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:
IT Staff Augmentation and Managed Services are popular models for businesses looking to outsource or enhance their IT capabilities. These models have distinct characteristics and are chosen by businesses based on their specific needs, size, and strategic goals.
IT Staff Augmentation
IT Staff Augmentation is a flexible outsourcing strategy that allows businesses to add skilled professionals to their existing teams on a temporary basis, either for a specific project or a defined period. This approach helps businesses to handle workload spikes, add specific skills that are missing in the existing team, or speed up the project delivery time.
1. Flexibility: Staff augmentation is highly flexible as businesses can add or remove resources as needed. They can also easily adjust the scale of augmented staff based on the project requirements.
2. Control: The client maintains full control over the management of the augmented staff, including project direction, decisions, and outcomes.
3. Cost-Effective: It is often more cost-effective to augment staff temporarily than to hire full-time employees, especially for specialized skills that are only needed for a short period.
4. Skill Specificity: Staff augmentation allows businesses to hire professionals with specialized skills that are not available in-house.
When to Choose:
1. When there is a temporary need for specialized skills.
2. When there is a need to scale the team up or down quickly.
3. When the business wants to maintain control over the project and its management.
Managed Services is a complete outsourcing model where a business entrusts the management of its IT functions to a third-party service provider. The managed services provider (MSP) takes full responsibility for the IT services, from planning and implementation to management and maintenance.
1. Comprehensive Service: MSPs provide a wide range of IT services, from network management to cybersecurity, data backup, and recovery.
2. Predictable Costs: Businesses pay a fixed monthly or annual fee for the managed services, making it easier to budget for IT expenses.
3. Proactive Approach: MSPs take a proactive approach to identify and address IT issues before they become significant problems.
4. Expertise: MSPs have a team of experts with diverse skills, ensuring that all aspects of IT management are covered.
5. Reduced Burden: Managed services reduce the internal IT team's burden, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives.
When to Choose:
1. When the business lacks the in-house expertise or resources to manage its IT functions.
2. When the business wants to focus on its core competencies and let experts handle the IT functions.
3. When the business wants to convert variable IT costs into fixed, predictable expenses.
1. Control: In IT Staff Augmentation, the client maintains full control over the management of the augmented staff and the project. In contrast, in Managed Services, the MSP takes full responsibility for the IT services, and the client has less direct control.
2. Scope: Staff Augmentation is more suitable for businesses looking to fill specific skill gaps or handle workload spikes temporarily. Managed Services is ideal for businesses looking to outsource their entire IT functions.
3. Cost: Staff Augmentation is often more cost-effective for temporary needs or specific skills. Managed Services provides a comprehensive solution at a fixed, predictable cost.
4. Responsibility: In Staff Augmentation, the responsibility for the project's success lies with the client. In Managed Services, the MSP takes full responsibility for the IT services.
Both IT Staff Augmentation and Managed Services have their merits, and the choice between them depends on the business's specific needs, size, and strategic goals. Staff Augmentation is ideal for businesses looking for flexibility, control, and temporary access to specialized skills. On the other hand, Managed Services is suitable for businesses seeking comprehensive IT solutions, predictable costs, and reduced internal IT burden. Ultimately, the decision should be made considering the long-term goals and current requirements of the business.
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 project 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.