IT staff augmentation is a flexible outsourcing strategy that allows businesses to hire extra technology talent to their team, either temporarily or permanently. Many businesses encounter the occasional need for IT experts who can bring something new to the table, such as a specialized skill set, extensive training in a particular field or a unique educational background. When a project needs to be completed, or a new perspective is required to drive the business forward, an organization may seek out an IT staff augmentation vendor.
What Is IT Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation services are generally required when a business needs outside help to complete an important IT project. This popular type of outsourcing model uses temporary workers to help fill short-term job positions within a company. This concept differs from project outsourcing in which a business invests in engineering resources while maintaining control over their team. Outsourcing is typically a prearranged and specific outcome where the risks are shared between the organization and the vendor.
There are two main types of staff augmentation, including short-term and long-term. Short-term staff augmentation is generally used during periods of increased IT developer demands. A business may call in a temporary IT specialist when their in-house specialists are on vacation or sick leave. Long-term IT staff augmentation services are suitable for long-term projects, such as when a business is cutting operational costs, filling a skill gap or when the in-house hiring project is too lengthy.
IT staff augmentation can further be broken down into several categories based on the unique needs of the business. Commodity workers are typically sought after when a business needs reliable workers but does not need specific skill sets. When certain skills are needed but at a lower level, skill-based workers are sought; highly-skilled workers are used when advanced skills are required to complete an IT project.
What are the Key Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation?
It is not uncommon for organizations to experience disruptions to their normal operations when they lack the talent to fulfill important roles. With the right IT staff augmentation vendor, businesses can reach their objectives at a faster speed.
IT staff augmentation vendors have provided businesses in all industries with valuable services for decades. The benefits of IT staff augmentation are plentiful, especially for businesses in need of particular IT skills or training. One of the biggest benefits of investing in these services is finding the best talent for the business’s unique development needs.
Some of the top benefits of IT staff augmentation include:
Finding The Right Talent
IT professionals are in high demand and it is not always easy to find qualified talent to assume key roles within a company. Without proper talent, the business may suffer and the competition may gain an edge. IT augmentation services help businesses connect with IT professionals who have the education, skills and knowledge base needed to help the business succeed.
Maintaining Fewer In-House Staff
Finding the right balance of full-time IT employees and augmented staff can be challenging. With the right IT professionals on board, businesses can maintain a leaner in-house staff, ultimately saving them time and money in the long-term. IT staff augmentation allows businesses to have the best of both worlds by maintaining a dedicated in-house IT team that collaborates with temporary, outsourced tech experts.
Guarding Against Software Threats
Software security concerns among businesses have grown significantly in recent years as the number of hacker attacks impacting organizations continues to steadily grow. One of the biggest causes of software cyberattacks is due to human error. Partnering with an IT staff augmentation vendor ensures that only the most talented security experts join the company’s workforce, providing business leaders with peace of mind.
What to Look for in an IT Staff Augmentation Vendor
It is important not to rush through the process of selecting an IT staff augmentation vendor. Business leaders should take their time and research different options before making their final decision. There are many resources available that can help organizations find and evaluate candidates, such as online search engines and specialized guides that provide ready-made insights into the reputation of staff augmentation vendors. Word of mouth is also an important factor when choosing a vendor to work with as previous experiences with a particular vendor can alter a person’s perception about a company.
One of the first things a business should do when comparing IT staff augmentation vendors is to review the vendor’s portfolio. Many established IT staff augmentation vendors have extensive portfolios providing a wide range of information that could prove helpful in making a decision, such as customer testimonials, domains of expertise, case studies and similar projects that have been completed by the vendor in the past. A vendor’s portfolio provides a more in-depth view of what the company can expect if they should choose to hire the vendor for their IT augmented services.
Next, look at the employment records of the IT staff that the vendor is recommending. Most IT staff augmentation vendors have a pool of highly talented and qualified individuals with a diverse range of educational backgrounds, training and skillsets. Look at what projects the candidate has previously contributed to, the amount and nature of the contribution and whether the contribution relates to the type of work that the business needs to be finished. Looking at IT staff records is a great way to narrow down potential candidates and eliminate those who may not fit the business’s preferred criteria.
When hiring an IT staff augmentation vendor, many businesses focus on pricing. While it is important to consider cost when hiring a new vendor, price should not be the determining factor. It is important to remember that rates do not always equate to the quality of service the business can expect to receive. It is not unusual for a high-end specialist to provide services at a reasonable price, while a lower-end specialist charges higher prices for their work. For this reason, it is crucial to closely examine the IT professional’s overall performance and past work history.
Businesses will also want to consider what sets different vendors apart. Some IT staff augmentation vendors may offer special benefits that other vendors do not include in their list of services and features. Ideally, a business should choose a vendor that is highly flexible and is able and willing to adapt to the ongoing needs of the customer.
The vendor should also be willing to work with the business to ensure that both parties are satisfied, such as giving a customer who hires multiple workers a “bulk discount.” IT professionals should also be flexible in their work habits. Workers may be asked to travel or perform other duties throughout the duration of a project or job role.
Here are a few things that business leaders should take note of when selecting an IT staff augmentation vendor:
- Years of experience
- Strong resumes
- Previous work examples
- Demonstrated technical standards
- Interviews allowed
- Bios provided
- Great project management
- Experience in industry
In addition to looking for good qualities in a potential IT staff augmentation vendor, there are also some red flags to consider. First, a vendor should always allow businesses to interview potential developers for their project. It is normal for businesses to want to get to know their chosen IT professional before making a financial commitment and a simple interview is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. If a vendor refuses to allow interviews, move onto a more flexible vendor.
Another red flag to steer clear of includes no previous client work. A vendor may make the mistake of positioning a worker as a senior developer when in reality, he or she is new to the company or still in school. The person’s lack of experience and skills is often apparent when they begin the job, resulting in wasted time and resources. Always perform research prior to choosing a vendor to ensure that their team of IT professionals have bios that detail their experience in the industry and work history.
Also, take note of the vendor’s reputation; if the company has been operational for any amount of time, they should have an online presence and be known by other professionals in the industry. If a vendor has a bad reputation or, if no one in the industry has ever heard of them, it may be best to move onto a more qualified and experienced vendor that has established themselves as a leader in the industry.
The same concept applies to work ethic; businesses typically want to work with a vendor that has an honest and transparent work ethic that they can trust. The vendor should be able to problem-solve and have the capacity to manage a team well. Good vendors will communicate well and engage in discussions regarding the business’s requirements.
Speak with an Experienced Software Development Company
It is not always an easy decision to bring new staff members on board, including augmented staff. However, this decision can make a positive difference in a business’s ability to meet their project goals on time and within budget. Finding the right IT staff augmentation vendor is critical to ensure that any new staff members introduced to the team have the proper skills and experience to do the job as expected. The vendor should also be flexible and offer the resources that the business needs to reach their prime objectives. For more information about how to select the right IT staff augmentation vendor or to speak with a highly experienced software development company, reach out to the IT professionals at Orases today.