Outsourcing is what happens when internal human resources become insufficient or completely unavailable to meet critical and time-sensitive business needs. Where full-time hires is not feasible, outsourcing can be the solution. It’s a growing trend across many industries, but the tech space is still leading the way. According to a 2022 global survey, 81% of industry leaders turn to outsourcing partners for cybersecurity needs. And with China, the US and other developed economies facing a potential shortage of IT talents to service its growing tech industry, outsourcing has never been more important.
IT staff augmentation and delivery teams are common outsourcing models businesses consider during resource constraints or urgent project deadlines in software development. Today, it is not uncommon for startups to seek the expertise of delivery teams or Uptech IT staff augmentation services to solve complex technical challenges and accelerate their product development process.
What is IT Staff Augmentation?
IT staff augmentation means expanding your in-house team’s capacity by temporarily hiring external professionals to meet specific project needs or skill requirements. It is a smart move for companies struggling with technology skills gaps in their workforce. These temporary employees will bring their expertise to fill skill gaps, secure the necessary resources, and make internal operations more efficient.
For example, a company facing a surge in customer support requests due to launching a new product will benefit from IT staff augmentation. Rather than burdening the existing customer support team, the company can bring additional support agents with the required product knowledge and communication skills. These temporary agents can handle the increased customer inquiries and maintain customer satisfaction.
Pros of IT Staff Augmentation
Access to global talent: IT staff augmentation presents an opportunity to tap into top-quality talent from around the globe, all within your budget.
While your company may not have physical offices in every city or country where you require talent, highly skilled freelancers are accessible from virtually every corner of the globe, ready to provide exceptional IT staff augmentation services. Ukraine, Poland, and India are top destinations for highly-talented and affordable software developers.
No need for special training: Any talent your hire for IT staff augmentation come (or should come) ready-made. Given the seasonal nature of their role, candidates are carefully selected based on their prior experience working on similar projects. Compared to new hires and full-time employees, they don’t necessarily need to be onboarded or undergo training to perform their functions.
Expertise: Staff augmentation is one of the best options for seasonal projects or workloads that require skills unavailable in-house. Since those skills are short-term needs, it makes business sense to benefit from the expertise of external professionals through staff augmentation.
Overhead cost savings: Some long-term costs and overhead, such as lease payments, utilities and maintenance, are usually out of the equation when seeking IT staff augmentation services.
Cons of IT Staff Augmentation
Knowledge gap: Existing employees have the contextual knowledge that may be missing in talents hired through staff augmentation. In a good case scenario, integrating augmented staff will open a learning curve and require additional time and effort for knowledge transfer. In a worst-case scenario, this knowledge gap can lead to inefficiencies, misalignment, and potential challenges in effectively integrating the augmented staff into the existing team.
More oversight functions for project managers: Expanding a team to accommodate external experts requires additional supervisory responsibilities. That may cause an increased managerial workload and potential strain on project managers who must now oversee both the augmented staff and in-house team. And for augmented staff, extra attention is needed because they may not be working with the internal team in the same location.
What is a Delivery Team?
A delivery team for software development is a group of diverse experts that can get things done with little or no involvement of the in-house team in the execution process. All activities needed to complete a project successfully are the delivery team’s responsibility, including hiring the development team members.
Companies hire a delivery team because of their extensive software development experience, ability to deliver high-quality products within tight deadlines, and self-sufficiency in managing the entire development cycle.
So when support is required for the entire software development life cycle, a dedicated delivery team is the better option over IT staff augmentation. In a delivery team, you will have project managers, product managers, software engineers, designers, UX writers, quality assurance specialists, and even compliance officers in the case of Fintech or Healthcare.
Pros Of Delivery Team
Agile Market Response: When businesses need to promptly seize new market opportunities by creating software solutions, delivery teams are an ideal choice. The benefit is that business managers are freed from the task of talent scouting to build a software development team. With a delivery team, you have every talent to launch your product in record time.
Reduced cost: One of the biggest challenges in software development is managing multiple vendors and contractors. A delivery team can solve this challenge because they have tried-and-tested processes to maximise resources and minimise wastage.
Less burden on managers: A delivery team means a unified, cross-functional group of experts working together. They offer full-stack software and comprehensive IT services. As such, managers hiring them will have less burden of overseeing individual tasks and focus on overall project direction.
Cons of Delivery Team
Expensive: We can not ignore the fact that delivery teams are a considerable financial investment. You’re hiring a whole team that comprises a minimum of three to five professionals. Besides, engaging external teams can be expensive, especially if the project requires additional improvements not discussed at the outset.
Limited Control: Since the independent delivery team is in charge of the entire development process, managers have less control over the choices of vendors, contractors, selection of key team members, and their procedures. So, if communication protocols are not well-established, there is room for conflicting priorities that can affect the collaboration between the delivery team and the business.
To minimize the risk of potential misalignment, managers must create regular checkpoints and conduct thorough performance evaluations during the important stages in the development process.
These two outsourcing models are suitable for different scenarios. IT staff augmentation is typically considered by companies with an in-house team of developers but face a skill or resource gap for their specific project. On the other hand, if there is no existing team, hiring a dedicated delivery team emerges as the optimal choice. They offer all the necessary skills and resources to manage the entire software development life cycle.