Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing: Differences And Which to Choose

Staff augmentation and outsourcing are both cost-effective and viable solutions for IT managers working towards meeting performance goals and deadlines at different phases of development.…

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Staff augmentation software outsourcing team at work

Staff augmentation and outsourcing are both cost-effective and viable solutions for IT managers working towards meeting performance goals and deadlines at different phases of development. Although they are similar in some ways, these two options have unique differences that company managers must consider before deciding what will work best for their business.

Choosing staff augmentation or outsourcing is a decision that must be made after considering the needs of your company. These are the key points worth noting as you determine what will work best for your business.


What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a temporary addition to your team that usually employs one person with expert knowledge in a specific field. Augmented staff comes in at various development stages and uses their specialized experience to move your project forward.

Some companies augment staff at the beginning of a project while other managers bring in additional staff right before the product release for reviewing purposes. If there are any flaws or weaknesses found in the system, augmented staff can correct the issues within their capacity.


What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is hiring a team through an outside business that provides workers for a set amount of time or for a specific project. Firms that outsource workers are professionally managed services with an emphasis on helping your business meet specific company goals. The company receiving the service and the outsourcer always establish a contract before work begins.


Staff Augmentation is for companies seeking flexibility

IT managers can speak directly with augmented staff to discuss their progress and tasks can be reassigned at any point in the development phase with the consent of the worker. Unlike outsourcing, augmenting staff doesn’t require companies to stick to specific tasks the entire duration of a project.

If your management team has effective communicators and needs a flexible worker that can quickly adapt to new responsibilities in a changing environment, staff augmentation is the way to go.


Outsourcing is for companies with no room for additional managerial duties

Your company may be better suited for outsourcing if IT supervisors are unable to manage additional employees. An outsourcing firm will provide you with a team that will abide by the terms outlined in your contract. The outsourcer is responsible for training this team, explaining their individual responsibilities, and conducting performance reviews.

Outsourced workers create a less stressful learning environment by giving your permanent staff more time to adapt to new processes. Assigning tasks to contract workers will help your company transition more seamlessly during these transformative periods that require your in-house staff to embrace new technologies or project management approaches.

Outsourcing further allows businesses to work at scale, adding in new team members or releasing them as needed during IT development.


Consider the Hybrid Approach

If neither one of them is meeting your needs, consider a combination of the two. Combining outsourcing and staff augmentation is a hybrid approach that allows you to work interchangeably with outsourced teams and augmented staff at different points in the development process, starting from the initial development phase until completion of the project.

In-house workers have an array of responsibilities to fulfill. In the IT world, these duties are often set alongside short time frames to meet project goals. Whether you choose staff augmentation, outsourcing, or a hybrid approach, companies, and employees will benefit from the additional staff that saves time and money.


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