A Detailed Guide to Staff Augmentation | Pros & Cons

With the increasing need for software development and the ever-changing digital environment we live in, companies are looking for more convenient and flexible ways to enter the digital space with their products and services. And the tech market also offers various options regarding software development, so it might be a challenge for businesses to find the best one.

However, staff augmentation is considered to be one of the most effective and flexible ways to kick off the project as soon as possible without extra costs. Since the modern market requires businesses to respond promptly to the changes in the digital landscape, the staff augmentation development model helps to quickly adjust processes and have immediate access to qualified personnel from the IT sphere as a key value.

Studies show that the need for various IT professionals is fast growing. Based on a report by GVR, the market IT IT services is suggested to grow from $821.58 billion in 2022 to $1,921.33 billion by the end of 2030. But what is staff augmentation? And how you, as a business owner, can benefit from this fresh approach? Let’s explore this below.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a development model where a business hires employees from a different agency on a contract basis. This usually happens when the business requires quick recruitment to perform specific tasks or get extra expertise for a project. It also happens when the business needs a full team to complete the work while still managing the process instead of creating an in-house team or outsourcing the entire process. 

In both cases, companies turn to where these resources are available – agencies offering staff augmentation services. Using this approach saves lots of time and money for businesses since companies offer perfect candidates within a few business weeks, while creating an in-house team can take months and years. All that is required is to identify business needs and find your expertise, so the agency can provide you with a team.

Types of Staff Augmentation

Project-Based Cooperation

One of the most traditional ways companies use staff augmentation is on a project-based cooperation model. To put simply, this is an approach where remote staff is hired to work on a specific project. The team usually involves all required specialists for the project, including developers, designers and others. 

In this case, a company hiring augmented employees is responsible for the process. The agency offering the staff also stays in touch with the business, checking on the work done and resolving issues arising related to augmented employees. The communication between the two sides is usually mediated by the project manager, who represents the augmented team. 

Dedicated Team Model

It is another type of staff augmentation that works as a remote outsourcing team. The main significant difference between these two models is that in this approach, the developers act as a remote IT department of the company. Therefore, they participate in all customer activities and manage the work of subcontractors. That means they provide long-term, large-scale cooperation which is not limited by a specific task.

Pros of Staff Augmentation

Reduced Operational Costs

Another benefit of choosing this model is that you won’t need to spend money on workspace organisation, office space, furniture, as well as PCs since the team will work remotely and be packed with almost everything needed to start work as soon as possible. What’s more, you won’t need to worry about costs associated with full-time employees like health insurance.

Higher Expertise

You may not realise that, but specialists working in different countries have different experience levels and therefore, rates also differ. It is also vital for some projects, like healthcare and blockchain, to require specific background and knowledge. That is why it can be even harder for you to find specialists with the needed background. Staff augmentation offers a vast pool of talents with different expertise, skills and backgrounds, allowing you to get higher expertise compared to other development models.  

Highly Flexible

When you hire full-time employees, you should always make sure they have enough work all the time, or you lose money. Since the market moves fast and requires businesses to adjust their processes, you may look for new skills every few months. It is a rigid and usually costly approach that doesn’t satisfy modern business needs. That is why staff augmentation is the best choice, allowing companies to hire react developers or the entire team only when required and not worry about them staying without work when the project is done.

Save Time and Money

One of the main advantages of this outsourcing strategy is great money and time savings. In contrast to searching for the specialists you need on a freelance basis or spending months on creating an efficient in-house team, you just send a request to a chosen outstaff agency that offers you perfect candidates within weeks or even days. In contrast, the average time to fill the role of IT specialist can take up to 50 days in the United States and 57 days in Western Europe. This also reduces the money you would spend on recruitment or on training in-house staff in case their level is lower than required.

Cons of Staff Augmentation

Mental Differences

In this model, you will work with different individuals, and most of them will be in other countries than you. And there is no surprise that you may face some mental differences that sometimes affect the work process. It will also be essential for you to find a team that speaks English since poor communication is the greatest cause of project failure. The agency offering you specialists should verify the English level of the team they provide to you, and you can double-check it. 

Lack of Inner Knowledge

In contrast to full-time employees that usually have access to full information about a project and a client, augmented staff usually starts to work from only what they’ve been told. They don’t have communication with the client or may not know the inner things that should be considered. While it can be solved by your company and offering documentation regarding a specific project, this may cause issues during the development process.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, the demand for staff augmentation is growing every day alongside the need for a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective approach to software development. When looking for a trusted outstaff agency, we recommend you check the expertise, English level, soft skills and location of the team you choose.

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