IT Staff Augmentation is a trend of post coronavirus time
IT staff augmentation had been gaining traction before COVID-19 struck and got a significant boost in popularity when the lockdowns happened. After a while, this model of team extension remains demanded all over the world.
As one of the leading IT staff augmentation services providers in Eastern Europe, In nowise Group explores this team extension model and shares insights about team augmentation’s position in the post-pandemic world.
What is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation, or outstaffing, is a team extension model by which the client’s team is enforced with professionals from a third-party contractor acting as a staff augmentation service provider.
This staffing strategy aims at quick and flexible team expansion. The talents acquired are employed by the provider maintaining all the processes related to legal and administrative fields; such as recruitment process or remuneration.
This model can be applied to any type of specialist, not just software developers. For example, if needed, a business can extend its team with an analyst, a designer, and a marketing specialist.
Why it’s booming
According to the IT Staff Augmentation 2021 report, the US market, as well as the European market, is facing a dramatic tech talent shortage caused by disproportionate demand and geographical spread of qualified IT staff.
However, Software development doesn’t require the physical presence of specialists on-site allowing them to work remotely from anywhere in the world. These two factors brought businesses from the United States and Europe to search for the needed professionals out of their geographical position. As the IT skills report by DevSkiller pointed out, companies considering fulfilling their demand for talents from abroad now more than ever.
Staff augmentation pros
The staff augmentation model wouldn’t have gained popularity if it wasn’t beneficial for businesses. Also, Among many assets, the major advantages of bringing this way of recruitment over other models are:
The staff recruited through team augmentation is the most flexible asset of a team. A business can hire talents for a project and let them go as soon as their job is done or engage them in another project without the need to deal with hiring and discharging since these processes are handled by the service provider.
The staff augmentation model erases the boundaries allowing businesses to seek the best talents in distant regions. This leads to opportunities for recruiting the best talents with outstanding performance.
If there is no consistent demand for specialists (i.e. a visual renovation of a website), augmenting the existing team is significantly cheaper than hiring a professional as a permanent in-house member. Saving the resources for hiring, onboarding, and things like lay-off payments helps cut the costs considerably.
Compared to traditional hiring or outsourcing, staff augmentation contains the least amount of expense points
|Team members’ salaries||Team members’ salaries||salaries, Team members|
|Delivery risks||Vendor fee||Delivery risks|
|Overhead costs (Business analysts, Quality assurance, etc.)||Overhead costs (Business analysts, Quality assurance, etc.)|
|Vendor fee||Team members’ sick leaves|
|Team members’ vacations|
Secured intellectual property
Through staff augmentation, a business can extend an already existing project team without having to splurge on buying solution development services. Therefore, all the know-how, patents, trade secrets, and everything else related to the intellectual property remains in possession of the business.
Unlike outsourcing, the team augmentation model doesn’t take control away from a business. Also, Talents are hired to communicate with and report to the manager assigned by the business, not by the service provider. Also, The business oversees everything related to the project.
Effective resource distribution
In traditional hiring, a business has to dedicate a lot of resources and effort to search for a suitable candidate. The same problem occurs when outsourcing a project: there’s a need to study the portfolio and background of possible contractors and evaluate cooperation risks which will take up precious time.
However, With staff augmentation, all these processes maintained by a company rendering the service. However, The only thing a client has to do is to choose the talents from an array of CVs shared by the service provider. Also, The staff augmentation supplier takes the responsibility for the skill set and level of the talents proposed.
Staff augmentation cons
Despite a wide range of benefits, team augmentation has its downsides that can affect delivery time and increase the overall project cost.
Increased managerial efforts
Managing remote talents is effort-intensive and time-consuming. Although, A project manager working with an augmented team must have excellent hard and soft skills. Also, The language barrier, cultural and time differences should be taken into proper consideration. The case needs to be constantly observed by a competent specialist in order to avoid issues connected to task management and communication.
Кnowledge transfer is a common part of the onboarding process for when the new team members welcomed into the team. However, the need for a project manager to introduce the augmented specialists to company policies and inner processes realization might be time-consuming.
Impracticality for long-term projects
Staff augmentation can be a lifeline for short-term milestones, but while working on a long-term project it’s better to consider hiring in-house specialists. Over a prolonged period of time, the vendor’s talent pool is likely to change resulting in having to constantly onboard and introduce new team members due to continuous staff rotation. Nonstop replacements have the potential to increase project costs and duration in the long run.
When to consider team augmentation?
Team augmentation is not always the best way of addressing talent shortage. But it is justified and beneficial in the following scenarios:
- The project requires a specific skill set that doesn’t match any profile from the in-house team. Augmenting the team with the right specialists to fill in the gap will be more practical than in-house hiring.
- To meet the desired deadlines a team lacks some amount of specialists. If these specialists won’t be required for further support, accelerating delivery through staff augmentation will be a wise decision.
- A business is interested in outsourcing the project but gets repelled by the lack of control over the development process. Using team augmentation brings the best talents while helping retain control over the project.
Despite having its own benefits and drawbacks, staff augmentation is highly adaptable and is here to stay. Also, The opportunity to get the best fitted professional no matter their locale will ensure staff augmentation is one of the most popular means of team extension, if not the most utilized one.