According to a recent independent study by Porter Research, 63% of Executive IT leaders indicate that they are experiencing a shortage of IT and technical resources to support their IT and development efforts. The growing pressures from the pandemic and dramatic shift to a more remote workforce have also increased the challenges many companies face when finding and hiring new staff.
Depending on your current business needs, hiring more full-time IT employees may not always be the most efficient and cost-effective approach. To be competitive in today’s market, improving speed to market, driving operational efficiencies and reducing costs are essential, staff augmentation is one model that can help your organization achieve these goals.
Hiring the right staff to handle your specific IT needs and integrate well within your existing organization can take months or even prove impossible in the current landscape and growing challenges around IT talent acquisition. To meet this challenge head-on, more and more IT leaders are turning to IT staff augmentation services providers.
Staff augmentation allows organizations to increase or decrease skilled IT resources when business needs change without the HR challenges, as well as control costs, and mitigate risk. IT staff augmentation can be a cost-effective solution for providing the manpower and reducing costs as a one-time capital expense turned into an operational expense.
What is IT Staff Augmentation?
Typically, staff augmentation is a model by which an organization temporarily outsources specific IT or development needs to specialists. IT staff augmentation enables a company to add staff to their existing teams that expand on the skills required to support specific development initiatives and business objectives. Essentially a contractor, an “employee” resourced through staff augmentation, functions as a member of the organization, takes direction from department managers or other personnel, and is paid through the staff augmentation firm.
Staff augmentation allows a company to scale resources to meet changing requirements without the cost and the liabilities of hiring full-time employees. Companies get the help they need when they need it and can end the “employee” assignment when the project is completed or at any time when the additional staff is no longer needed.
What Are the Top Six Benefits of Staff Augmentation?
- Cost-Effective – Staff augmentation allows you to pay for the work you need when you need it vs. paying individual full-time wages and benefits, enabling you to manage costs in the short and long term.
- More Flexibility – Technology is constantly evolving and having the flexibility to adjust internal processes and adapt to unexpected change is essential to managing a business. Staff augmentation keeps you ahead of the curve and allows you to quickly ramp up the intensity of your staff’s workload as needed.
- Greater Control – IT staff augmentation gives you control over who is doing what work—who is doing the strategic work, who is delegated repeatable tasks, and who has control over important, time-sensitive projects.
- Higher Productivity – Focusing augmented staff on specific projects means their time is dedicated to defined tasks/projects and not to day-to-day tasks that could distract from the project.
- Increased Access to Skilled Staff – Augmenting your existing IT staff with skilled and trained IT professionals allows you to keep things in-house and access resources as needed.
- Counteracting Attrition – IT professionals know their worth and are likely to change employers and look for more favorable full-time positions in these economic times. With the challenges of the pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” attrition has become even more of a challenge, which is where IT staff augmentation can help solidify staffing needs.
What Types of Staff Augmentation Do You Need?
Before working with a staff augmentation provider, it’s essential to define what types of staff you’ll need to meet your business requirements and complete the project(s) or temporarily fill a position. Project length is one of the two crucial factors in finding the right staff to support the business need; you’ll need to define whether this is a short-term or long-term project. The other, and most critical, are the skills required for the project. Is this a basic skills-based role where essential IT applications or specific programming language(s) are needed, or does the project require highly-skilled staff with extensive training and experience in your particular industry or a combination of both?
The make-up of your current team will also help determine the suitable model for your organization and whether staff augmentation vs. outsourcing is right for your organization. To set your company up for success, you’ll also want to ensure staff augmentation is the right fit by considering the following.
- Strong tech-savvy manager – In a staff augmentation model, you will be responsible for managing the individuals or teams hired for the temporary projects. Having a good manager in place will be essential to ensuring the team’s success.
- In-house team in place – Staff augmentation means adding resources to an existing team to help fill gaps; this isn’t an ideal model if you need a fully outsourced team for a project.
- Highly skilled team expansion – You need to quickly add professional staff to a project or individual(s) with a deep knowledge base in a particular industry such as healthcare or financial services.
- Short-term projects – The staff augmentation model works best in an environment where resources are needed on a short-term project basis or temporary assignments that do not require additional training to be the most cost-effective.
Deciding whether to employ staff augmentation to support your organization’s next project or an immediate gap in your IT resources? Speak with one of our experts to better understand what model is right for your company or if you should take a hybrid approach with staff augmentation and onshore outsourcing to best support your business goals.