How to Choose & Hire the Best Software Development Staff Augmentation Company
In this post, we’ll discuss what the staff augmentation services do, and compare them to other forms of IT outsourcing, such as IT project consulting and managed services.
Software development projects come in all shapes and sizes, from simple to complex. For your IT business to remain competitive, you cannot afford to turn down projects that require a large development team, or whose requirements demand developers with specialized skills and knowledge. Staff augmentation companies step in to fill the gap by supplying temporary software development professionals who have the specific skills necessary to complete your project. It’s worth mentioning that the value of temporary IT staffing services has achieved as much as $70B in 2018, while they keep growing in 2021 being propelled by the COVID pandemic and global IT industry trends.
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Staff Augmentation Definition
Most modern companies are leveraging technology to optimize work processes and enhance customer services, and they turn to software solution companies to build their systems and keep them up and running. Many smaller IT businesses keep a small team of full-time IT professionals on staff to meet the demands of steady customers. But when new clients approach with large or complex projects, it can strain your human resources.
Staff augmentation is a way of expanding the capacity and expertise of your staff by bringing in a temporary specialist or team of specialists to tackle a specific project, or to keep pace with a sudden surge in business. Staff augmentation is akin to a vintner hiring extra labor to harvest a crop of grapes and turn it into wine. The workers need a certain level of knowledge and expertise, but they are not needed year-round for day-to-day operations.
Reasons an IT firm might leverage staff augmentation services include:
- Need for specialized skills and knowledge for a given project
- Need for additional staff to meet tight deadlines
- Loss of a key employee
- Sudden uptick in business demanding additional staff
- Taking on a large or complex project that demands additional expertise
Staff augmentation professionals are typically independent contractors with specialized skills and knowledge. They are ready to join your team and step into your project without the need for onboarding or specialized training.
How Staff Augmentation Works
Staff augmentation is a way of bringing on a temporary employee with specialized expertise to work with your in-house team. Unlike other models, the temporary staff becomes an employee of your firm for the duration of their engagement.
Some benefits of staff augmentation include:
- Cost efficiency. Because the specialist is a temporary employee, they are not eligible for medical benefits or other perks offered to permanent staff, and they do not need training, since their expertise qualifies them to step into your project immediately.
- Control. Unlike other models such as outsourcing, the expert staff is your employee, meaning you select the candidate, not the staff augmentation company. While a staff augmentation company helps you to find ideal candidates to meet your immediate needs, the specialist is hired and managed through your internal HR system. As with other employees, you have control over their workflow, and you can keep tabs on the project’s progress, and oversee critical stages to assure a quality end product.
- Flexibility. Staff augmentation lets you scale up your business when needed, enabling you to take on large and complex projects that require specialized expertise. It lets you expand your portfolio and services without hiring permanent full-time experts.
- Reduced risk. As an employee, a staff augmentation professional is obligated to safeguard your data-sensitive projects, lowering the risks of data breaches and identity theft.
- Consistent workflow. IT is a highly competitive field, and IT professionals frequently change jobs, lured by higher wages or better working conditions. Staff augmentations services allow you to maintain a steady workflow, even when key employees move on to greener pastures.
- Avoid stagnation. When you bring in a new team member, your entire staff benefits from their expertise and gains a new perspective of the industry. Long-term full-time workers often become bogged down in office politics, or get stuck in a rut of doing things a certain way. Brining in fresh blood puts everyone on their toes and shifts the energy in your firm, infusing it with new ideas and introducing better ways of doing things.
Software Development Staff Augmentation vs Outsourcing
Some businesses opt to outsource projects that are too large or complex for their in-house team to execute. However, outsourcing poses higher risks than staff augmentation. When you outsource your project to a third party, you relinquish control over the development process.
The outsourcing company determines staffing, workflow, and product delivery. While a well-chosen and reputable outsourcing company is likely to deliver a quality product, you have no direct control over the project’s outcome.
Staff augmentation (also called project reinforcement services) works better for companies that already have established project teams and are interested in flexible scaling or covering certain competency voids.
With project outsourcing, a business doesn’t directly intervene in the project processes or tech matters, while mostly focusing on supervision or monitoring functions. When you resort to this type of service, you fully rely on your partner’s capabilities and their promise to deliver the high-quality results your business anticipates.
With the staff augmentation model, you deal with your own organization and manage every project aspect as you see fit. You control peculiar risks from the point of your own managerial talent.
Outsourcing service example: You have a company selling industrial machinery, which naturally has nothing to do with software development, and you need an efficient software system to enhance your Sales team workflow. With no IT team capable of this project in-house, you hire a third-party vendor that undertakes a full-cycle development of custom CRM software on your behalf.
Staff augmentation example: You have a health tech company that already offers certain desktop software solutions to clients, but you decided to allow users to access it online too, i.e. build a web-based portal for it. You don’t want to hire a permanent team of web developers, as additional costs are not bearable and you won’t need those resources after the project completion, so you hire a web development staff augmentation service instead of permanent workers. A group of borrowed web developers joins your team to execute tasks under your umbrella and then painlessly leave your organization once the said project is over.
Consider the main areas of difference between the Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation models in this table:
|Purpose||Fill competency gaps in the existing team / Add specific or rare resources||Turnkey experience / Execution of the whole project|
|Team Management||Direct control over your team||You don’t manage the team|
|Risk Management||You manage the risks and challenges yourself||You entirely rely on a third-party vendor and their tech expertise|
|Organization||Team members organically integrate with your existing structures||Your organization is not affected|
|Staff Engagement||You eliminate the costs of permanent employment: no recruitment process, social coverage, medical insurance, etc.||No need to hire resources: you deal with an outsourcing company as a whole service provider|
|Key Benefit||You acquire the needed talents without spending a lot of time on organizational tasks / Scalability||Avoiding high costs of establishing an in-house IT team or department|
|Biggest Disadvantage||Potential cross-cultural communication and timezone issues||Risk of low-quality product outcomes / Obscure project processes lying beyond your control|
By the way, if you’re looking for software development staff augmentation in Eastern Europe, you may consult with TATEEDA. We’re a company headquartered in San Diego, California, while we are among the leading tech companies for software development staff augmentation in Ukraine (one of the top destinations for staff augmentation and outsourced development services).
If you need a turnkey software solution including a custom full-cycle software development service, which would meet the standards of the outsourcing model, TATEEDA can help with this service as well. Contact us today to get a free consultation!
Software Development Staff Augmentation vs Project Consulting
Consultants run the gamut from independent contractors who provide advice and services within their scope of expertise, to consultancy agencies that help you plan and manage your project’s development lifecycle.
Unlike staff augmentation specialists, consultants are not your employees. They are service providers, which limits your control over their work processes and performance. Nevertheless, a knowledgeable consultant can bring value to your business by coaching your team and providing valuable guidance to your in-house staff.
Usually, the term consulting refers to a certain competence that is currently out of your organization but should be partially or fully established or adopted inside of it. For example, it may refer to certain innovative and promising business solutions or practices that should be implemented to enhance or/and automate certain processes.
Accordingly, you hire a seasoned consultant who brings in their expertise and minimizes risks tied to the implementation of said novelty practices or tech, which otherwise would be high and costly. Their services may include the introduction of a new solution/method to the team, coaching the staff members, and making sure it is smoothly integrated with existing processes.
Consulting service example: You have a health tech company, and you want to create a complex medical IoT solution with a web-based component, but you’re not sure how such a system should be organized as your organization lacks web tech competence. You get a consulting agency on board to assist you in designing a web-based component and defining the best technology stack for such a solution.
Compare Consulting vs. Staff Augmentation services with the help of this table:
|Purpose||Power up your current team/project with novelty or/and additional talents||Implement a new technology or strategic initiative that requires a deep specialization & sophistication|
|Mission||Capacity and competence enhancement||Tech evangelization, coaching, training, assistance, or guidance needed to adopt an innovative tech, method, or solution|
|Timeline||You define and manage the deadlines/milestones based on your project situation||Usually comes under conditions of the consultancy service package or other service solutions|
|Costs / Payment Model||More affordable in comparison to traditional employment model / Hourly based fees||As defined by the agreed consultancy service package / May include hourly based fees|
|Innovation Value||Process- or project-level innovations, such as essential skills or expertise brought by temporary staff members||Strategic innovation that stays within your organization after the consultants depart|
TATEEDA provides IT consulting services to a variety of organizations, including healthcare. If you need a custom software solution or assistance with your current tech challenges, but you’re not sure where to start, contact TATEEDA to get help!
Our team can offer rich expertise and tech capabilities, including web development, back-end development, IoT development, and mobile application development.
Software Development Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services
Managed services are similar to outsourcing in that they bring expertise to the table, to facilitate a successful project development process. However, while staff augmentation usually implies short-term less formalized collaboration, the managed services imply long-term outsourcing of certain business functions (i.e. whole departments, such as IT division handling a bunch of tech tasks).
Managed service providers work closely with your team to manage and oversee your project’s development. They interact and communicate with the client to ensure project requirements are met, and provide valuable advice about the development process.
As with consulting services, a managed service provider is not an employee. They manage the staff and the day-to-day business processes, limiting the client’s control over the project. Under this model, the MSP assumes delivery risk at a fixed cost and is obligated to satisfy the terms of the service commitment.
Managed service example: You have a huge software-dependent project in mind, but your industrial machinery company lacks an inner IT team that would determine the tech requirements and carry the said project out. You hire a managed service provider to play the role of your IT department and manage the project on your behalf. After you have a managed service team in place, you delegate the further project responsibility to them, including subtasks involving sufficient tech competence, such as hiring a qualified outsourced contractor for project development. Sounds a bit complicated, but that’s how managed services usually work.
In contrast to the traditional outsourcing model, managed services are open to adopting your organizational agenda, workstyle, and certain standards for business processes. A managed service provider tends to long-term collaboration with your company, being an outsourced department of your organization.
Here is a comparison table for Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services:
|Staff Augmentation||Managed Services|
|Organization||Usually stays untouched / Benefits from adding more resources||You launch new branches, departments, divisions, or business functions|
|Billing||Bills on time spend (usually on a per-hour basis)||Bills on retainer (annually, monthly, etc.)|
|Structure||Flexibility + scalability / Allows for a rapid boost of IT projects||Stable / Allows for a long-term IT project management|
|Control over the process||You control the process||A mixed control shared between the client and service provider|
When Do You Need Software Development Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a powerful instrument allowing you to achieve brand new levels of productivity and capability without proportional growth of staff expenses.
For example, TATEEDA provides its customers with medical software development staff augmentation services, including web development, mobile app development, software quality assurance, and other IT services. With the help of the company’s branch located in Ukraine, TATEEDA is capable of project cost optimization, which helps you reduce both operational and strategic costs of software implementation.
Advantages of Staff Augmentation
Free up your employees for other tasks: Staff augmentation is not always about filling competency gaps and acquiring novelty talents but rather about increasing general team capabilities, so adding talents that are similar to those you already have is possible when you’re looking to re-allocate existing resources within your organization.
Increase available resources: You may resort to staff augmentation services when you aspire to boost your project performance. With such a service, you’re allowed to add more resources and thus involve more tasks to parallel execution without hiring additional permanent staff, as the latest option would lead to considerably higher costs.
Make use of the global talent market. Businesses no longer limit themselves to employees available within their geographical locations. Currently, thanks to the power of the Internet, employers can engage IT talents from anywhere on the planet, including the best Ukrainian developers for staff augmentation and project reinforcement. Companies from the U.S.A. and Western Europe can not only benefit from those remote talents but save a fortune on hiring them for IT team augmentation in comparison to permanent employment of similar specialists in their local markets.
Increasing flexibility while reducing operational costs: The modern turbulent and ever-changing world requires business agility, so easier processes of adding/removing resources are in high demand. With limitations imposed by permanent employment practice, you can never achieve high levels of workforce and organization mobility/changeability. In contrast, staff augmentation allows you to scale or reshape your team on the fly, without paying additional costs for hiring and firing your resources.
Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation
Potential cross-cultural communication issues: Team members from different corners of the earth may have pretty different attitudes and values, which may result in certain misunderstandings or even cross-cultural conflicts, which are considered one of the biggest issues of the staff augmentation model. In fact, an efficient IT staff augmentation firm, such as TATEEDA, pays a great deal of attention to boosting the soft skills of the developers and other specialists dealing with U.S.-based customers.
If you’re looking for software developers and other specialists that can seamlessly join your team and pick up the tasks without a lengthy adaptation period, get in touch with us at TATEEDA.
Timezone issues: Considerable timezone difference is a case for many popular Asian outsourcing locations, such as India: this country is 9 hours 30 minutes ahead of New York/Boston and 12 hours 30 minutes ahead of Los Angeles/San Francisco. Since TATEEDA has a branch in Ukraine (GMT+3), we can offer a much more convenient working hours pattern with only 7 hours ahead of New York/Boston, and 10 hours ahead of Los Angeles/San Francisco.
Thanks to such a moderate timezone difference, we can resort to the follow-the-sun model: when a tech team in the U.S. finishes its workday, they hand the project over to their Ukrainian team members and vice versa, so the working process continues around the clock. At the same time, several working hours overlap during the day, which is enough for developers to conduct live sessions and coordinate team efforts in real-time.
Selecting Best IT Staff Augmentation Company
To get the most value from staff augmentation services, it is critical to find an experienced provider with extensive knowledge of the software development process. Choosing a software development staff augmentation company is an intricate process but you can follow the following steps to accomplish it successfully.
To find the best staff augmentation provider, follow these steps:
- Define your staffing needs. Carefully assess your current resources and the impending project’s requirements to identify gaps in expertise and capabilities that need to be filled.
- Thoroughly research the credentials of potential staff augmentations companies. Ask to see their portfolios, and request references from former clients.
- Evaluate the provider’s reach. Do they have a sufficiently large network of developers with specialized skills to meet the demands of your project?
- Inquire about communication style. Does the staff augmentation company have a clearly defined communication protocol that is both practical and transparent?
- Ask about IP and data security. The provider should have a policy of thoroughly vetting temporary staff, and require them to sign NDAs. They should be able to guarantee the security of your data and intellectual property.
- Consider business philosophy and culture. Your staff augmentation provider should strive to understand your business philosophy and provide temporary employees who will be a good fit for your in-house corporate culture.
- Check reviews available online, such as Clutch reviews or GoodFirms profile to make sure the company had already worked with your type of project and has positive reviews from previous customers.
Software Development Staff Augmentation by TATEEDA
Staff augmentation provides a cost-efficient and practical solution to IT companies that need to remain flexible. It empowers your business to take on new clients whose project requirements exceed the scope of your in-house staff’s capabilities and expertise.
TATEEDA offers exemplary staff augmentation services in the health tech industry. With our extensive network of international experts, we are able to provide your company with temporary specialists with the exact skill sets you need for your project. We pride ourselves on open communication and transparency and work closely with our clients to ensure 100% satisfaction.
Hire Software Development Staff Augmentation Team for Health Tech Projects
When you need to hire software development staff augmentation for your current or future medical software projects, TATEEDA is the best choice as we already have vast onsite experience with medical facilities and startups.
Here’s a list of healthcare software solutions we can help you with:
- Doctor & Nurse Appointment Management Solutions
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)
- Hospital Information Systems (HIS)
- Patient Portals
- Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS).
- Pharmacy Management Systems
- Telehealth and Remote Health Monitoring Apps
- Medical IoT Solutions
Contact TATEEDA today, and augment your staff with the world’s top IT professionals.