Staff augmentation or project outsourcing – which collaboration model to choose

Staff augmentation or project outsourcing
Staff augmentation or project outsourcing

According to recent forecasts, the shortage of programmers in the United States is expected to surpass 1.2 million by 2026, in the European Union 600,000, and in Poland alone, there is currently a shortage of around 50,000 programmers. This is a pressing problem for the IT sector, the solution to which lies in two popular models for preventing staff shortages – staff augmentation and project outsourcing. Which one is the most worthwhile?

What is Outsourcing?

The term outsourcing comes from an abbreviation of a combination of three English words – outside-resource-using, which can be interpreted as using external sources. Outsourcing is the business practice of delegating specific tasks or project work to an external company that delivers its employees.

In the IT industry, outsourcing often takes the form of hiring employees from company A (e.g. a software house) to company B (e.g. a manufacturing company) to:

  • develop the system or parts of it,
  • test software,
  • create a comprehensive digital product.

The major advantage of outsourcing comes from saving time and resources that would have been used to create a project plan or to recruit and hire IT specialists (programmers, project managers, scrum masters, or testers). By choosing to outsource services, you can focus on your business processes, thus increasing their quality and profitability.

By leveraging outsourcing solutions, companies that do not specialize in programming can create a system or digital product without having to appoint teams of developers or testers.

Outsourcing IT projects 

Outsourcing IT projects to an external company is commonly referred to as project outsourcing. That is the case when a company outsources an entire project to an external provider, or a part of it (for instance: testing of the developed system).

In this case, it is the supplier’s responsibility to recruit and manage employees, perform the tasks specified in the contract, and deliver a quality product on time.

It is, therefore, nothing but an external team of specialists who, working remotely or from your premises, ensure that you get the best possible system, application, or other dedicated software.

What is Staff Augmentation? 

Staff Augmentation is a type of outsourcing strategy that allows companies to compensate for skills gaps in their own teams by bringing in outsourced staff.

Based on the contract or agreement requirements, we add employees to your team (team extension) who have expertise in a particular field. “Hired” people can join the team at any stage of software development. The aim of Staff Augmentation is to enhance your team with experts you don’t have to hire.

The right technology partner will provide you with specialists with broad expertise in a particular field and who will quickly integrate into the way your organization operates. New joiners can work both remotely and from your office. Your provider should ensure that the right tools are in place and that roles are shared within the team accordingly.

If you want to get to know the upsides and downsides of both solutions, you should definitely read the article:

Project outsourcing or Staff Augmentation — which model to choose

If your company is facing staff shortages in the IT sector, both project outsourcing and staff augmentation will remedy your problems. Nevertheless, you need to keep in mind that these models have their own specific dependencies, which are definitely worth taking into account at the very beginning of the decision-making process.

Project Outsourcing fits perfectly when you do not want to set up your own IT team and you want to delegate the entire project to a proven external company. In this case, you are handing over all responsibility for the end result to an engineering team that already boasts a defined structure and experience in running IT projects.

Staff Augmentation will come into play if your goal is to supplement the competencies of your own team of specialists. With this solution, you add people to your team who fill the competence gap and exit the project once all their tasks are completed.

Whichever collaboration model you opt for, you need to make sure that you are working with proven individuals who will deliver a top-quality digital product for your business.

Summing it up

Outsourcing IT is a great way to complement your competencies and maintain continuity of work on a project. It is vital to make sure that the outsourcing company you decide to partner with has experience in implementing similar projects for companies similar to yours. Cooperation will run more smoothly and efficiently. Also, consider checking out case studies of past projects your potential provider has handled.

At Solwit, we’ve delivered more than 1,000 projects across a variety of fields. One of these involved the development and testing of secure embedded software for the automotive industry:

Another project involved us supporting the client with the development of a PaaS application for Fintech:

In case you’re currently facing a dilemma regarding your project’s model, get in touch with the experts at Sowit, who will be happy to advise you on the best solution. Arrange a free consultation!