In order to keep a competitive edge inside a tough technological marketplace, companies that have engineers will look at multiple tech models of outsourcing as a way to expand their business.
Two of the more popular models are staff augmentation and managed IT services, which are deployed by companies to meet the myriad of challenges of staffing. An organization may need to top up on tech gaps, or deliver on tight deadlines, etc.
If you’re an organization that is seeking out some kind of solution within this space, then today’s your lucky day because we’re going to flesh out some of the strong points of both staff augmentation and managed IT services.
Let’s begin with staff augmentation.
This delivery approach is when a business contracts a staffing vendor in order to manage additional staff for a specific amount of time. So that when a specific project has been successfully launched, the augmented staff say their goodbyes.
When implemented successfully, this approach can fill in-house skills gaps quickly and efficiently, which is a great option to have available when a development project requires extra hands-on deck, or time is of the essence.
Staff augmentation allows managers to scale up or scale down teams with competent, vetted staff as required, which frees up internal resources, while simultaneously limiting the managerial burdens (staff augmentation agencies deal with the paperwork associated with their contractors) that come with full-time hires.
The expenses associated with recruiting, onboarding, and training permanent staff are significantly reduced when working inside the staff augmentation paradigm. This point is especially relevant if a company is hiring for a technical skill they don’t foresee utilizing on a long-term basis.
Augmented staff, by the very nature of their limited contracts, won’t threaten the positions of valued permanent staff (who might be worried about job security), because it’s understood from the onset that the roles of the outsourced workers are only temporary.
Managers have more direct control over augmented staff (onsite or remotely located) compared to other models — like project outsourcing, for example, where outsourced software development tasks and responsibilities are handed over in greater part to the vendor.
Managed IT services
This delivery approach is when a vendor provides a company with IT services, and almost always from a remote location.
Once the terms of the scope of managed services have been agreed, then the managed services provider monitors and takes care of the company’s IT networks and communication equipment on a monthly basis as well as handles IT issues that arise.
When a managed service provider takes care of the day-to-day IT management of a business, that business often sees an increase in productivity. When core technical staff no longer must contend with basic IT issues, they will have more time to focus on essential jobs vital to running a successful company.
Plus, a managed service provider can scale up or scale down their involvement in how they run a business’s IT networks as needed, giving managers plenty of flexibility to adjust their IT approach as the demands of the workplace dictate.
A managed service provider can offer different types of businesses (manufacturers, service providers, software developers) improved access to IT expertise. For example, if a company’s in-house IT staff has experience managing a local area network (LAN) but lacks the technical knowledge to work with a metropolitan area network (MAN), managers might have to pay for outside help when expanding their communication network to multiple offices in a city.
A managed service provider, with a stable of knowledgeable and specialized IT experts, would be able to quickly assist in setting up and managing a metropolitan area network, without having to hire or fire additional staff, or tacking on extra costs.
Companies that work with a managed service provider will benefit from having a predictable monthly IT payment, as the negotiated managed IT services contract will be for a fixed amount. This contractual relationship means that irrespective of the different kinds of IT issues that may arise – a month with relatively few problems, or a month when the communication networks go a bit haywire – managers will know exactly how much money they will have to budget for general IT expenses, which should help them control their IT expenditures.
When is staff augmentation best?
Choosing the right and relevant tech partner – whether considering staff augmentation or managed IT services – is a vital first step for a company to take when they are looking to outsource. The best way for an organization to decide between staff augmentation and managed IT services is to speak with a handful of tech staffing venders who have plenty of experience. And afterwards, assess your own company’s needs and skill gaps.
A managed IT services delivery model tends to make more sense for corporate IT departments looking for a predictable, monthly budgetary approach to managing their IT networks. For companies that require skilled technical labor on a temporary basis, working with a staff augmentation firm that specializes in recruiting and vetting onshore, nearshore and offshore engineering teams and individual talent versed in outsourced software development would likely make the most sense.