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When to choose the IT Staff Augmentation model over the Project Outsourcing model?

Fabián Rodríguez
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In the IT industry there’s a continuing trend of trying to reduce costs and improve the operative efficiency of projects; that is why services like staff augmentation or project outsourcing are on the day-to-day of a lot of companies that try to solve their technological needs.

However, choosing one model or the other is a decision that impacts directly on the execution and lead times of projects, that is why, it becomes necessary to differentiate what the focus is of each model and when to use each one.

Main differences: Staff Augmentation vs Project Outsourcing

The main difference between IT staff augmentation and project outsourcing is that in this last, the provider has the project’s control who will also have the responsibility of the management of the project and show the final product, tested on a technical level. On the other side, with staff augmentation you will have in-house software engineers, which means they will work alongside your company’s team to obtain results.

Based on what has been said, in the staff augmentation model, most of the time, salary and social security’s payments are in charge of the resources provider, thereby helping to reduce a very important operational cost.

Factors to be considered for choosing IT Outsourcing

Doing IT outsourcing implies that the provider will be in charge of the project’s entire management and delivery of the product, therefore is the main entrusted of the results. Let’s see some factors that you can use to pick this model:

  1. If you do not count with an engineering team and with experience to develop the software with the features you need, the best is to go with this option because the provider will be the one in charge of correctly defining the requirements.

  2. If the value you need of a product is key for the business and the in-house engineering team can not provide it, it is also a good option.

Factors to be considered for choosing IT Staff Augmentation

With this model there are certain benefits to be obtained, the main one is that there is much more control over the project, because the hired programmers or engineers’ work is managed. Let’s see some indicators that can be taken into account for choosing the Staff Augmentation model:

  1. For projects that require specific abilities that no one in your IT team has.

  2. When you want to increase your response time.

  3. If you do not need long term contracts with software engineers.

Hybrid approach

For some companies it is not about choosing one model or the other, it is more about getting the job done within the established dates. Here, you can divide engineering teams according to the needs and responsibilities, since it can handle a project through outsourcing and develop another part of the project in-house.

But this approach requires a remote team alignment, as it usually happens, which is why it is important to use tools and methodologies that allow adequate communication. For instance, having knowledge bases managed through software with the documented requirements or diagrams of the application’s architecture, can provide a wider perspective to all people involved.

Take away

Regardless of the model used, the ideal thing will always be to find a good partner capable of providing high quality deliverables, especially that can meet the suggested calendar to avoid additional budget expenses that can increase costs in an unnecessary way.

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