Industries around the world are facing some of the most difficult staffing and resource decisions they’ve ever had to make as a result of Covid-19’s impact. How can businesses meet deadlines and achieve their goals with limited staff? What‘s the best model for you within your finances and budget? How can you keep your operations efficient, and have a team with all the skills needed for future projects? Outsourcing has become a popular model for companies to address these problems, whether that’s bringing someone external into your company or outsourcing entire workloads and projects. Here we get our two models: Staff Augmentation vs IT Project Outsourcing. So what’s the right one for you? In this article we’ll cover all you need to know about augmentation and outsourcing, providing you with the knowledge to take the next step forward.
STAFF AUGMENTATION – THE BASICS
Staff augmentation is a means of contractually employing and staffing additional people. It means you can keep your core team whilst adding flexible contracted workers. The Wall Street Journal looked at the growing trend of flexible workers, contracted workers, and outsourced workers being integrated into workplaces. You can reach out to contractors and staff augmentation firms who will provide you with the skilled, resourced worker(s) that you need. Let’s say you have a project, and you need someone with specific training in using particular software, or you need a designer or engineer, and you already have a team that can carry the rest of the workload. Instead of employing someone on a full-time contract and paying for the overheads, staff augmentation gives you the flexibility to contract who you need for that project and for that amount of time.
Staff Augmentation – The Pros:
Staff augmentation firms have a database of highly qualified staff that is ready to integrate into your team dynamic and internal operations.
This model means you can maintain control over your team and workflow, instead of depending on another organisation or a freelancer who is detached from your operations. This is particularly helpful when you’re clear on your objectives and goals but just need that additional help.
You can identify the specialised skills that are missing from your team and fill them with a selection of specialists from vendors and staff augmentation firms. This also means you can reduce the cost of acquiring those skills, as you won’t have to invest in internal skills development and training.
Staff augmentation is a great way to balance and redistribute workloads for the rest of your team. Your team might be juggling multiple jobs or completing tasks they’re not highly skilled in doing. Adding staff with the tools, skills, and allotted time to complete projects will boost your productivity and free up your team’s time.
Staff Augmentation – The Cons:
You’ll need to consider if your internal processes are efficient to meet the demands of your future projects and goals. If those infrastructures are poor, specialist individuals will struggle to complete their tasks and adhere to your operations.
You need to consider if you’re capable of increased management overheads given your circumstances since you’ll be responsible for a larger team and the integration of your temporary staff.
You remain responsible for the planning, management, projects, and tasks of your company; staff augmentation is a way of delivering resources and results for an allotted period of time, but the end product will remain your responsibility.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution and require an additional in-house team, staff augmentation probably won’t be the best model for you.
Staff augmentation isn’t a long term investment in your economy of scale.
IT PROJECT OUTSOURCING
Unlike staff augmentation which installs staff and resources into your team and business, IT Project Outsourcing allows you to transfer entire projects to a firm that will take care of everything for you. This can include design work, software development, social media, copywriting, and implementation. For example, if you didn’t have the time, the man-power, expertise, and resources for a future project, hiring an entirely new team of staff or investing in the equipment to get the project done might not be a financially viable option. Passing those responsibilities on to an external company can be a cost-effective and time-management saving asset.
IT Project Outsourcing – The Pros:
Project outsourcing often relies upon collaboration and your input; the external company will set targets and goals depending upon the information you give them. Nevertheless, the responsibility to deliver results is in their hands.
You’ll have more time to focus on your core business.
You’ll be outsourcing your work to experts in the field with the latest knowledge of both digital and market trends.
The cost-cutting benefit of not having to hire new staff or train your existing staff members.
Outsourcing companies work to deliver the highest standards and results, and they will be contractually obliged to do so. They should give you frequent updates and present you with the work they’ve done throughout development. To this end, you can deliver feedback throughout the process until you have a product, service, or project you’re satisfied with.
You can avoid the legal landscape when it comes to contracting employees, including sick pay, annual leave, and the recruitment process.
If you’re a start-up looking for guidance and need help getting established in the digital and tech industries, if you’re already established but have an out-dated website and need a digital transformation, or if you simply don’t have the time and capabilities to complete a large project, completely outsourcing your excess workload to an external company might be the right choice for you.
IT Project Outsourcing – The Cons:
If you’re working on a small or short-term project outsourcers might be reluctant to take on the work as they tend to prefer more long-term contracts.
You’ll be handing a lot of power and responsibility to a body outside of your organisation. Whilst this does take the pressure of your workload, it also relinquishes a lot of your control. You’ll have to decide if you’re happy to cede that level of management and responsibility.
There is still a high level of integration required between you and your external company. Your external company will have to learn about your target audience, business model, product information, etc. If communication is poor and information is lost in translation, it can make the integration complex and slow down the overall process of the project.
WHAT'S THE BEST MODEL FOR ME AND HOW CAN I FIND THE BEST VENDOR?
Here are some simple suggestions for choosing the right model:
Staff Augmentation Model:
You have a small shortage of IT talent, skills and resources.
You have a short-term project.
You’re looking for something cost-effective in the short-term.
You need quick results and don’t have time to go through a recruitment process, external integration process, nor do you have the capacity to employ additional full-time staff.
You want to maintain control over all of your internal operations and processes.
IT Project Outsourcing Model:
You have a long, complex IT project coming up that will require more resources and workers to complete.
You’re looking to foster a long-term relationship with experts who can provide guidance, resources and an additional workforce you’re not responsible for.
You want a long-term cost-effective model.
You need the time time to focus on your core business.
You’re willing to hand over responsibility to an external body.
The right model for you will depend on several factors such as time-scale, your existing team and workforce, the size of your project, and your willingness to hand over management and control. In both cases, there are thousands of competitive staff augmentation firms and outsourcing software development companies for you to consider. When you’re selecting your vendor, you need to be clear in your aims, objectives, requirements, and needs. Since you or your future firm might work remotely and internationally, you’ll also want to consider time zones differences too. Finally, you could consider a hybrid approach, going with a company that can provide both staff augmentation and project outsourcing capabilities; this could be particularly effective if you need support for both long-term and short-term projects.
Taking the next step can be a daunting task with a weight of options to consider. At Invatechs, we’re committed to finding solutions to your tech and IT problems. We provide our own web apps and mobile apps development services and can partner with you for any upcoming maintenance and support projects. Contact us today and find out more about how we can help you navigate the world of outsourcing, learn about our industry expertise, and how we can push your project to the best it can be.