Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing – Benefits and Differences

There are various models available for the time when a business needs to outsource employees. Two of the best models are outsourcing and staff augmentation.

Both these models have become well-known in the IT sector in very little time. However, sometimes you might feel stuck in the decision of which one to pick.

In this article, we will learn about staff augmentation vs. outsourcing models.  Their particularities, benefits and disadvantages, and when to use which.

For starters, staff augmentation means hiring individuals with specific talent, and IT outsourcing on the contrary is about hiring a whole dedicated team from a reliable IT outsourcing company.

It may quite interest you to know that IT outsourcing is expected to skyrocket and reach up to US$430.50 billion by the end of 2023, as per the report of Statista. Whereas, the staff augmentation model is also racing at the same pace as the previous model. So which one to pick? 

At the end of this article, we will be able to clearly distinguish between these models; pick the one that fulfills your requirements. So, let’s begin with the article.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation is the strategy of outsourcing the talent that helps the companies to eradicate the gap of new talent in the organization.

This model is about hiring professionals for a short period. Moreover, this process is scalable as well as less expensive than hiring a complete in-house development team.

Adaptable staff augmentation helps you in saving a lot of money and also increases the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).

You might have a thought on how it is possible that this model cuts down the overall expenses? It is because you are not hiring the talent permanently. Hiring a dedicated team costs more, but hiring just a particular professional will be a lot more cost-effective.

As per the project requirements, you can hire one or two particular experts to help your in-house team complete the project development.

Augmented staff joins the team at different development stages. They aim to provide the benefit of their skills to the team and move forward with the project development. 

You save time by looking for and interviewing appropriate candidates. You also do not need to check whether the candidates have proper skills that match your requirements or not. 

As there’s no long-term commitment with that employee, no need to worry about their health insurance and other benefits. By using this model, you save money and get a highly skilled professional.

What is IT Outsourcing?

IT Outsourcing is another outsourcing model that includes an IT outsourcing company or a third-party company that will fulfill your specific IT requirements for your organizational requirements.

At first, staff augmentation vs outsourcing might look like a baseless debate. But there are various differences in both these outsourcing models. 

Instead of providing a few professionals as per the needs of the organization, the IT outsourcing model provides a dedicated team that will help the business build its whole software.

Meanwhile, in Staff Augmentation, organizations can have direct control over the members, but in IT outsourcing, the team might be working from other places. So, you can manage them through technologies like Slack, Skype, Teams, etc.

You don’t have to worry about the quality of your project because everything will be managed by the outsourcing company which is providing you with their team of developers for your project development.

In this model, you will have a wide range of professionals like designers, developers, testers, QA specialists, etc. These professionals are responsible for satisfying the client’s project requirements and ensuring the improvement of operational activities.

Companies of every size can use IT outsourcing to get easy and quick access to practices and technologies that they are lacking. By leveraging the skills of these team members, one can easily cope with their business app development.

Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing- Basic differences

Staff augmentation is the process of adding staff to your team as per the additional experience needed to complete the project. With the specialist outsourced from another company, you can fulfill the entire project resources by using the resources of the other company.

So basically, the debate is between required skills vs required tasks, that is hiring a professional for needed time vs. hiring a whole company or team.

Hence, you get a skilled software team that jumps on the development process of your whole project. It is also more than just providing project consulting services.

Top staff augmentation companies provide experienced and skilled humans for your project development. You do not have to adjust your existing things like infrastructure, for the staff that you are hiring using team augmentation.

The augmented staff may or may not require a special place in the office as they are just a short-term extension to your permanent development team.

However, each technical talent that you hire using the team augmentation gives support for your core business. It is like project outsourcing, instead of hiring a whole dedicated team, in staff augmentation- just add one or two external specialists to your team.

Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing- Pros and Cons

Pros of Staff Augmentation

With the use of this model, you can fulfill the project requirements of your company. It also improves your control of the project and allows easy integration with the project.

  • Better integration. As your internal team is also involved in this process, you can seamlessly integrate the new project with internal processes.
  • You get more control over the system. One main reason that businesses choose staff augmentation is that they get more internal control of the project.
  • Flexi deadlines, you can accelerate your project timeline without any notice.

Cons of Staff Augmentation

  • Can consume more time to make the staff understand your company culture and the whole project. So, you might lose focus on the core business for some time.
  • It has a higher cost of management. If the project requires more expansion, hiring more individuals will increase the cost.
  • Higher cost for training the new individual about what he/she has to work on so that internal processes might keep on working at the same speed.
  • It is more difficult to scale up or down the team once you have hired resources using staff augmentation.

Pros of IT Outsourcing

  • There are fewer chances of extending the deadlines. This is because the dedicated team is already working by keeping the timeline in mind.
  • You get a professional project manager who can manage all the project requirements.
  • The IT outsourcing model requires less training for the team.
  • You don’t have to worry about development, so you can easily focus on the core business.
  • Easily scalable team. So, when your project evolves, you can quickly scale up or down your team.
  • Decreased cost of management.

Cons of IT Outsourcing

  • Difficult to integrate. It is hard to integrate the internal systems with this outsourcing model. Integrated projects by an outsourced team become difficult to add to the project developed with this model with internal systems.
  • Businesses get less control over their project. This is because outsourcing IT professionals means the team will work remotely. You can just have timely interactions with the team and they will let you know what the project advancement status is.
  • If this model is applied to smaller projects, it can be a less cost-effective option for such companies.

Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing- Which to use when?

The above question needs an accurate solution. As per your requirements, you can choose any one from the mentioned models.

Both have their pros and cons. However, if you require more control over your project, go with staff augmentation. But, if you want to concentrate on your core business, and let the development team work on their own, go with an outsourcing model.

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