What is the difference between IT Staff Augmentation and Managed Services?

Staff Augmentation


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As outsourcing software development has become an usual alternative to internal development, different models of this solution have come out. Two of the most popular ones are managed services and IT staff augmentation. 

These terms are often used indistinctly, however, they are two very different approaches implemented to resolve common issues. In this following article you will be able to know what each one of them is about, what their benefits and disadvantages are, recognize the differences in between the models and learn how to choose the one that suits your business’ needs best. Let’s get started:

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

It is an outsourcing strategy that allows companies to use IT (Information Technology) talent from all over the world, and integrate them directly on their internal IT team. The main goal is to bring additional temporary staff to an internal team, being able to complete the skills needed to reach the business goals. Companies can pick from a list of candidates that fit their requirements (list previously filtered by a provider of this service) and adapt the capacity whenever it’s necessary. 

A staff augmentation partner can help you add trained technical resources, whether it is long or short term, although it is more usual that you require staff for short projects. This partner hires the resources directly, which eliminates that expense for your company as well as the responsibility of full-time contracting. However, the developers hired through staff augmentation will only be devoted to one project at a time.  

Let’s see some advantages and disadvantages of IT staff augmentation:

What is Managed Services?

Managed Services refers to the complete outsourcing of IT tasks and duties to a company providing this service. This hired company will have complete responsibility and control of services while the client provides the requirements and specifications. For software development, the client is the one who provides all the requirements and technical specifications and the rest is a responsibility of the contracted company in order to do the development, which also implies a management work. For this job, the subcontracted company provides the human resources that manage a project: project managers, team managers, analysts, among others. 

The administered services provider fills the place of a full time IT team, it works very well for big development projects that require a long term. A good partner will count with a talented group of specialists to face the development project, keeping the client from the task of hiring and retaining internal professionals. 

The provider will autonomously face the projects and they do not consult any decision with the main company, even though both companies agree on formal commitments prior to the collaboration. 

Up next, we present some of the advantages and disadvantages of managed services:

Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services

Let’s see a comparison of the two models, so you can identify the main differences between each other. There’s no better service, choosing the right model is fully related to your project or company’s needs. 

What is the right model for your project?

IT staff augmentation and managed services are currently the two most popular outsourcing models of software development. They have their own particularities, advantages, disadvantages, risk and benefits. 

On one hand, If you need more control and responsibility over your project and on top of that you have enough resources to administer a development team, IT staff augmentation is definitely the best option.

But if, on the other hand, you wish to delegate most or all the work  to a software developing company, managed services is the right one. 

This decision will also depend on the particular requirements of each project, of what it lacks and needs. You have to take into account that every development must lead to profitability, an excellent solution for the business or company that decides to incorporate this model to their organization, Development should always bring more, not create more obstacles.