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Software Outsourcing vs. IT Staff Augmentation: Which Engagement Model is Better?

business engagement models

In the contemporary fast-paced and competitive business landscape, every entrepreneur tries to enhance operational efficiency and streamline the complex processes with technological innovation. But building a new software product is not a piece of cake.

You should make sure that the human resource which you choose must have the ability to meet specific requirements of the project within the estimated timeline and limited budget. IT recruiting managers of your staff have to bear this responsibility and in order to achieve the ultimate goal, they begin exploring different options they have in hand.

Building and maintaining an efficient in-house development team is not affordable for every organization. So, managers prefer to explore various IT outsourcing engagement models. Confused? Let’s get down to the basics to understand in a better manner.

What Is An IT Outsourcing Engagement Model?

Basically, an engagement model is a framework that describes the relationship between a client and an outsourcing vendor. Also, every model varies based on the level of control and freedom it provides to the clients and their development partners.

IT staff augmentation companies are present all across the globe and are blessed with an experienced team of developers who can fulfill the specific business needs of a diverse range of clients.

IT staff augmentation and software outsourcing are two major engagement models in the software development industry. Both these frameworks help businesses in minimizing employee costs, enhancing internal expertise, and sharing the burden of IT management. Also, you can take advantage of getting your application development, testing, and maintenance requirements fulfilled with the help of professional developers.

There are certain similarities in both frameworks but each of these two has their own individual perks, use cases, and constraints. Let’s explore them one by one and figure out which can be the best option for your organization.

How Can You Define IT Staff Augmentation? Also, What Is Its Specific Advantages & Limitations?

It’s a temporary technique to boost the engineering talent of your in-house IT team by partnering with tech experts who can help the team throughout the project. Staff augmentation is all about appointing specialized tech wizards on a contractual basis on whom you will have full control.

These professionals are an integral part of your in-house team but they can’t be referred to as full-time employees. Also, you can leverage their skills either throughout the project otherwise at some specific stages.

Staff augmentation is an example of seamless collaboration between your in-house development team and external professionals hired on a temporary basis. These two can work in harmony to build innovative as well as functional software products.

Without a doubt, this is a flexible approach where there is no need to worry about the hassles that come with recruiting and nurturing full-time employees. Also, your in-house staff will be free from any fear of losing their jobs because of contractual hires.

Moreover, staff augmentation is one of the best ways to fill the skill gaps that exist in your organization. It also helps you in cutting costs associated with recruiting and retaining technical professionals in this dynamic setup.

But this technique has a few pitfalls too. For example, the candidates which you hire on a temporary basis might be highly skilled and experienced but in some situations, it will be important for you to give them on-job training. Also, you have to prepare your management team to be ready to handle these employees, look after them, and fulfil their needs.

What Is Software Outsourcing? Also, Explain Its Exclusive Perks & Drawbacks?

Software outsourcing is all about sharing your load with a specific development vendor. You will not have full control and authority over the development team with which you will shake hands. But they will work in accordance with your specific business requirements and guiding principles.

You can choose an experienced software development services provider and connect with the development team they have recruited, nurtured, and trained. Outsourced developers won’t work in collaboration with your in-house team but they will be maintaining complete transparency and seamless communication which will keep you updated on the progress of your project.

Software project outsourcing definitely helps in reducing recruitment and training costs as the entire responsibility of managing the development team lies with the vendor. Also, this framework allows you to partner with professionals having a wealth of technical experience and special skill sets.

Moreover, this technique also gives an opportunity to save time for your in-house development team. They can easily get rid of some tedious and time-consuming coding tasks and dedicated that spare time to focus on crucial matters.

Along with a plethora of benefits software outsourcing also has a few drawbacks such as language and cultural barriers with remote outsourced development teams. Also, you don’t have direct control over their development practices which can harm the quality of your end product.

Which Engagement Model Should You Choose & In Which Conditions?

Both of these models are efficient but choosing one is a daunting affair. You should determine your specific business needs and cherry-pick the one which you think can work wonders for you. Let’s explore the specific factor based on which you can make a better decision:

When Should Your Choose IT Staff Augmentation?

  1. You need a flexible solution to support and quickly integrate with your in-house development team.
  2. You want to hire developers on a temporary basis for executing the complete project, a few specific stages or final product review.
  3. You want to have direct control over your development team.
  4. You have sufficient budget to recruit and retain augmented developers on a contractual basis.
  5. You have a talent gap but your managers can easily train new developers.
  6. You want to integrate only a few technical experts.
  7. You don’t want to interrupt the current workflow which is ongoing in your organization.

When Should Your Choose Software Outsourcing?

  1. You don’t have the managerial resources to handle augmented IT staff and evaluate each and every candidate applying for jobs.
  2. You want your in-house development team to pay attention to critical issues.

III. You don’t want to have full control and authority over the development team.

  1. You are experiencing a financial crunch and it’s difficult for you to hire and look after an augmented IT staff.
  2. You want a complete team comprising professional developers, testers, and analysts to look after your project.

How About Ditching These Two & Going For The Subscription-Based Model?

Considering the instability and availability of several options in the software industry it’s also a good idea to go for the delivery of specific software which can optimize the efficiency and productivity of your business.

Yes, we are talking about the Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) business model which is becoming more and more popular. Basically, it’s a distribution-based framework where a third-party provider hosts the software which can be accessed by users over the web.

This model has been extensively used for Customer Relationship Management platforms (CRM) and HR Management solutions. But remember to choose this only when you are very clear with what are your specific needs and how can you fulfill them?

Ultimately, choosing one of the above-mentioned engagement models depend upon your business and its requirements. So, better do your homework and understand the targeted market and end users prior to making the final call.

photo: @dylandgillis

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