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Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: A Detailed Comparison

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: A Detailed Comparison
blog-author Sandip 10+ Years of Exp.

Today, businesses need to be on their toes in the IT industry. Along with knowing several emerging technologies, it is vital to be aware of different hiring approaches. Why?

Different hiring methodologies like outsourcing, consulting, and team augmentation can boost your output considerably. However, you should choose a service that suits your organization’s requirements.

The staff augmentation vs consulting comparison is trending in the software domain. Many companies want to know the most suitable hiring model between the two options. With a plethora of choices in the IT market, it can become confusing to point out the most apt approach.

So, this blog sheds light on staff augmentation consulting and guides you to understand each module in depth. Scroll ahead to acquaint yourself with these concepts. By the end of this technical blog, you can become aware of one of the top IT vendors that can offer both services.

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: The Basics

Consulting and staffing are two of the most common hiring plans. So, as a businessperson or entrepreneur, you must be familiar with both these terms.

Here is a recap of these approaches in simple words:

  • Consulting: An activity in which a proficient IT company advises clients about the latest technologies and aligns the same to meet business goals
  • Staffing: A process of finding top professionals to complete an ongoing project(s) or any designated work of your organization

Staff augmentation vs consulting is a comparison that works along the same lines. However, there are certain modifications and additions to these two modern concepts.

  • Staff Augmentation

Staff Augmentation

“Staff augmentation has several staffing solution benefits. Besides flexibility, reduced cost, and access to talent, companies maintain control with full management over their company operations. They also don’t need to spend time on a recruiting process.” – Garry Lea, CEO, Global Triangles.

You might be familiar with these common names:

All these terms are interchangeable and have a similar meaning in the IT sector. Nearly 6% of sales in the software industry come from staff augmentation.

In simple terms, staff aug implies hiring temporary employees with specific skills to complete projects that can generally span between six months to two years. Top staff augmentation companies provide such professionals to your business as per requirements.

Here are some of the noteworthy facets of staff aug:

  • In staff augmentation, you do not need to conduct a typical hiring process
  • The new staff members are temporary but dedicate their expertise to your project
  • Reliable team augmentation vendors provide vetted professionals after analyzing your company’s requirements and budget
  •  You do not need to provide benefits like sick leaves, medical insurance, or other incentives to such staff members

Overall, a staff augmentation project becomes more efficient due to the presence of such dedicated professionals.

  • IT Consulting

IT Consulting

In this hiring approach, you finalize a contract with external professionals who work on your project. Unlike staff aug, consultants do not become temporary members of your in-house team.

In fact, these professionals work externally to offer invaluable insights and advice to your business. This nature of working is one of the fundamental differences in the staff augmentation vs consulting comparison.

Generally, an IT consulting firm offers a wide range of services as follows:

  • Project planning
  • Management
  • Conceptualization
  • Project Designing
  • Implementation
  • Post-launch services
  • Customer service

The utility of this hiring approach is evident from a simple statistic. Consulting accounts for over 34% of sales in IT professional services. So, this service ranks number one in the software industry.

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: Point-wise Breakdown

Now that you understand the main basics, it is crucial to understand each parameter that compares both concepts. This section lays down each point in depth.

1. Cost-Effectiveness


In simple terms, cost-effectiveness implies the comparison between the relative cost and outcome of a particular service. This aspect plays an essential role in selecting a customized service for the staff augmentation vs consulting difference.

  • Staff Augmentation

A staff augmentation project is cost-effective. Why?

In this technical service, you do not need to pay additional expenses that cover an employee’s auxiliary expenses. Whether medical expenses, paid leaves, appraisals, or taxes, your business is not liable to pay any of these charges.

So, IT staff augmentation saves costs and is highly likely to deliver good results.

  • Consulting

You do not require to build or create an in-house team in consulting and staffing. Also, the professionals do not become additions to your staff. A dependable software development organization employs a team to advise you on crucial insights.

As the team works from their location, there are specific cost savings. In comparison with staff augmentation consulting, this service can be a tad expensive.

  • The Verdict

Both staff augmentation and consulting are cost-effective. However, the former holds a slight edge due to more flexibility.

2. IT Infrastructure

IT Infrastructure

Hardware and software components in your company comprise the IT infrastructure. These days, cloud solutions, network elements, and other auxiliary equipment are integral to a robust software development setup.

  • Staff Augmentation

In this service, a team augmentation company provides additional staff to complete your project. So, setting the infrastructure is your responsibility.

Be it on-site or remote working, you need to supply the necessary equipment to the augmented team. Depending on the duration of the technical project, the choice of these components becomes crucial.

  • Consulting

A consulting and staffing company is independent of your IT infrastructure. They will usually provide all the required tools and technologies after finalizing a deal.

So, you do not need to arrange additional equipment in this hiring approach.

  • The Verdict

Consulting has the edge over staff augmentation as you do not need to take care of or arrange the infrastructure requirements. So, companies with a dedicated budget can prefer hiring a third-party vendor after analyzing all the technical competencies.

3. Need for Training

Need for Training

In the software industry, training implies teaching methodologies, tools, and techniques necessary to complete a company’s project. With abundant options in the market, different companies need to choose the ones most suitable for their business model.

  • Staff Augmentation

The professionals you receive to augment your team in this service are adept with modern technologies. However, they might not be familiar with your internal operations.

It is vital to understand that staff aug technicians work temporarily with your team. So, they need to comply with the standards and regulations of your business. Training is thus crucial for such members. You can allocate a Project Manager or Learning and Development personnel to teach required skills or offer essential information.

  • Consulting

When you choose consulting and staffing, an external vendor takes care of all your project requirements. Be it developers, graphic designers, managers, or content creators, all these professionals work for the software development vendor.

So, you do not need to provide training for such professionals. This benefit saves time and resources that you might need to utilize for creating learning material.

  • The Verdict

In this staff augmentation vs consulting pointer, the latter proves beneficial. However, in staff aug, you do not need to conduct detailed technical training programs. In fact, some professionals only require a quick glance at your operations and tools.

So, you can consider this parameter to be neutral.

4. The Communication Aspect

The Communication Aspect

In the IT sector, communication comprises the following facets:

  • Clarity
  • Transparency
  • Prompt response
  • Adherence with deadlines
  • Use of appropriate platforms

The staff augmentation vs consulting comparison has a well-defined distinction in this aspect.

  • Staff Augmentation

In staff augmentation consulting, you can communicate directly with the temporary staff. The professionals become a part of your team. So it is easy to track their progress and resolve any queries in real-time.

This aspect ensures a smooth workflow and better control over the team. Thus, staff aug can prove handy if you want to gain quick insights on the progress of your project.

  • Consulting

A software development vendor is not available to communicate at all times. In addition, such organizations work on various projects simultaneously. So, the attention to your task is limited.

Consulting and staffing do have this limitation. However, if you choose a reliable IT consultant, it is possible to plan daily meetings and receive all the essential updates on the project. The choice of your software vendor proves vital in this scenario.

  • The Verdict

Staff augmentation holds an edge over consulting in the communication facet. Since the professionals are a temporary part of your team, having more control over their activities is possible.

5. Data Security

Data Security

In simple terms, data security is a process to safeguard sensitive information throughout the entire life cycle. This aspect covers all components like hardware, cloud, software, administration vaults, and other storage fields.

  • Staff Augmentation

The chances of a security breach are low in terms of staff aug. Why?

Well, the augmented staff works at your designated space. Be it on-site or remote, temporary professionals use your platforms to develop a project.

This activity enables complete control over security measures. So, the chances of leaking sensitive information are minimal.

  • Consulting

In this hiring approach, you need to share data with your software vendor. So, there is a possibility of security breaches if the external entity is not reliable.

Data security in terms of consulting services depends entirely on the authenticity of your vendor.

  • The Verdict

With staff augmentation, you have more control over data security. For consulting services, you need to choose an IT consultant correctly before outsourcing your work. So, if you have big sensitive data, a staff augmentation project can prove to be a good decision.

Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: Other Miscellaneous Differences

So far, you can distinguish between staff augmentation and consulting based on the following five crucial factors:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Infrastructure
  • Training
  • Communication
  • Data security

In addition to these terms, there are further miscellaneous factors that are different between the two. The following table offers a quick look at the other differences between team augmentation and IT consulting:

Table: Staff Augmentation vs Consulting: Miscellaneous Factors

Sr. No. Factor Staff Augmentation IT Consulting
1 Flexibility High Low
2 Management Necessary Not Necessary
3 Trial Possible Not Possible
4 Expertise Good Good

If you observe all the factors, one thing becomes clear – both strategies can suit different businesses. In fact, there is no clear-cut winner between the two models. So, the choice between staff augmentation vs consulting depends on your company’s requirements and budget.

To Wrap Up

Staff augmentation services and IT consulting are two major outsourcing types. The former includes hiring a temporary team to work on your project. On the contrary, the latter implies availing the services of a professional IT organization.

Each project completion strategy has its own set of pros and cons. In some cases, staff aug can prove beneficial for your business. On the other hand, consulting can meet all the requirements of a business in the best possible way.

As a business, you should evaluate the main differences between the two services. Lay down the crucial aspects and make an informed decision. To simplify your decision, contact eLuminous Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

This reputed IT vendor offers staff augmentation and consulting services at reasonable costs which makes it the best IT Staff Augmentation Company. Notably, team eLuminous can understand the nature of your business and offer the best insights on the suitability of a service.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you let me know about the difference between consulting and staffing?

Consulting is an activity in which a professional or a group provides valuable and practical insights to their client. Consultants often work on a project basis. On the other hand, staffing is delivering suitable candidates to a client who will perform the required tasks.

2. Who is a staff augmentation contractor?

A staff augmentation contractor is an organization that provides temporary employees to their clients. If you are a business looking for skilled professionals, connecting with such a vendor proves helpful.

3. What is the meaning of commodity staff augmentation?

In simple terms, commodity staff augmentation implies filling urgent positions without a high focus on specialized talent and expertise. Generally, this team augmentation type is prevalent in factory work or retail businesses.

4. What are some prominent IT consulting services?

Some popular IT consulting services include Data Analytics, Business Process Automation, System Implementation, and Digital Transformation. To make informed decisions, it is crucial to study comparisons like staff augmentation vs. consulting and choose a suitable vendor.

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