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IT staffing augmentation: What you need to know

Sometimes, companies need an extra hand while dealing with important projects, especially with complicated tasks concerning information technology (IT). 

Most organizations nowadays consider IT one of the most critical support functions of a business and a crucial element to help them succeed. That is why finding the right people with the right technical skills is necessary.

However, an in-house IT team can be expensive to hire and maintain, particularly for startups and SMBs. This is why companies often resort to third-party services or outsourcing to fulfill their technical needs. 

This is where IT staffing augmentation comes in. This can be a good strategy for businesses to save costs and time while keeping operations running smoothly. Read more to find out what IT staffing augmentation is and how it can help your business. 

What is IT staffing augmentation?

By simply reading the term “IT staffing augmentation,” some can get the gist of its meaning. “Augmentation” means the action or process of increasing in amount or size. IT uses technology like computers to deliver, store, and process data and information. 

But when those terms are combined, it may seem more complex and challenging than it actually is, especially if you are in charge of acquiring this service for your company. Let us deconstruct the term and start defining each separately, starting with staffing augmentation. 

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Staffing augmentation

Staff augmentation is the most efficient and productive method of adding skilled specialists to the current team. It’s also referred to as “resource augmentation” or “business augmentation”. 

Simply put, it’s when you need to hire a few additional associates for your project and save money and time on recruiting, training, and maintaining new employees.

Information technology (IT)

Information technology (IT) is the creation, processing, storage, safe transmission, and exchange of all types of electronic data. IT includes the use of computers, networking, storage, and other physical devices. 

In contrast to the technology utilized for personal or leisure purposes, IT is often employed in the context of business activities. Telecommunications and computer technology are both included in the commercial use of IT.

IT staffing augmentation

Combining the two names, IT staffing augmentation is the practice or service of expanding a company’s workforce to support its business operations, particularly with IT-related activities. 

To increase the scalability and effectiveness of program management, the notion behind staff augmentation is to bridge any gaps that might exist between the skills, talent, and experience required by an organization.

With IT staffing augmentation, additional talent is recruited while you remain in control of your team to cover temporary job vacancies within your business and invest in technical resources.

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Businesses worldwide now employ IT staff augmentation services to accomplish their objectives more quickly and efficiently. 

Organizations can avoid all roadblocks associated with finding, attracting, and maintaining qualified software engineers with the assistance of these professionals.

What is IT staffing augmentation?

Types of IT staffing augmentation 

The following are the various types of IT staff augmentation that can fit your business needs. 

Commodity type 

The commodity type of IT staffing augmentation is when another worker temporarily fills a job with similar experience in the same field.  

This type of IT staffing augmentation does not require specialized skills. Companies hiring commodity types usually require urgency instead of developing specific abilities. Some common examples include retail, manufacturing jobs, or manual labor.

Skills-based type

The skills-based type of IT staffing augmentation is when an IT professional is hired to incorporate the specific skills needed in the company. This type requires the talent to have more expertise than the commodity type.

This type does not necessarily need talent with high-level ability, as the roles usually assigned for this type are clerical tasks like typing or data entry. 

Highly-skilled type

The highly-skilled type of IT staff augmentation is what businesses commonly hire. This type involves outsourced talent with high skill levels in the IT or software development field. Training and experience are required for these professions. 

Advantages of IT staffing augmentation 

IT staffing augmentation provides advantages and benefits to a company, such as the following.

Cost-efficiency

The majority of staff augmentation businesses leverage global resources. As a result, they can provide employees at a much lower cost.

Since the staff will be working remotely, companies will also be able to save on fees for an office’s computers, furnishings, and space.

Another thing is that companies usually seek IT staffing augmentation to work on temporary projects, meaning they can only spend additional labor costs for some time and save long-term and future expenditures that come with hiring in-house and permanent employees. 

Access to a broader pool of talent

Companies can access a wider talent pool and are not restricted to their local region. This enables them to meet their requirements on time and quickly recruit specialized or niche skills.

Additionally, communities and nations frequently foster and encourage specialized skills, giving them the opportunity to locate top expertise in a particular skill or knowledge base.

Flexibility and adaptability

For any project, firms can hire as many professionals as they require. Outsourcing of personnel is effective for both long- and short-term tasks. 

By eliminating recruiting and other legal concerns, outsourcing offers unrivaled flexibility for your business’s demands.

An IT staff augmentation strategy exempts firms from investing time and money in employee training, thus increasing adaptability in the business. Companies can hire developers who have undergone the necessary training and education.

Maintain full control 

With IT staff augmentation, companies have complete control over the acquired employee’s duties. They will essentially function as an extension of your existing personnel. Therefore, training may be necessary to integrate them into your business processes or project.

Advantages of IT staffing augmentation

Disadvantages of IT staffing augmentation

However, like most staffing strategies, IT staff augmentation also has its flaws.

Security risks

Since the augmented staff have access to the company’s confidential information, security risks can occur due to information leakage. But that problem can be solved by signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to keep the firm’s information safe. 

Besides that, companies must also heighten their security policies, particularly on data and information storage.

Miscommunication issues

Since augmented IT staff or agencies are usually offshore, there is a potential risk of miscommunication due to time zones and language barriers. 

One way to work around this is to have clear and direct instructions explained carefully so you understand the message correctly. Another is that companies can hire talent located with overlapping time for business hours. 

Management challenges 

The laborious process of integrating your internal and remote staff takes some time and work. Since the hired temporary talent is new to the organization, they may take time to adjust, leading to challenges in managing them.

Companies may also experience workflow inefficiencies since building cooperation and streamlining the remote team is quite challenging.

However, working with a qualified IT staffing firm will make the integration process much more straightforward.  

Greater expenses for labor 

Working with highly competent IT professionals means providing them with the pay they require. This usually comes at a high labor expenditure if the project takes longer than you anticipated. 

However, you may discuss this concern with your chosen IT staffing agency or with the IT individuals directly to meet halfway with the labor costs.

Lacking institutional knowledge  

Since the IT professionals come from an agency outside your company, they may lack internal and previous knowledge related to their assigned task or client. It could take some time and adjustments before they can start with the project. 

This can be a disadvantage of IT staff augmentation, especially in businesses where time is of the essence.

On the other hand, clients who source IT professionals from reputable agencies can expect these individuals to perform necessary actions during the hiring stage, such as background research. 

Disadvantages of IT staffing augmentation

How does IT staffing augmentation work?

A firm needs the right staff and resources to be truly successful. However, a company might need to gain the skills necessary to accomplish its objectives. To properly boost a team, a business needs to take several actions. 

This is where IT staff augmentation can be helpful. Let’s take a deeper look at how it works.

Identify needs

Before seeking IT staff augmentation, organizations must first identify their needs and outline the objectives required for a third-party service. Companies can conduct surveys to identify and analyze the problems in their businesses and what they lack. 

This way, firms can save time and resources by hiring only the best team of specialists for the project at hand. 

Find the right talents and agencies

After identifying what the company needs, this is the time to seek the right talents by hiring directly or finding a trusted agency. 

IT staffing firms vary in skills and specializations. This is why firms must make sure to find the appropriate one for their project to avoid complications in the long run. 

Discuss and settle

Once the right talent or team of skills is found, firms must discuss the specifics of the project with them. This includes the roles and responsibilities required for the augmented IT staff.

After the company has laid out the problems and the hired IT staff has proposed solutions, they must both enter into negotiations and agreements to formally start the project.

Educate and support 

Once the newly hired temporary IT staff is onboard the team, ensure they perform correctly and on time by providing continued support like mentoring to achieve the company’s objectives.

IT staff augmentation aims to accomplish goals by simultaneously utilizing internal team members and outside expertise.

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