There are many ways to encourage your team to be more productive – salary rise, extra days off, team building activities, and others. However, these methods don’t work when your team is overloaded with tasks and can’t focus well on all the business processes in your company. At a time like this, companies search for some external help. That’s when staff augmentation service can really help.
In this article, we explain what staff augmentation is, how it works in IT, and when you need to use one in your company.
What is Staff Augmentation And Why is It Popular for IT Services?
Staff augmentation is one of the most flexible outsourcing models when a business hires external specialists to enhance the working capacity of its inner team on a temporary basis.
This model allows businesses to quickly bridge the gaps on their current projects with skilled professionals. IT staff augmentation companies offer highly qualified employees such as software developers, QA engineers, project managers, system admins, system and business analysts, designers, DevOps specialists, and others.
Staff augmentation services started to quickly gain its popularity in IT especially in recent years. This happens due to several reasons:
- Lack of IT specialists on local market
According to a CBI/TCS report, the UK alone loses £63 billion ($87 billion ) a year as companies can’t find specialists with the right digital expertise. While CNBC states that in the US there are about 1 million tech jobs that remain unfilled. With all that, Statista highlights that staff augmentation services raised from 5.2% to 6.3% in 2018-2020. These statistics show that more and more companies worldwide turn to staff augmentation services in order to find experts with the relevant technical skills and meet their staffing needs.
- Difficulties with hiring specialists for in-house teams in the pandemics conditions
In 2020, the world quickly shifted to remote working-style due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many office workers and teams moved online and managed to establish successful remote communication and collaboration. In 2021, we’re still experiencing the pandemic consequences and sometimes it’s difficult to find and hire the needed employees quickly. A wide range of companies solves this problem by turning to staff augmentation services and hiring workers online from around the globe.
When hiring a staff augmentation team, companies significantly reduce their expenses. They can hire specialized professionals for a short period of time to work on a certain project segment. This allows to avoid overhead costs for full-time employees associated with hiring costs, benefits payment, full-year salaries, and others. Moreover, the rates in Eastern European countries for IT specialists are much less than in most European or US countries due to lower labor costs.
Advantages of Staff Augmentation
What other benefits can you get, apart from reduced expenses on staff costs, when you opt for IT team augmentation?
Staff augmentation can benefit your business in many ways. For example:
- delivers value for money service – staff augmentation companies provide you with various specialists to choose from, this way you can hire top talent for your projects depending on your project ongoing and upcoming demands;
- eliminates any hidden costs – when you hire a remote staff augmentation team you avoid the expenses related to office rentals, buying equipment, and others;
- increases the flexibility of your business – you can quickly scale your project team by adding or removing certain specialists depending on your project needs;
- improves productivity – the software developers you hire from staff augmentation companies focus solely on your project all of their working time and get into every detail and aspect of the developed product;
- saves time for searching the right specialists – when hiring a remote staff augmentation team you get access to the international talent pool and can find software development experts with high technical skills in any IT field, for example, specialists in IoT, Blockchain development, Artificial Intelligence, and many others;
- gives full control of your project – with a staff augmentation team you have full control over your project development and the team members follow the rules of your company for the period of the contract.
When to Use a Staff Augmentation Model?
To get the most from staff augmentation, you need to make sure that this model suits your project best. Here are some examples when it’s a viable option for your business:
- you need to satisfy temporary demand – staff augmentation works best for short-term projects when you need to meet a tight deadline, start some extra projects but your team isn’t available yet, or when your business experiences seasonal upsurges in demand, and others;
- your project requires specialized expertise – when it’s hard to find specialized skills in your area;
- for effective business strategy – some businesses opt for staff augmentation when they what to decrease time-to-market of their product, quickly develop and minimum viable product, launch a startup, better meet their customers’ demands, and other cases;
- to find the right development partner for long-term projects – companies can use staff augmentation services to test various software development companies to find the best partner for a long-term partnership.
Staff Augmentation vs Other Models
As staff augmentation is one of the models in outsourcing, software customers can confuse it with other outsourcing types. Let’s have a look at what are the main differences between hiring a staff augmentation team, opting for a dedicated team, or outsourcing your project to a software development team.
Staff Augmentation vs Project Outsourcing
The main difference between staff augmentation vs project outsourcing is who bears the responsibility for decision making and project management. In the staff augmentation model, the customer is in charge of the provided software development team. While in project outsourcing the customer hands over the project development to their software development partner.
Project outsourcing could better suit your software development project than the staff augmentation model if:
- there is no IT department in your company;
- you want to avoid software development team management duty;
- you want to offload your in-house team, making them focus on the core business tasks.
Staff Augmentation vs Dedicated Team
When comparing staff augmentation aka team expansion vs dedicated team models, we need to find out the difference between a dedicated team and project outsourcing first. That’s because when businesses opt for a dedicated team model they, just like in project outsourcing, hand over an entire project to the team of professional software developers.
The main difference between project outsourcing and dedicated team models is that a dedicated team works only for one customer whereas a project outsourcing team can share several projects. A partnership between a customer and a dedicated team usually lasts much longer than in project outsourcing. Often, a dedicated team becomes an extension of an in-house customer’s team – it establishes close communication and working relationships with an in-house team and understands well the inner business processes in the company.
A dedicated team and staff augmentation may seem similar, though there are some significant differences:
- a dedicated team better suits long-term projects while staff augmentation works better for short-term ones;
- staff augmentation team provides support for your in-house team while a dedicated team is a fully-equipped team ready for developing an entire project;
- when you hire a staff augmentation team you’re in charge of all the managerial duties while a dedicated team has a team manager on board to resolve all the project issues.
Opt for a dedicated team if:
- you want to have a team of software developers completely involved only in your software development project for quite a long period of time;
- you want to choose tech experts in your extended team on your own;
- your project needs a variety of software-related services from business analysis to product support.
How to Succeed with Team Augmentation?
If you’re considering hiring a staff augmentation team, here are some quick tips that can help you to make your team’s work more effective:
- for close inner and outsourced team collaboration arrange some extra meetings for them to get acquainted with each other and the outside team to more quickly understand the processes in your project;
- appoint a project manager for the outside team so that they can resolve any misunderstandings in the project at their inception.
Conclusion on Staff Augmentation Model
When companies consider building a business application or just need some extra help for their current project, they often opt for a staff augmentation model. It allows them to boost the capacity of an in-house team and reduce operational expenses in the company. Meanwhile, some companies use this outsourcing model to build their business strategies or utilize it as a source of unlimited top software development talent for their projects. In any case, the staff augmentation model offers companies a wide range of opportunities to improve their projects and in-house team productivity.
We, at SCAND, hope that this article was useful for you and you’ve found some great ideas on how to enhance your business processes with a staff augmentation model.