An Introduction Guide to IT Team Augmentation: Definition, Benefits & Best Practices
To be able to catch up with the ever-growing demand for technology, many software development businesses turn to flexible team augmentation services. This is the process of hiring additional experts to work with the existing in-house team on specific parts of a company’s technology infrastructure. Augmenting your IT team can come with a variety of benefits, including increased efficiency, cost savings, and more. This article will explore what IT staff augmentation is, the different types of staff augmentation services you can hire, and the benefits you can expect.
An Introduction to IT Team Augmentation
IT staff augmentation involves the use of outside resources to help your in-house development team. Whether you’re looking for a dedicated team of software developers to work onsite with your existing team or an outside vendor to supply ongoing services, augmentation can provide cost savings and increase productivity while freeing up valuable in-house resources.
Staff augmentation can be used to address issues such as lack of experience, specific skill sets, time constraints, seasonal workloads, and many other concerns. Companies often use staff augmentation to fill high-level positions before hiring full-time employees or when they are faced with unexpected demands that need the use of outside resources. Because it cuts a lot of work needed in a direct-hire, IT staff augmentation can be a cost-saving measure in terms of time and money. In all cases, augmentation offers the benefits of added experience and expertise without the associated costs of hiring full-time employees.
Types of IT Staff Augmentation Model
An IT team augmentation service provider hires its own software development team of professionals who will work onsite with your company for a specific duration and help you meet your business goals. To better leverage the benefits of this outsourcing service, you should know about the three main types of IT staff augmentation model:
- Core augmentation
- Functional augmentation
- Temporary staff augmentation
It is a long-term, full-time contract where the resources of a company are shared with another organization. The core team of the company works full-time at the client site, and they work in parallel to their usual functions in their own company. Core augmentation is often based on a formal agreement between parties, with a written contract defining the roles and responsibilities of each party. The duration of the core augmentation is determined by factors such as project work, time to market, customer satisfaction, and maintaining continuity of business operations. In addition, the staffing needs should be predictable because having a large staff fluctuation is unsustainable.
It is contracted resources that will temporarily work with the organization to assist in specific project needs. The key difference from a core augmentation is that these resources do not have an indefinite duration.
Temporary Staff Augmentation
This type of staff augmentation is short-term, temporary staff that is contracted for specific project needs. Often, the client organization does not have enough people in their local team to cover all its project activities at one time. By hiring a temporary augmented, it can increase the number of resources available to handle multiple projects.
Why Are IT Staff Augmentation Services Popular?
There are several reasons why IT staff augmentation services are popular today. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that they can help you quickly and easily scale your IT department up or down as needed. This can be a significant advantage in times of growth when you need to add more staff to keep up with demand or in times of recession when you need to reduce costs.
IT staff augmentation services can also help you improve the quality and speed of your IT projects. By bringing in outside help, you can get access to technical expertise and skills that you may not have in-house. This can be especially helpful for complex software development projects or for those that require a high level of specialization.
Finally, using an IT staff augmentation service can give your employees valuable ongoing training opportunities. Bringing in an augmented team and allowing them to get experience with the technology will allow your in-house team to learn, grow and develop alongside the software development process.
5 Undeniable Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation
There are a variety of benefits of using IT staff augmentation services. Some of the most notable benefits include:
Augmentation allows you to use specialist skills on your projects without having to hire new in-house staff. This means that you can have access to the expertise and experience of highly skilled tech professionals without having to pay for their salary, benefits, office space, equipment, etc., which helps keep costs down. The temporary nature of most IT staff augmentation services also helps keep costs down by allowing you to only pay for the resources when you need them.
In addition, by using an IT staff augmentation service rather than hiring permanent employees, organizations can save on recruitment and training time and expenses. It also reduces the time required to find the right candidate because most IT staff augmentation services have a tech talent pool of highly skilled professionals to choose from.
Faster Project Completion
Many organizations use IT staff augmentation services to complete projects faster and more efficiently. By bringing in outside expertise, you can get access to skills and knowledge that may not be readily available within your organization. This means that you don’t have to wait for new employees to become fully qualified or experienced with the necessary systems and technologies before they can start working on your project.
As discussed earlier, IT staff augmentation allows companies to scale up or down quickly and easily. This is particularly useful during times of growth when you need additional IT staff to keep pace with demand without having to wait weeks or months for suitable candidates to apply for open positions. It’s also beneficial during economic downturns when you might not have the budget to hire new permanent employees.
Augmented IT staff is also more flexible than permanent employees because they can be shifted from one project to another as required. Therefore, there is no need to train them on specific projects, which means that they are ready to start work within days of being hired. The flexibility offered by IT staff augmentation means that it’s possible to get the right people at the right time. This improves productivity and increases collaboration, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction as well.
High Levels of Expertise
By using an IT staff augmentation service rather than hiring new permanent employees, organizations can get access to highly skilled professionals without investing in recruitment and training. This means that augmentation allows you to get the best people without having to wait or pay extra while you train them on your projects.
While it is true that not all IT staff augmentation services have the same standards of quality, most offer their employees access to industry-leading training programs, mentorship opportunities, and certifications. This ensures that you’re getting top-quality staff and helps improve the quality of your projects while increasing employees’ job satisfaction and retention rates.
While it’s true that IT staff augmentation services provide organizations with access to highly skilled resources, they also give companies better control over their resources. For example, companies can develop customized workflows and processes that allow them to monitor their augmented employees’ activities closely.
This allows a project manager to improve efficiency by tracking costs and identifying resource needs in real-time. It also means that you can measure your augmented employees’ performance and hold them accountable for any mistakes. This improved control over resources helps boost IT productivity, which can help increase profits for your company.
Some Possible Challenges When Utilizing Staff Augmentation
While there are many advantages to using staff augmentation, there are also some potential disadvantages to be aware of.
One of the common challenges is that it can be difficult to find a good staff augmentation service because the IT industry is constantly changing, and most staff augmentation service providers are not able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. As a result, you may end up with an augmented staff that is not fully qualified or experienced in the necessary systems and technologies.
Another disadvantage is that staff augmentation can be expensive sometimes. This is especially true when you need to hire a team of different types of software engineers who are already certified and highly skilled. In addition, most staff augmentation services charge by the hour, which can quickly add up if you have a lot of projects to complete. This can make it difficult to accurately estimate project costs and timelines because you’ll need to factor in the cost of your augmented staff members’ wages and benefits.
Finally, while staff augmentation services allow organizations to hire highly skilled experts quickly and easily, some do not guarantee that their employees will be a good fit for your company culture. Like any other employee, augmented IT staff members need to be able to work well with their peers and cooperate with other team members. It’s therefore important that you create a culture that encourages open communication and teamwork among all of your employees.
5 Best Practices for Team Augmentation
The best way to make staff augmentation work for your company is to set up clear expectations from the start. To get the most out of an IT staff augmentation service, you should keep an eye on a few things:
Ensure that You Have a Clear Project Vision and Requirements
Staff augmentation can be highly effective when employees understand their goals and objectives. Therefore, it’s important for you to clearly define your project requirements and create a detailed project plan before engaging any staff augmentation services.
Find the Right Augmented Employees
Just because an IT professional works for a staff augmentation service doesn’t mean that they’re the best candidate for the job, it’s therefore important to take several factors into consideration when hiring any augmented employee, including their skills and experience, certifications, location, cost-efficiency, and availability.
Don’t Outsource Accountability
It’s crucial to remember that you are ultimately responsible for your IT projects’ success or failure. This means that you should never release responsibility for a project to an augmented team unless it’s necessary.
Know the Augmentation Company & Employees
It can be helpful to get to know an IT staff augmentation service and their employees before working with them on any projects. This is because you’ll want to understand how long they’ve been supplying IT services, how large their company is, what certifications their employees have, and whether the company uses freelancers or full-time employees. This will enable you to decide if the augmented staff members are qualified for your specific project needs.
Understand the Costs Associated with Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is a great project cost-control strategy, but it can be expensive. This is why you should understand the nature of your staff augmentation agreement from the start. You may even want to request a current list of augmented employees and their hourly rates. By doing this, you’ll have a better handle on your total project costs, which can help you accurately estimate your total project costs.
One thing to remember, the benefits of using staff augmentation are numerous, but it’s important to understand that this strategy is not right for every company. It’s best to use staff augmentation in situations where you need highly skilled employees quickly, but you have no time or resources to hire them on a full-time basis. You can use staff augmentation services to complete your next IT project quickly and cost-effectively.
Staff augmentation can be a fantastic way to quickly and easily obtain the skills and expertise you need for your next IT project. By understanding the benefits of staff augmentation and these five best practices mentioned above, you can get the most out of this cost-effective strategy.