation process is quite simple in most companies and involves three core steps (which are nonetheless flexible and depend on each company’s individual conditions):
Identification of the Skill Gap
At this stage, the company determines the skill gap that it experiences, and contacts outsourced specialists (or communicates that gap to its trusted vendor) to find and hire the required programmers.
Onboarding of Recruited Staff
Once the required specialists are identified and hired by the company, they go through the onboarding process during which they get acquainted with the in-house team, familiarize themselves with core technical concepts, and fuse into the client’s work environment.
Nurturing of Augmented Staff
This stage takes as much time as the augmented staff works for the company. It involves continuous learning and development of augmented team members for the sake of remaining valuable assets of the company’s in-house team and delivering exceptional value on their projects.
What is the Difference Between Staff Augmentation and Managed Services
As soon as a company realizes that its core staff does not cope with all required tasks, the need to involve outsourced staff arises.
At this point, it’s crucial to make a proper choice of augmentation model; at present, extending a team is not the only choice, as the company may opt for managed IT services as well.
Let’s consider extended and managed teams to determine which model is best for which company and what specific resource requirements each of the options is able to satisfy.
In simple words, the difference between these two models is in hiring the Project Manager for managing the augmented staff.
If the client hires a team with a PM, then the model is referred to as managed services.
If the PM from the hiring company oversees the team’s work, such a type of collaboration means only staff augmentation.
Its benefits include:
- Cost-effectiveness (no need to pay for full-time staff in case the company requires only short-term solutions);
- Solution to the turnover problem (companies hiring senior-level tech staff often find it hard to provide them with a steady workload, so many employees leave; this doesn’t happen with augmented staff that works only as long as it is needed);
- Flexibility (the company may easily close the skill gap it experiences right now, without the need to hire a new specialist on a permanent basis).
However, the model also conceals some disadvantages such as:
- The model is not suitable for the short-term work because the cost is unreasonable;
- Need of control (once any staff member is hired, the company has to control offshore developers without the vendor’s interference);
- Operational expenses included (not really a drawback since you pay the price that already includes developer salary and cost of the office facilities).
Managed IT services are beneficial in a way that they embrace the benefits of staff augmentation an at the same time offer additional advantages such as:
- PM available (client doesn’t need to manage an offshore team on his own – together with a team, he/she gets a project manager that is responsible for distributing tasks and monitoring performance);
- Outcome-based collaboration (managed IT services can be hour-rate-based);
- Cost effectiveness (once a PM is allocated by the vendor, not by the company, the client saves costs on the recruitment of an in-house PM);
- Improved communication (the client has a more reliable point of contact – the team’s PM, which is much more convenient than managing an outsourced team).
Nevertheless, it’s still not an ideal, universal hiring model, as it also involves some drawbacks:
- Lack of control (as soon as the team and the PM work on an outsource basis, most intermediary decisions are made by them, not by the client);
- Reliability issue (it’s important to order managed services from a reputable vendor, since the team with a PM acts as a separate, though connected, part of the company’s staff);
- Integration challenges (external work still needs to be integrated into the internal processes).
Thus, next time when you think of staff augmentation vs managed services, keep these issues in mind and see what fits your business best.
List of Staff Augmentation Companies
- Qubit Labs
Qubit Labs specialized at outsourcing and outstaffing services and helping companies to hire a dedicated team from top tech outsourcing countries.
Staff augmentation company focusing on providing companies with skillful candidates easy and risk-free.
- Mind IT System
Company offers multiple services including staff augmentation with diligent developers.
It is a software development company with a startup development background. This expertise opens up to developing efficient solutions for your digital business growth.
Staff augmentation company focusing on growing their clients’ businesses by transforming consumer journeys through innovative design and robust tech solutions, crafting powerful brands, and aggressive growth marketing.
Company has developed over 100 different products such as: e-commerce systems, mobile banking, loyalty management mobile applications, ERP systems, online platforms for ticket sales, and etc.
- Inther Software Development (ISD)
ISD provides software project outsourcing and team augmentation (outstaffing) for software product development to companies that want to innovate and upscale their businesses in order to be ahead of competition and increase their productivity.
The company is experienced in the implementation of integration solutions, combining the entire IT infrastructure of an enterprise into a common effective ecosystem.
The company is the partner of choice for many of the leading enterprises, SMEs and technology challengers. They help businesses elevate their value through custom software development, product design, QA and consultancy services.
It is an IT sourcing provider with over 20 years of experience in the industry. They provide IT augmentation services for multiple countries with high-skillful professionals worldwide.
Steps to Find a Staff Augmentation Company
Once you are ready to welcome the new staff in your team, we recommend going through the following eight steps for finding a proper vendor for this task.
Among a multitude of companies offering their services in the global market today, quite a few are really reliable and qualified.
So, not to waste time and money, start working with true professionals at once. To do so, you need to:
- Determine the kind of talent you lack;
- Specify which type of services you need – long- or short-term – you require depending on your business tasks;
- Research several outsourcing markets to see which suits you best (we recommend considering both nearshore and offshore outsourcing as favorable options; the most frequent regions of choice are Asia and Eastern Europe);
- Determine the preferred location (based on the comfortable time zone difference, comfortable travel routes, affordable provider rates);
- Find 3-5 staff augmentation companies providing services in that location;
- Verify their testimonials, their technical recruiters team and references;
- Hold negotiations to inquire about pricing, contract details, hidden costs;
- Sign a contract.
A little bit more on this topic:
Determine the Kind of Talent you Lack
Prioritize what tasks are necessary to cover in your team for better productivity. So, it is easier to choose what type of team augmentation model you need.
Nearshore or Offshore?
Before engaging the software team augmentation team, consider which outsourcing model suits you best. For example, Qubit Labs offers various countries to engage IT team augmentation for both nearshore and offshore models.
Determine the Location
Make a list of preferable countries based on the comfortable time zone difference, comfortable travel routes, and affordable provider rates); Qubit Labs will help you to find the best countries for your technical team augmentation.
Choose the Vendor
Find 3-5 professional companies that can provide you with software development team augmentation. Pay attention to their expertise, experience, similar cases and various services. Verify their testimonials, their technical recruiters team, and references;
Sign a Contract
With the help of a professional vendor, you can enjoy all the benefits of software team augmentation and focus on your company priorities while your team deals with your tasks. If you are looking for a vendor with a great experience of providing technical team augmentation, Qubit Labs is your reliable partner.
Now that you know what staff augmentation is, you can consider all pros and cons of this staffing model and make an appropriate decision for your business.
Take into account the specifics of extended teams and managed services, analyze the target market, and find the best solution depending on the length of required assistance, the breadth of tech skills required, and the budget you wish to comply with. Overall, this model is a highly flexible and convenient hiring model today, but it will serve you well only in case you work with trusted providers and invest some extra time in scribing a proper agreement.
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