In the fast-paced, highly competitive business environment, staying agile is the key to success for any business. Companies that are unable to react fast enough during unanticipated moments can miss important opportunities and soon become irrelevant. Thus, staying agile and dexterous helps businesses face challenges and deal with unexpected changes effectively.
Having said that, it’s extremely challenging—almost impossible—for companies to always have IT resources required to face unpredicted scenarios at their disposal. Unfortunately, in most cases, the existing IT staff is unable to cater to evolving needs. Moreover, conventional hiring approaches fail to address these issues due to their inherent limitations.
Here, staff augmentation can prove to be a savior. It offers organizations a choice to procure services of experienced, specialized employees without having to go through a screening and hiring process. Moreover, businesses also bypass development and training, which not only saves money but also provide instant access to an efficient and resourceful workforce.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing model that helps businesses extend their in-house team for a certain period of time. This means companies can hire experienced, specialized employees for both short and long term that are suitable for the project, without taking responsibilities that come with conventional hiring.
Through staff augmentation, employees are chosen according to their expertise and skills that can help businesses to fulfill their initiatives. During the arrangement, the personnel remains an employee of the service organization, however, the client maintains complete control over their job responsibilities, processes, and, most importantly, deliverables.
Types of Staff Augmentation
There are mainly two approaches that an organization can take when using staff augmentation; onsite project and offshore project.
When using an onsite approach, a team of experts is sent to the client’s site. The staff members work in the client’s workspace, which means the client must arrange infrastructure, equipment, hardware, software, and office supplies for them.
With onsite staff augmentation, the service provider typically offers transportation and lodging, but it’s important for both parties to discuss the terms before the arrangement.
Offshore project approach
When using an off-shore project approach, the service provider offers a team of experts, who are dedicated only for client-related jobs. Working hours are decided by the client, but mutually beneficial terms can always be negotiated.
How is staff augmentation different from conventional outsourcing?
Staff augmentation can be considered a type of subcontracting, but it’s very different from conventional outsourcing. Unlike the latter, staff augmentation provides a higher degree of control over the temporary staff.
As a result, organizations are able to monitor and keep track of their temporary workforce’s progress as they work alongside their regular workforce—full time hires, to be precise. There are many other advantages of choosing staff augmentation over traditional outsourcing practices.
For instance, it also helps in maintaining confidentiality when working on projects with highly sensitive information. Moreover, integration with complex projects becomes much easier and hassle-free.
Staff Augmentation and IT
Outsourcing is not a new concept and it has been around for decades. From accounting, payroll, HR to finance, companies outsource different functions to leverage low costs and better efficiency. Augmentation, on the other hand, allows businesses to subcontract key business functions, while maintaining greater control over how things are done.
Especially, when it comes to IT, staff augmentation has shown promising results and helps businesses find success. Recruiting in-house IT staff can be time-consuming and complex; not to mention, freelance contractors are not always reliable. But staff augmentation offers the same benefit of full-time, specialized staff at a significantly lower amount of costs.
Key Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation
One big disadvantage of traditional hiring is a lack of flexibility as full-time employees cannot be fired and hired easily. It becomes a huge problem when a company is dealing with sudden changes, which is often the case in the IT industry. Staff augmentation provides a perfect solution to this problem.
Staff augmentation works in the team extension model, which enables a company to add skilled professionals to their workforce without any hassle. It’s a great option for companies that constantly experience a shift in demands or have to deal with unexpected workloads. It allows company flexibility to take up and complete projects of any complexity or magnitude.
Recruiting made easy
Recruitment is a challenging task, but it has never been more difficult as the job market has now largely become candidate-driven. Attracting, hiring and retaining competent IT professionals requires a strategic and well-thoughtout process. Aside from that, it’s extremely hard to know whether a candidate is honest and right for the job.
Did the candidate lie about any qualifications or experience in the resume? Will the candidate stick with the company after the probationary and training period? Will the candidate be able to learn work processes in a certain period of time? These are some of the many questions that recruiters need to ponder upon. Here, staff augmentation comes to the rescue.
Most reputable service providers have a database of experienced and skilled IT professionals which allow companies to choose a candidate who is the best fit for the job. Also, they provide access to the employees with a certain skillset to help fill the missing gap, helping businesses to maintain a competent workforce and operate efficiently.
When it comes to hiring full-time employees, it can be a costly commitment. Especially, when companies require staff to meet short term dermands; a full-time, permanent employees is clearly not a financially viable choice.
Aside from base salary, other benefits such as bonuses, tax benefits, insurance, sickpay, paid holiday, among others, can make the arrangement very expensive. In addition to that, companies also incur expenses in arranging a workspace, equipment, and office supplies, further adding to the costs.
On the other hand, staff augmentation allows companies to get top-notch services without making long-term commitments. On-demand staffing provides companies access to an external team that exclusively works for them, which does not add to organizational overheads and, in fact, gets the work done more efficiently due to their specialized IT skills.
Expertise and Specialized Skill Set
Small and medium-sized IT companies—or startups, per se—do not have the budget to hire staff with the specialized skillset, which often limits their ability to undertake complex projects or forces them to operate with a lower rate of efficiency. In most cases, hiring and infrastructural costs are the primary reasons why they are unable to hire and retain a skilled workforce.
Staff augmentation offers short-term employees who work remotely and which gives SMEs access to a workforce with specialized skillset without incurring in physical costs of housing and hiring costs. This allows them to remain relevant in the saturated IT industry and compete against the big guns.
Efficient Staff Management
When a company outsources an IT project, it has to rely on the workflow and processes of the IT service provider. While the company decides the scope of the project, they are not able to control activities, operations, and deliverables, which means there are higher risks of facing issues pertaining to quality.
Staff augmentation provides greater control over the IT team and workflow when compared to outsourcing. It offers greater authority and helps companies monitor the complete development process and take prompt actions in case any problem arises. This means complications can be identified and resolved quickly and, consequently, the project can be completed more efficiently.
When a company chooses an IT outsourcing vendor, they have to rely on their experience and reputation. However, they are not able to pick an expert who will undertake the assignment. In many cases, employees are working on multiple projects, which can make it difficult for them to properly focus and give their best.
Staff augmentation allows businesses to choose professionals who possess skillsets perfectly suited for specific projects. For instance, a company looking to develop software can choose a backend developer, frontend developer, and a database programmer from either the same vendor or multiple vendors, depending on their requirements.
The person hired will have a specific role assigned, so they can exclusively focus on the task at hand, which will help to increase workflow efficiency and effectiveness. The gist is, companies can always choose a candidate with the right skillsets to complete the job, which helps guarantee high-quality work.
Whether there’s an in-house development task or external assignment, every project comes with a deadline. In the IT industry, in particular, the ability to meet deadlines is valued immensely since all the projects are time-sensitive.
Staff augmentation helps companies to meet even the most aggressive deadlines by providing them on-demand access to an experienced and specialized workforce. Consequently, it allows them to deliver results on time, without having to compromise on quality.
An Objective Perspective
Full-time in-house employees can get accustomed to the processes of the company and become too comfortable with the existing workflow, which may restrict their ability to identify inefficiencies in the operations. Moreover, office policies and pre-existing loyalties can also hamper their objectivity to provide a fair and impartial opinion.
Staff augmentation allows companies to bring temporary staff members to the team, who can provide an objective opinion and a fresh look at their IT processes. A fresh pair of eyes is more likely to identify any inefficient and wasteful processes, which will help organizations improve efficiency and productivity.
Things To Consider When Choosing an IT Staff Augmentation Service Provider
When looking for IT staff augmentation services, it’s important to perform proper due diligence. Here are some of the things to take into consideration before hiring an IT staff augmentation service provider.
Experience and Qualification
Since the IT industry evolves and changes every minute, it is important to choose a service provider that is up-to-date with every trend. Experience and qualifications are good indicators of the reliability and quality of services in the IT industry.
Therefore, an organization should opt for a service provider who possesses several years of experience in the IT industry as they will be able to offer personnel who are well-versed with most cutting-edge technologies.
After all, the purpose of choosing IT staff augmentation is to bring rich experience to the table and ensure that the company is equipped with the expertise to take even the most complex projects without any hassle and remain relevant in the industry.
Since the introduction of artificial intelligence, big data augmented and virtual reality, the IT sector has grown into a vast industry with several divisions. Therefore, choosing an IT staff augmentation service provider solely on the basis of experience or reputation is not enough.
It’s important to choose the service provider with technical expertise relevant to the business. This will help to ensure that the company get access to specialized services and make the most out of the arrangement.
Most companies procure IT staff augmentation services without taking cultural aspects into account. Cultural differences can often lead to conflicts and disagreements, which can lead to inefficiency and undesired results.
When it comes to IT Staff Augmentation it’s critical to ensure that the staff augmentation company is a cultural fit with the in-house team so that they are comfortable in collaborating and working together.
Some important factors to keep in mind
- Latest, up-to-date Infrastructure – It’s essential that a service provider has the latest infrastructure, devices, and equipment in place to reliably provide their services. This will ensure that both in-house and remote team are on the same page and work without facing any technical or performance issues.
- Ability to meet deadlines – IT staff augmentation services are primarily hired to get access to a competent, resourceful workforce to complete a project within the given timeframe. Hence, a company must make sure that the service provider has a staff that is competent and skillful enough to meet stringent deadlines.
- Flexibility to choose a team – When hiring IT staff augmentation services, it’s important that a company is able to select a team of their choice. This flexibility will help to ensure the success of a project and provide peace of mind. In fact, that’s precisely the factor that truly differentiates staff augmentation from conventional outsourcing.
- Dedicated to the project – Usually IT staff augmentation teams are solely dedicated to the projects assigned by the client. But there are instances where teams are assigned to multiple projects. Thus, it’s important to ascertain that the IT team or staff is only dedicated to the project and not work on anything else.
The Hybrid Approach
A company that does not maintain an in-house IT department and outsource their IT processes can also benefit from staff augmentation. Using a hybrid approach, an organization can assign primary IT processes to the team of IT staff augmentation service provider and assign less important tasks to the outsourcing company.
This way, a company can benefit from expertized IT services, have greater control, and ensure a high level of confidentiality. However, it’s important that they choose service providers who are compatible with each other so that no disagreements and disputes arise during the process. In case both providers are incompatible, it’s better to opt for staff augmentation.
To conclude, IT staff augmentation is a cost-effective and convenient method that equips the company with specialized service. It eliminates costs and responsibilities that relate to hiring full-time, permanent employees as organizations can hire workforce without making long-term commitments.
Moreover, it provides access to a highly competent and experienced talent pool which may not be available to companies otherwise. The added flexibility, scalability, efficiency, and other aforementioned benefits make IT staff augmentation an ideal choice for businesses looking to successfully manage their IT operations.
Looking for reliable, high-quality IT staff augmentation services to maximize productivity, reduce costs, and get your hands on specialized IT skillsets? Get in touch with us EX2 Outcoding. Our team members work exclusively for you and ensure strict adherence to your processes and all the procedures involved. To find out more about our services, call us at +1 800 974 7219 ext. 202 or visit our website.