The Information Technology (IT) sector has become dynamic due to technologies like IoT, Geo-targeting, AI, and Machine Learning. As a business, it is essential to sustain in this competitive domain and leverage these tools to the fullest. Why?
Well, the proper use of such applications can bolster your profit margins considerably. Still, one thing is clear – you cannot make the best use of these assets with a few individuals. The practical challenges of a limited in-house team make it difficult to implement several software solutions profoundly.
In such cases, IT staff augmentation comes to the rescue.
The IT outsourcing revenue is USD 430 billion, and staff augmentation is an integral part of this service. Still, not everyone is aware of staff augmentation services.
If you are one such individual, explore this blog to know this outsourcing style in depth.
The Fundamentals of Staff Augmentation Process
IT staff augmentation is different than conventional outsourcing. In this process, you do not offer a contract to a third-party agency or a software development organization.
Staff augmentation services involve hiring temporary workers to complete a specific project.
The following hypothetical example can offer a clear idea of this outsourcing option:
- Consider you want to develop an e-commerce application
- You have six developers in your company
- With IT staff augmentation services, you can hire additional dedicated developers to work on this project
- These ‘augmented’ technicians have proficiency in IT skills and can help deliver your project at a faster pace
What is the best benefit of this process?
Well, you do not need to hire full-time employees and carry out a hectic hiring process. You only need to connect with reliable staff augmentation companies and initiate your project.
IT staff augmentation has become famous for many companies. This table explains some key pointers that explain its significance.
Table: Why Companies Prefer Staff Augmentation?
|Increment in Existing Team
|To meet tight deadlines and customer demands.
|Team Augmentation allows the inclusion of professionals with unique technical skills.
|Flexibility in team increment and decrement
|High Level of Control
|Ability to hire workers suited for a specific project.
Overall, staff augmentation services can prove strategic to your business output.
Types of IT Staff Augmentation Strategies
It is true that staff augmentation is one of the sub-types of outsourcing. However, you can leverage different strategies in this process.
This section explains the key tactics that most companies use to augment their team.
Commodity Staff Augmentation
In this model, a company provides a business with relevant professionals to work on a project.
Here are some of the main aspects of this strategy:
- The IT vendor does not focus on the specific skill set of the professionals
- Your managers should be ready to integrate and train the new staff
- The commodity model is suitable for fulfilling basic requirements
You can benefit from this IT staff augmentation strategy if your project demands roles like data entry. So, ensure that your technical needs are not complex.
Skill-based Staff Augmentation
This strategy is helpful if you want highly educated and experienced professionals. Most companies use this tactic to hire workers for short and long-term tenure.
Here are the salient features of this strategy:
- You do not need to carry out training and development activities
- It is crucial to know the skill requirement for the project before hiring such professionals
- Managing the collaboration between the existing team members and new ‘augmented’ staff members becomes crucial
It is vital to note that in this strategy, businesses do not require very highly skilled professionals. Still, it becomes essential to capitalize on a company that offers multiple engagement models for this purpose.
Highly-skilled Staff Augmentation Tactic
In some instances, it becomes crucial to avail services of a professional with advanced skills. These attributes can be software development, graphic design, or content creation.
Regardless of the skill type, such professionals have certifications that justify their area of expertise.
Here are the main pointers that you should understand while thinking of implementing this IT staff augmentation strategy:
- A clear idea of your deliverables
- Objectives of your project
- Realistic requirement of expert workers
Your project investment and client reputation plays a crucial role in selecting this strategy.
Table: Summary of the Three IT Staff Augmentation Models
|Basic profiles, fewer technical considerations
|Mid-level expertise profiles, decent evaluation
|High-level proficiency profiles, detailed assessment required.
When Do Companies Need Staff Augmentation?
Several reasons can prompt the use of IT staff augmentation services. In some cases, you might prefer the in-house presence of workers rather than choosing offshore software development firms.
Regardless of your goals, it is vital to know three critical situations when you might need this service.
To Expand the In-house Team
Team expansion is the number one reason to avail yourself of staff augmentation consulting. Unless you are a huge multinational corporation, having full-time employees or associates covering all IT technical elements is challenging.
Clients require quick delivery of some projects, and you need to provide the same. So, additional team members, even for a short tenure, can increase the speed of project completion.
In addition, staff augmentation allows you to fill the technical gaps in the current in-house team. This aspect has a direct influence on the speed of project delivery.
Save Recruitment and Sourcing Time
Here is a quick look at a typical hiring process for a part-time or full-time employee:
- Identifying the need for the profile
- Planning the modes of job posting and outreach
- Creating a detailed and accurate job description
- Meeting with the top-level managers
- Posting jobs and promoting for open positions
- Screening candidate profiles
- Arranging job interviews and other rounds
- Evaluating the performance of candidates
- Performing background checks
- Offering suitable compensation and benefits
- Onboarding the employee
As you can notice, you need to perform 11 steps to complete a standard hiring process. However, with staff augmentation, it is possible to eliminate most of these activities.
IT staff augmentation gives access to a global pool of talented individuals. However, to save recruitment time, you need to avail services of dependable team augmentation companies.
Meet Project Deadlines
You might agree that hiring professionals with different skills can become impractical for many reasons. First, you have limited resources. Next, some skills are necessary for specific tailor-made projects.
Still, some IT orders can be profitable but have strict associated deadlines. In such cases, staff augmentation services can prove to be game-changers.
With additional team members for a project, you can meet tight project deadlines.
Difference Between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing
Sometimes, companies use IT staff augmentation and outsourcing in interchangeable ways. Still, both strategies are distinct.
This section explains the key areas and elaborates on how augmenting your team can differ from project-based outsourcing.
Table: Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing
|IT Staff Augmentation
|More control over the team
|Control over project activities is with the vendor
|Flexible with certain limitations
|Cost-effective and customizable
|Good for traditional projects and businesses
|More focus on resources
|High emphasiss on results
|Highly adaptable to changing customer requirements
|Adaptability depends on the software vendor and expertise
|Ability to build individual connections
|Conventional B2B model
As you can see, both IT service options offer certain advantages. The nature of your company, team size, project requirements, and budget influence the choice of either service strategy.
The Main Advantages of Staff Augmentation
Modern companies can capitalize on IT staff augmentation services and avail themselves of several noticeable benefits. If you work in this sector, it is essential to know how augmenting your staff can improve the probability of monetary success and productivity.
This section explains the key areas where you can experience a noteworthy difference in the business output.
Reduction in Cost
By now, you are already aware that staff augmentation companies can reduce hiring costs significantly.
You need to provide several benefits to full-time recruits, like conveyance, medical allowances, and others. However, in the case of augmented members, offering such hiring perks is unnecessary.
A reliable staff augmentation vendor charges you fees for the service of such workers. So, you do not need to fret about paid leaves, insurance, or other expenses.
All these factors lead to the overall reduction in cost.
The augmented staff works in association with other team members of your company. Whether on-site or remote, these professionals directly connect with you.
So, communication on task progress, project ideas, and other aspects becomes simplified. You can keep track of daily activities and offer suggestions to such professionals.
In the case of complete outsourcing, communication is only between you and the direct manager. This facet can cause unnecessary delays and challenges in project execution. So, you can consider IT staff augmentation to benefit from the communicative aspect.
Direct Access to Vetted Developers
Staff augmentation services can help you to establish connections with certified technicians. But the choice of IT vendor becomes crucial to augment your team with vetted developers.
Here is a brief look at the Methodology:
- Assessment of traits like self-learning ability
- Focus on fluent communication
- In-depth technical assessment to gauge domain competency
- Certified developers in various software segments
So, connecting with such staff augmentation companies can reduce your hassle of finding top-quality developers or other professionals.
Increment in Productivity
With IT staff augmentation, you receive a team with the essential expertise to handle a definite project. These professionals dedicate their time to your project entirely.
On the contrary, outsourcing firms handle multiple projects at the same time. So, the workers have distributed attention to different projects. Staff augmentation, thus, leads to an increase in overall work productivity.
Challenges of IT Staff Augmentation
Although the team augmentation strategy can seem beneficial on several fronts, it has specific challenges. Choosing a suitable augmentation vendor is of utmost importance to reduce certain limitations.
This section explains the four main challenges of the staff augmentation process.
Chances of Hiring Underperforming Staff
Sometimes, you might rush to avail yourself of quick team augmentation. In the process, you can choose a vendor that does not have access to certified and experienced professionals.
The basic knowledge of some professionals can lead to underperformance. You might not get the desired results even after augmenting the team.
So, always prefer a reliable software companywith a proven track record of offering top-quality candidates for staff augmentation.
Partnering With an Incompetent Staff Augmentation Company
This point has an indirect correlation with the previous challenges. In most cases, you might fail to identify an authentic software or team augmentation vendor.
Some companies have limitations in terms of team flexibility and scalability. They have fewer resources to provide clients with the required workers.
- A reliable vendor should comply with your IT staff augmentation requests without delay
- A reasonable attrition rate ensures that you have seamless support from professionals with good scalability
- Dependable companies take adequate measures to retain their employees
So, to overcome this practical challenge, evaluate a company’s portfolio as well. Diversified projects are a testament to the organization’s vast pool of available talent.
Not Suitable for Projects Longer than Two Years
This challenge of staff augmentation is a real drawback. The outsourcing strategy is not suitable for long-term associations.
You can leverage IT staff augmentation for a maximum period of two years. Why?
Well, employees are prone to change their jobs at regular intervals. So, the turn-around time can impact projects, leading to a potential halt in development.
Be it a web portal development or mobile application project, this hiring model is, indeed, temporary.
Potential Privacy Risks
With an augmented team, third-party employees become aware of your internal operations. They can use your information and cause possible data breaches in some cases.
Although such situations are rare, this challenge still exists in staff augmentation. So, how can you overcome it?
Well, choosing reliable team augmentation partners is the standard answer in this case as well.
How Does Team Augmentation Work?
If you want to avail yourself of this hiring strategy, becoming aware of the implementation process is vital.
Here is a brief look at IT staff augmentation Process:
- Finalizing requirements: Companies determine their needs in the first stage
- Sourcing talent: In this stage, businesses find suitable augmentation partners and source the required talent
- Talent onboarding: This step implies defining and allocating roles to the new staff members
- Provision of ongoing support: It is crucial to guide the team and provide them with valuable technical and non-technical support
All in all, you can receive all the essential details of such a process from reliable staff augmentation consulting services.
To Sum Up
IT staff augmentation is a tactical process of instilling new talent in your team. It implies hiring services of temporary workers that are on the vendor’s payroll.
With this strategy, you can deliver projects faster and fill the talent gap (if any). However, its main challenges are privacy concerns, underperformance, and suitability with short-term projects.
A reliable staff augmentation company can offer the best talent and overcome these practical difficulties. So, connect with vendors like eLuminous Technologies to augment your staff and benefit from this process