What is IT Staff Augmentation: How to Extend Your Team

Shortage of staff is a daily scenario in the IT landscape. The fast-paced and dynamic nature of the digital world has led to an increased demand for experienced IT personnel and the in-house team’s efforts are almost always not enough. Did you know that even giant tech companies like Google outsource more than half of their workload to freelancers?

However, instead of going through the trouble of hiring multiple freelancers, today’s tech companies leverage modern outsourcing models, particularly staff augmentation. This model enables organizations to meet their growing work demands without too much effort or financial investment. It is an excellent opportunity for companies looking to hire great talent without breaking the bank.

Before you start your search for an augmented team, we’ll walk you through the intricacies of staff augmentation — the what, why, and how? Read on!

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What is Staff Augmentation?

Project outsourcing is not a new occurrence in the digital world. An IT company can efficiently utilize different outsourcing models to make up for any staff shortages or inadequacies.

Staff augmentation outsourcing is a service where a company hires external software developers to supplement the efforts of its in-house team. The augmented staff do not function independently. Instead, they serve as an extension of the local team and work hand-in-glove to achieve a specific project.

Remote staff augmentation is a temporary contract between your company and an IT Staff Augmentation Provider. The provider is responsible for recruiting a team based on the outsourcer’s requirements. This saves your company the stress of a possibly costly and time-consuming recruitment process.

You can outsource the augmented staff from different locations in the world. Their geographical location would determine the type of staff augmentation model your company is working with.

Staff Augmentation Models

illustrations-IT-Satff-Augmentation

  1. In-Country Staff Augmentation:

    Here, the external team is located in the same country as the in-house team. This model eliminates any form of cultural and language barriers. Also, the augmented staff is familiar with customer behaviors and makes more informed decisions based on that.
    However, this model is relatively more costly than the rest. It also limits the talent pool your company can source the outside team from.

  2. Nearshore Staff Augmentation:

    This model is the case when an augmented team is located in a country different from the outsourcer’s but within the same time zone. A perfect example is when you are working with a team in Ukraine when your local team is located in Finland.

    This augmented team model significantly reduces time zone lags between two teams. It also broadens the pool of talents to pick from. However, it is costlier than hiring offshore teams.

  3. Offshore Staff Augmentation:

    Offshore staff augmentation comes into play when the external team is in a different country in an entirely different time zone. It offers your company a larger talent pool at a significantly reduced price.

    However, this staff augmentation model’s biggest problem is the cultural and language barriers due to time zone lag.

When is Staff Augmentation Right for You?

You can choose to use staff augmentation if:

  1. You are working on a project that requires a specific skill set that no one in your in-house team is experienced in, and employing new personnel would be expensive and time-consuming. In this case, hiring an augmented staff would be a great way to fill the skill gap.

  2. Your project is quite extensive, and to meet the project deadline you would need about 4-6 more software developers. As such, you can opt for IT team augmentation to ensure you keep up with deliverables.

  3. You’re interested in project outsourcing, but you also wish to have more control over the dedicated outsourced team, directly communicating with them. This ensures the team produces consistent results in line with your company’s policies and culture.

Types of Staff Augmentation

  • Short-term services:

    Here, your company requires short-term staff augmentation services to make up for the absence of a local team member. You can also opt for this staffing model if there is a high demand for IT staff.

  • Long-term services:

    This type of staff augmentation business solution is used for long-term projects if your company wishes to fill a skill gap or if your company doesn’t want to go through the stress of the hiring process.

illustrations-IT-Satff-Augmentation

Choosing Your Staff Augmentation Model

From the get-go, staff augmentation solutions are bound to be hybrid and dynamic. They are highly flexible and depend primarily on your company’s goals and needs. The first step to deciding on the perfect model to carry out your IT augmentation is defining your company’s goals.

Why do you need more staff? What do you want to achieve?

Here are three considerations that will help you in your decision-making.

  • Project length: Technical staff augmentation is ideal for short-term projects. This is because they tend to cost more long-term.

  • Ramp-up time: This is the time it usually takes for an IT team to understand the intricacies of a project before execution. Very complex projects which would have a long ramp-up time are not suitable for staff augmentation.

  • Security: For projects that require a high level of secrecy or security, you should tread carefully before working with an augmented team.

Pros and Cons of IT Staff Augmentation

There are many benefits of IT staff augmentation, as well as few challenges. Listed below are some of them.

Pros

  • Increased Productivity Level:

    This is one of the essential staff augmentation benefits. Here, your augmentation provider ensures that you get the best from the talent pool of that area.

    Hence, with more experienced hands working on one specific project, staff productivity is bound to increase.

  • WorkForce Transparency:

    You and your team are in the know concerning every detail of the job. This is a huge benefit because there will be seamless operations between the in-house and external teams.

  • Security of IP Rights:

    Because the augmented team is still yours, you don’t need to worry about IP rights. All the rights belong to you.

  • Dynamic Teams:

    IT staffing augmentation paves the way for a flexible team. You can easily manage your team and hire any staff that your company needs for a period, without the hassle of recruitment.

  • Cost Reduction:

    Staff augmentation is a less costly option for companies. Instead of recruiting and onboarding new employees, you can just pay a fee, and the work begins. No need for training or any other organizational expense.

  • Personally Manage Your Team:

    This hiring model makes project management easy. Because you’re in direct contact with the team, you can make necessary changes and ensure the team is on track.

Cons

  • Increased Managerial Efforts

    Remote staff augmentation needs a project manager with top-notch abilities. In addition, the team working on one project is in different locations; hence, the outsourcing company must closely watch the external unit.

  • Communication Issues

    This is especially true for offshore staff augmentation. In addition, problems like language barriers or time zone lags can cause communication issues.

  • Little Knowledge of Institutional Practices

    Because this new team is just being introduced, the project manager has to bring the augmented team up to date with company policies.

    For a job that might be time-sensitive, this could cause a problem and affect delivery time.

Staff Augmentation Vs. Other Hiring Models

Why staff augmentation? Well, here is the comparison between the three major hiring models.

Staff Augmentation Vs. Other Hiring Models

  • Managed Services

    In this model, the company takes care of all aspects throughout the development of your project. All you do is pay a fee, and the external company does the rest. As a result, you have an idea of how the project is being carried out or who is on the team.

    So, what is the difference between staff augmentation and managed services? Staff augmentation allows the owner of the project to have a say in it. This gives them more control over their project.

  • Own R&D Center

    In this model, you can add a large number of employees to your team. This is done by establishing your R&D center in a foreign country with a broader talent pool.

    The biggest issue with opening your R&D center is that you will have to comply to the laws and systems of the country where your center is located.

    Staff augmentation doesn’t put you through such hassle.

Skelia Staff Augmentation Process

At Skelia, our staff augmentation process places all attention on the experience of the customer. We utilize staff augmentation best practices to give our clients a team of dedicated developers suited to their needs. Our process flow is as follows:

  • Clients inform us of their needs.

  • Skelia interviews and hires developers according to the client’s requirements.

  • Project Execution and Delivery.

  • Ongoing Support.

Staff Augmentation with Skelia

Staff augmentation is a quick way to solve IT outsourcing problems. However, working with an experienced staff augmentation provider ensures efficient software development processes.

Skelia has one of the best staff augmentation practices in IT staff outsourcing in Europe. Our expert recruiters are determined to fill whatever skill gap exists in your company with the world’s leading software developers.

We follow you through the process, ensuring you have all the information you need to effectively manage your new dedicated augmented team and fill the skill gap in your company.

Contact our managers today to learn how Skelia can help you get your dream software development team in no time.

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About Skelia

Skelia is an international leader in building cross-border IT and engineering organizations and affiliate companies in Eastern-Europe. For over a decade, we have provided staff augmentation services to a diverse range of clients—from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. We operate in Luxembourg, the UK, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, and the US.

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