Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation: Which is for you?

When in need of special IT services or when you have a special project, it can be difficult to decide whether to augment your staff or to outsource. Choosing which is right for you can be made easier by asking yourself the questions below.

Is the Project Long or Short Term?

If a project is a short-term one, and a one-off, often outsourcing can make more sense. Short-term projects that require a specific skill set often have companies available that can meet or exceed the needs of a company looking to get a project done quickly.

If a project is longer-term, staff augmentation may be the way to go. Staff augmentation provides the added benefit of having an on-site skill set available for your use. This also means that as the scope of a project shifts, you do not necessarily need to re-evaluate the budget and other factors associated with the project. 

Knowing the scope of your project is the very first step that you should undertake before considering either staff augmentation or outsourcing. The nature of your project, its length, its scope and the potential additional projects that may come after are important to know upfront in order to help you appropriately budget and prepare for what skill sets your project will actually require.

Will There likely be spin-off projects as a result of this one?

If a project is likely to result in additional projects requiring a similar skill set, you may want to consider IT staff augmentation. This allows more flexibility in expanding the scope of work needed without adding to your full-time permanent staff.

If a project is a one-off project, then outsourcing may be a more practical means of achieving the desired results.

Can I utilize the skill sets needed for this project in other areas of the company?

Asking yourself where the desired skill sets can be used elsewhere in the company, and what future projects may benefit from them, will help you determine if staff augmentation makes more sense for your project or projects. 

Staff augmentation for a specific skill set is common, and it often happens that new projects arise where they can be utilized.

Do I have an existing relationship with an outsourcing company?

Having an existing relationship with an outsourcing company can help you achieve quick and efficient results from a company that already knows your systems and methods of working. This can be extremely beneficial if you are on a significant time crunch.

Overall, both outsourcing and staff augmentation have benefits, especially for the IT sector. Utilizing one or the other can be a great way to supplement existing skill sets without adding to your employment roster permanently. Determining the scope of your project should be your first step. From there, asking yourself the questions above can help with pinpointing which option makes the most sense for your current needs.

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