Staff Augmentation vs Dedicated Outsourcing: Which Model Works Best for Your IT & Software Projects?

In today’s uncertain economic climate, businesses are facing difficult choices when it comes to managing their workforce. With the ongoing global recession, companies are looking for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency, while still maintaining the level of service and quality their customers expect. One way to do this is by turning to staff augmentation or dedicated outsourced teams. But when examining the merits of staff augmentation vs outsourcing, which model is truly the best for your specific business?

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both staff augmentation and dedicated outsourced teams, so that you can determine which strategy is the right fit for your company. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each staffing approach can help you make a more informed decision that will ultimately benefit your bottom line.

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Defining Staff Augmentation & Dedicated Outsourcing for the IT & Software Development Space

Before we dive into the core components of staff augmentation vs project outsourcing, let’s start with the basic definitions of each model. Staff augmentation is a business strategy used to supplement a company’s existing resources and capabilities by hiring external personnel to fill in specific skill or knowledge gaps. This can be done on a short-term or long-term basis, and the goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s operations. Staff augmentation can be used in a variety of industries and for a wide range of tasks. It can also be used to cover for temporary absences, such as maternity leave or extended vacations. Staff augmentation can also provide access to specialized expertise and resources that may not be available in-house, helping companies to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce costs.

Engaging dedicated outsourced teams is the process of contracting a third-party company or individual to perform a specific task or service that would otherwise be done in-house. The purpose of dedicated outsourced teams is typically to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and access specialized expertise or resources that may not be available within the organization. For example, a company may outsource certain IT or software development tasks to a third-party vendor that specializes in those areas in order to access specialized expertise and resources that the company does not have in-house.


Consider Your Preferred Level of Control

Through streamlined staff augmentation, a company can maintain control over the work being done by clearly defining the scope and expectations of the project, and by closely managing the work of the external resources. This can include setting clear goals, providing detailed specifications and guidelines, and establishing clear lines of communication and feedback. Additionally, by using augmentation, a company can also maintain control over its budget and timelines, as well as the quality of the work produced.

When a company outsources work, it is effectively giving up control over that work to the external party. This can include control over the day-to-day operations of the function or process, as well as control over the resources and personnel involved. The external party is responsible for managing the work and ensuring that it meets the company’s specifications and standards. They may have their own processes, methods, and systems in place, which may differ from the company’s. Additionally, the external party may have its own priorities and objectives that may not align with the company’s.


Analyzing Cost Effectiveness

When it comes to engaging with cost-effective staffing solutions, organizations typically have a choice between two main options – staff augmentation and dedicated outsourced teams. Other alternatives like hiring a brand new employee can be much more costly due to increasing salaries, employee benefits and a long recruitment process. Staff augmentation has emerged as the more cost-effective staffing alternative.

One of the key benefits of staff augmentation is that it allows organizations to control the cost of hire. The cost of hire is based on the employer’s specific requirements, which means that the cost is stable and predictable for the length of the engagement. This is a significant advantage over dedicated outsourced teams, where the cost of hire can be difficult to predict, particularly when considering factors such as overtime pay, benefits, and taxes.

In addition, staff augmentation provides organizations with the flexibility to define the length of employment. This can be as short, mid, or long-term, based on the defined project scope and can include options for transition to full-time hire. With dedicated outsourced teams, the length of employment is usually longer, with organizations committing to a specific team for an extended period of time, which can be challenging if project requirements change or if the market shifts.

Staff augmentation also provides organizations with the flexibility to start and stop collaboration as needed, without any commitments or strings attached. Dedicated outsourced teams are typically committed to a project for a set time, regardless of requirements changing due to various circumstances.

On top of that, staff augmentation shifts the HR and talent acquisition responsibilities from the company to the service provider, which can help reduce costs. With dedicated outsourced teams, organizations are typically responsible for managing and developing their employees, which can be a significant cost and time commitment. Overall, staff augmentation is significantly more cost-effective than dedicated outsourced teams, although they both remain the least costly staffing solutions available to businesses across the board.


Project Outsourcing Vs. Staff Augmentation: Which is Riskier?

Dedicated outsourced teams can bring new risks, such as loss of intellectual property or reduced quality control. When a company outsources work to another company or individual, it may inadvertently share sensitive information or trade secrets. The company may not have the same level of oversight or control over the work being done, which can lead to reduced quality or compliance issues. It’s important for companies to thoroughly research potential dedicated outsourced team partners and have robust contracts in place to mitigate these risks.

Staff augmentation, unlike dedicated outsourced teams, does not introduce the same risks of loss of intellectual property or reduced quality control. In staff augmentation, a company works with an external partner to supplement its existing internal capabilities. This means that the company retains a higher level of control over the work being done, and is less likely to inadvertently share sensitive information or trade secrets. Additionally, the company is able to maintain its own quality control processes and standards, which can help ensure that the work being done meets the company’s desired level of quality. To add an extra layer of security, the client company can opt to require the augmented team to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to establish a confidential business relationship.


Elevate Your IT Team with Elite Staff Augmentation

As can be seen, staff augmentation can be a valuable strategy for organizations looking to scale up or down their workforce quickly and efficiently, in comparison to other staffing models. While every staffing solution comes with its pros and cons, the solution you choose for your business should be one that aligns with your staffing purpose, fits your requirements, reduces costs, and mitigates risks.

For most rapidly growing businesses that require flexibility and scalability above all else in their staffing solution, staff augmentation is the best choice. 

Sphere Partners offers world-class staff augmentation services to optimize your team with our experienced and skilled full-time developers, designers, project managers, data professionals, product managers, and business analysts. As your trusted partner, we provide in-house training to ensure that each of our experts works specifically to your requirements. Our IT staff augmentation solutions can help you save time and money, avoid operational inefficiencies, and limit risk. Grow and scale your business with all the resources you need at hand! Reach out to Sphere Partners today!

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