Software Development and Consulting Options for the Telecommunications Industry

June 1, 2020
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Your telecommunications company is complex, and while you may have excellent IT personnel to tackle every-day tasks, you might find that you need more help for special projects like software development and consulting

For example, a new broadband installation project could require custom applications or advice about how best to integrate new software into legacy systems. You want your company to reach its full potential but may be uncertain whether the necessary IT capabilities are in place internally.

But how do you know when the time is right to augment your in-house IT team? How can doing so benefit your operations? Are there different types and sources of staff augmentation to choose from? Here we explore different options for IT staff augmentation, the expertise outside assistance can provide, and other considerations to help guide you. 


When to Augment Your IT Team

Before you decide to pursue this option, determine whether it’s wise or appropriate to augment your IT team at this time. Since the answer to that question may change in the future, be sure to periodically reevaluate conditions to determine when staff augmentation can best help your operations.

If any of the following situations currently apply to your telecommunications company, you should take steps to look into staff augmentation:

  • To successfully pursue a new project, you need to add certain specialized skills or resources that your in-house IT team lacks.
  • You have periodic or seasonal needs for additional assistance, but don’t necessarily require the added help year-round.
  • There’s a shortage in the local IT talent market from which you can hire full-time employees.
  • You want to gain access to a global pool of software development and consulting talent.
  • You need additional IT help right now, but you don’t have the time or money to spend on recruitment, hiring, and onboarding new employees.
  • You want to expand your IT team to focus on a new market, or a larger portion of your existing one, but you aren’t sure it will become a permanent expansion.
  • You’d like to continue managing your IT team, maintaining control over software development projects, and closely monitoring progress along the way, while also adding outside help.


Benefits of IT Outsourcing

The benefits of IT outsourcing approaches, such as staff augmentation, are many. For starters, you can fill gaps in your in-house IT team’s skills or resources with highly qualified experts. When you do so, you help your team to expand their skill sets by learning from specialized outsourced professionals working alongside them. 

Additionally, these software development and consulting professionals are up-to-date on IT developments and can utilize the latest in technology resources. They add new experience and insights to your existing team and promote quality results.

Using outsourcing, you can achieve lower costs over hiring new, full-time employees because you save on recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, benefits, and overhead expenses. You only pay for the work you need, when you need it, and you reduce the workloads and increase the productivity of your in-house team. 

With this approach, the outsourced experts take on additional or more specialized responsibilities. You can complete projects more quickly because outsourced professionals don’t need a long ramp-up period. 

Outsourcing to achieve staff augmentation also allows you to expand or contract your IT team as needed to accommodate temporary or seasonal projects or changes in market demands. You can also respond quickly to new opportunities, such as the need for new technologies, without expecting your team to take on tasks for which they lack the capability or experience. 


Staff Augmentation Versus Other Models

There are several ways you can utilize outside help for software development projects, other than staff augmentation. They include IT project outsourcing (also known as managed services) and creating your own R&D center or external IT unit. These options differ in required costs and responsibilities, level of control you maintain over the project, involvement of your in-house IT team, and the amount of risk you take on.

With staff augmentation, you can personally choose from among a group of candidates and manage that augmented team with the methods you prefer. The vendor takes care of all administrative tasks, but you and your in-house team get to collaborate with the augmented team and can closely monitor project progress from beginning to end. Costs are flexible, depending on how much assistance you need and how long you need it to last.

With IT project outsourcing, the outsourcing vendor puts the team together for you and also oversees all aspects of project development. You might not know who is working on your project or what decisions they’re making along the way. Under this model, your company doesn’t need any in-house tech expertise. The outsourced team delivers the final product once it’s completed.

You also have the option to establish your own R&D center in another country. This method requires a minimum of 40 professionals and requires you to learn about the culture and legal system of that country. In addition, you must handle administrative tasks, like managing payroll and providing needed equipment. You must also assume all the risks when it comes to the project. Costs can be high, and you have less flexibility to easily change the size of your team as needs shift.


Nearshoring Versus Onshoring and Farshoring

Before finding an outsourcing provider for your IT staff augmentation, you need to decide between nearshoring, onshoring, and farshoring. These types are based on the location of the vendor relative to your company’s location. The following video explains these options: 

The benefits of choosing a nearshore vendor, like BairesDev, include:

  • Lower costs and shorter wait times than onshoring.
  • Common language and culture to promote a seamless and productive working relationship with your in-house team.
  • Availability during the same business hours, given the common time zone, so your team can communicate with the outsourced professionals in real-time.
  • Less distance to travel for in-person meetings when compared to farshoring.


Staff Augmentation for Telecommunications

Staff augmentation, using outside personnel from nearshore outsourcers to increase your in-house IT team’s capacity or supplement missing skills and resources, can offer your telecommunications company cost savings, scalability, and access to a highly-skilled pool of software development and consulting professionals.


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