IT staff augmentation is a way to create an IT team without hiring full-time employees. Staff augmentation is not the same as outsourcing. You outsource IT projects to a provider to access their tech talent, guidance and expertise during the entire project lifecycle, typically leaving the technical decisions to the provider. In the augmentation model, you hire remote or onsite resources to help execute a project, or supplement your in-house team.
Want to build or enhance your IT capabilities cost-effectively? Create a team of remote, hybrid or onsite resources. You won't have to hire them on your payroll, which will bring down your fixed costs.
Looking for experts in new and emerging technologies like cloud, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, cybersecurity, AI, robotic process automation and data science? They are local to you, yet can be sitting in different parts of the world. You can hire them on a temporary basis and use their skills to drive your digitization goals.
Some overlooked benefits of hiring short term staff are the fresh ideas and objective views you gain. Augmented team members are focused on meeting project goals. They are loyal to your project rather than your existing team. It means they work dedicatedly within your team, while also staying insulated from any team issues, if they exist.
IT staff augmentation is especially suited to these needs:
● To hire talent on a per-project basis
● To provide capacity while you hire full-time employees
● To use flexible labor in order to enter a new market or gain competitive advantage
● To use specialized skills that are hard to come by
● To manage seasonal spikes in projects
● To test new IT capabilities before committing to them
Augmentation can be tactical (e.g. for short term needs) or strategic (e.g. to build flexible labor). It can be an excellent solution to bring advanced skills to your company, particularly if they're lacking or exorbitantly priced in your country, or region.
Businesses of all sizes use augmented staff. If you determine that the hiring model is a possible solution to a business need, you should evaluate it further. Some things to keep in mind are:
Augmented staff is paid by the hour. If you add up all the costs of having a full-time employee, you'll find that the member of your augmented staff costs you less. You don't have to pay your augmented staff benefits or bonuses, or spend on training or learning and development.
It's worth mentioning that top talent doesn't necessarily come cheap. People with in-demand IT skills may charge rates commensurate with their qualifications, but this can also be mitigated by considering nearshore options, which offer the same quality of service, at a more affordable rate. Rather than focusing on the per hour rate charged by an IT freelancer, it's best to assess the value they're bringing to your organization.
If you choose the nearshore option, it's natural to wonder whether you'll need to work around your regular day to engage with augmented staff working in different time zones. While you may have to make some adjustments, you won't have to be up at odd hours or work overtime. Here's why.
Augmented staff knows that deadlines must be met. They work with companies to gain clarity on priorities, milestones, deadlines, and performance expectations. When they work matters less than whether they get the work done on time or not.
Members of your augmented staff know that they need to be flexible. And so they manage their time to attend daily or weekly standup meetings, or to fully align to your timezone. Of course, all communication occurs virtually, over Zoom, email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and/or other tools. The bottom line - time zone differences do not impact project communications or outcome.
A common myth about staff augmentation is the perceived loss of control over a project. While the geographical distance may make work 'invisible', this is never the case. Your project remains on track through daily status reports and meetings. If you haven't received an update, you're within your professional boundaries to ask a member of your augmented staff to notify you as soon as possible.
When feasible, use project management methodologies that keep you in the loop on projects. So, if you're using agile metrics, you can see project progress iteratively, and use daily scrum/standup for status reports. If you're using a different approach, it should allow you to visualize progress at any point and provide adequate transparency into the development process.
Concerns around the privacy of proprietary company information are legitimate. But they shouldn't stop you from using augmented staff. Data privacy risks are easily addressed by strong NDAs and clear instructions on the use of a secure development environment such as virtual PCs running on your own infrastructure and other tools for developing the project. Examine the security issues associated with the project and get the necessary legal help in drafting your NDA.
Hiring augmented staff through a staffing agency can help minimize data security risks. As the agency has structured vetting processes and background checks in place, it will quickly slot reliable and secure talent into your team.
By using the IT staff augmentation model, you can cut costs without sacrificing quality, gaining access to a wide range of expertise that you may not have already in-house. You save time, enjoy hiring flexibility, and gain an objective outlook on projects.
Plenty of tech talent works on a freelance basis. You'll have no problem sourcing the engineers, UI/UX specialists and data scientists you need. However, finding and vetting freelancers is a lengthy process. To find IT resources faster and onboard diverse IT capabilities, going through a company that specializes in staff augmentation can help speed up the process and save you valuable time. At DevRank we have our own pool of experienced developers available, all set to slot into your team, when you decide you are ready to give us a try.
Get in touch with us. We'd love to help you!
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