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IT Staff Augmentation Model to Extend Your Team Greatly

By Phuong Anh Nguyen   |   November 6, 2021

The labor market in the technology sector is constantly in the increasing thirst for talent. It is consequently not surprising that many organizations were also directly struck by this critical shortage and this is even seen as the Achilles heel of some giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google. So what’s the solution? How can your company not get caught up in the escalation of talent needs in the HR system? And how to immediately have the right personnel to deploy projects quickly and smoothly? One of the trending solutions these days to fill the talent gap is the dramatic increase in the use of contingent workers, i.e. hiring experienced personnel for both permanent or temporary hard-to-fill positions. This IT staff augmentation is one of the popular software development outsourcing models that can help you quickly access great talent resources while optimizing development costs effectively.

Statista highlights that staff augmentation services raised from 5.2% to 6.3% in 2018-2020. These figures indicate that increasingly more global corporations choose staff augmentation so as to discover professionals with the applicable technical abilities and meet their staffing needs. But what is IT staff augmentation model about and why should you go for it? Let’s dive deeper into many aspects of it, there will be answers!

What is IT staff augmentation?

IT staffing is the practice of staffing replenishment to fill urgent talent gaps and enhance your team’s capabilities temporarily or permanently, in which IT specialists will be provided by the vendors based on your detailed requirements and in compliance with current business objectives.

With advanced service providers IT staff assisting you in adding expert technology resources that the expenses or responsibilities of hiring full-time employees are just eliminated, saving you billions of tons of time and budget!

Your IT partners will offer highly qualified employees such as software developers, project managers, system administrators, business analysts, UX/UI designers, DevOps specialists, QA engineers, etc. and these professionals are completely cherry-picked by you.

Types of IT Staff Augmentation

In terms of time, this model will be divided into short-term/long-term collaboration or temporary/permanent. In which, the short-term collaboration will be appropriate for projects in the sprint period; internal experts on vacation or sick leave, etc. On the contrary, long-term collaboration will be an effective choice for longer, more complex projects and often to supplement tech stack skills necessary for the project but lacking within the in-house team; to cut operational expenses; shorten an excessively prolonged internal recruitment process.

In addition, regarding the staff augmentation, there will be also three categories:

Commodity

When you want dependable people to carry out responsibilities that do not require a particular skill set. This type is usually suitable for companies that are looking for manual labor, warehouse work or factory, etc.

Skill-based

When you require certain skills but the relative level of skill is not critical such as data processing, copywriting, transcription, etc.

Highly-skilled

Talents with extra superior abilities are the ones you are looking for. Their experiences and expertises have been accumulated for years at a very high level. For instance software engineering, international law, etc.

Thereby, it can be seen that, for the characteristics of the IT industry, high-quality and outstanding  personnel is always a pinnacle priority, therefore, it is not difficult to understand that most companies seem to find a needle in the bottom of a haystack when it comes to recruiting proficient people to fulfill the on-demand need of talents.

When Is IT Staff Augmentation the Right Model for Your Business?

  • The inevitable thirst for talents since recruitment is totally tricky

According to Statista, the IT industry had the fourth longest time to hire of all industries in 2018, it took 42 days on average, so hiring an in-house engineer definitely takes a long time and seems to be a headache for many companies. 

Even worse with the epidemic, attracting and waiting for talent to join the project is really a “nightmare”, hence a wide range of companies solve this problem by opting for IT staff augmentation around the globe. If you are facing the same problem then you know what to choose!

  • IT specialists shortage on local market

According to a CBI/TCS report, only in the UK market, £63 billion is gone within a year as IT companies can not find genuine specialists with the right expertise despite the IT job is booming. And certainly this situation is not limited to the UK. 

The shortage of local talent is always a bottleneck that makes it difficult for companies to expand their in-house teams as well as add missing tech stack skills to continuously implement development projects. If so, to quickly expand your team’s strength, it will be much more efficient to find a partner to provide IT Staff Augmentation.

  • Tight budget – desire to reduce costs

Obviously, to build a group of talented programmers for your inner team is not only difficult in terms of time, but recruitment cost is likewise one of the obstacles. Why is that? Because the price for you to own rare gems is not cheap. If you have a constrained budget then IT Staff Augmentation should definitely be listed on your planner.

What are the compelling benefits of the IT staff augmentation model?

If you get your feet wet with IT staff augmentation, you may miss some of its compelling benefits. This model is readily accepted as an alternative model of staffing globally and undeniably boost business growth, multifaceted business strategy to curb any talent shortage. So efficiency, convenience and profitability are some of IT staff augmentation’s key benefits. But it doesn’t stop there, listed below are convincing arguments for using this model!

Quick scalability and shrinkability

Development projects never have the concept of a stop, needless to say, it evolves rapidly with many unpredictable market conditions. That is why IT managers must always face the hunting for talent in the hustle and bustle. Finding and on-boarding in-house staff will be much time-consuming, meaning that a delay in adding someone with very specific skills can lead to a delay in the project’s deliverables. So in this case, you need to recruit more staff urgently and expand the team, then the IT staff augmentation model must be mentioned. Partner companies will almost immediately transfer you the best talent and significantly cut down on the time you would have spent hiring and managing these talents yourself, most of the legwork will be done in advance too.

Hiring a new specialist is expensive, replacing specialists is even more expensive. Hence this opposite problem can also be solved by staff augmentation – overstaffing ,in other words, downsizing the team. As soon as the project is completed, you can reduce the list of talent you are managing or replace the developers without much hassle. Meanwhile, if you hire an in-house developer on a contract, you’ll still be obligated to pay even if there are no tasks left in the work backlog.

Ditch the HR-related hassles

If you are looking for candidates with superior and uncommon abilities, the enlistment process can take months and also consume a lot of your budget. But this is not the case when it comes to the IT staff augmentation model, IT recruitment problems can be greatly overcome, in which the ability to reach tech stars is only counted by days or weeks. More importantly, you will have direct access to an extensive pool of talents since your partner will immediately provide you a wide range CVs of available experienced developers based on your on-demand.

The competition for tech talent is fiercer than ever, this leading to the challenge that emerges after that is even trickier: How to retain them? This would be the case if you were building your own internal team and in stark contrast to the employee expansion model, where employee retention tactics seem unnecessary. Why? That’s because your potential development partner will take on all of these responsibilities. They will handle all issues and make sure that the committed developers follow your project until the end, any personnel disturbance will not happen unless there is any other request from your side.

Furthermore, this workforce basically will be just like your in-house employees and you have full control, but related legal issues or compensation or benefits will not be your problem at all. Just simplify it as owning a supercar but you will not have to worry about upgrades or maintenance or anything else, your job is just to control that car towards the predetermined goals. 

Cost-effectiveness

An indisputable advantage of the IT staff augmentation service model is the elimination of hidden costs, both direct and indirect. Specifically, instead of investing resources in facilities, convenient offices, recruitment or HR services, etc. now with IT staff augmentation, you will enhance your ability to focus and increase resources for building your apps, technology products and focusing on growing your business ahead of the competition.

If the above is not convincing enough, let’s assume that you are hiring two developers at the same time: one for your internal team and one employee in the IT staff augmentation model. With your own in-house personnel, it will include costs that you must always ensure such as infrastructure, basic salary and other benefits policies. But with an augmented developer you only pay for development hours, the augmented service provider takes care of the rest.

In addition, there will be marked differences in software development rates in each region, the selection of enhanced service providers abroad, especially the largest IT outsourcing hubs in Asia like China, India, Vietnam,… will bring significant cost savings. Let’s take Vietnam as an example, this destination has been regularly ranked among the top software outsourcing destinations globally and the average offshore software development costs are ranging from $20-50. Not only that, Vietnamese developers are always appreciated for their excellent expertise and experience. In fact markets like the US, Western Europe, the UAE etc., are characterized by normally offering high software development rates, since these regions are elaborated economies, high working standards and high life quality, resulting in development costs here range from $50 up to $150 per hour for one developer.

Benefit you business in many other ways

  • No geographical restrictions: You can access IT staff augmentation services anywhere in the world and easily hunt global talent without having to go far, just find a partner and they will do everything!
  • IP rights or security is not the issue: There are some people who will be afraid when it comes to security and intellectual property issues, but with the engineering staff augmentation model, you are the sole owner and even the smallest information can not be revealed!
  • Transparency of the working process: every detail of the project is completely through you and managed by you.
  • Significantly increase productivity: software developers you hire from staff augmentation focus only on your project during their entire working time. Not only that, their vast experience allows them to quickly anticipate pitfalls, discuss and deal with emerging risks quickly, thus speeding up work and even completing before the scheduled release date.

IT Staff Augmentation Model vs Other Models

The general aspect of all outsourcing models in the technology industry is to optimize the company’s revenue and costs, increase the efficiency of resources and promote the development of projects. However, each approach will be much more likely to depend on your business growth, goals and many other objective factors.

IT Staff augmentation vs. Project Outsourcing

With project outsourcing, your partner will provide many different offerings and manage the entire project, so this model calls for little client involvement. This means that you will transfer certain functions and the entire development process to a subcontractor. For example, if your company is planning to create a finance related application from scratch, but does not have an in-house development department, you have the option of outsourcing this project to a trustful software development partner. Hence, this model might be probably a good fit for your enterprise in some cases such as: you do not have a development department; you are not expert in software development team management; or you want to offload your internal team workload and focus instead on other core business elements, etc.

Meanwhile, for IT Staff Augmentation, all stages or progress of the project will be absolutely controlled through you, augmented developers work directly with you and essentially the identical members to your crew. Therefore, it can be understood that the IT Staff Augmentation model is the integration of external experts into your company.

IT Staff Augmentation vs Dedicated Team

When comparing staff augmentation aka team expansion vs dedicated team models, we need to find out the difference between a dedicated team and project outsourcing first. That’s because when businesses opt for a dedicated team model they, just like in project outsourcing, hand over an entire project to the team of professional software developers.

The main difference between project outsourcing and dedicated team models is that a dedicated team works only for one customer whereas a project outsourcing team can share several projects. A partnership between a customer and a dedicated team usually lasts much longer than in project outsourcing. Often, a dedicated team becomes an extension of an in-house customer’s team – it establishes close communication and working relationships with an in-house team and understands well the inner business processes in the company.

A dedicated team and staff augmentation may seem similar, though there are some significant differences:

  • a dedicated team better suits long-term projects while staff augmentation works better for short-term ones;
  • staff augmentation team provides support for your in-house team while a dedicated team is a fully-equipped team ready for developing an entire project;
  • when you hire a staff augmentation team you’re in charge of all the managerial duties while a dedicated team has a team manager on board to resolve all the project issues.

Opt for a dedicated team if:

  • you want to have a team of software developers completely involved only in your software development project for quite a long period of time;
  • you want to choose tech experts in your extended team on your own;
  • your project needs a variety of software-related services from business analysis to product support.

Conclusion:

When companies consider building a business application or just need some extra help for their current project, they often opt for a staff augmentation model. It allows them to boost the capacity of an in-house team and reduce operational expenses in the company. Meanwhile, some companies use this outsourcing model to build their business strategies or utilize it as a source of unlimited top software development talent for their projects. In any case, the staff augmentation model offers companies a wide range of opportunities to improve their projects and in-house team productivity.

We, at fram^, hope that this article was useful for you and you’ve found some great ideas on how to enhance your business processes with a staff augmentation model.

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