Being faced with the choice between augmenting their teams or outsourcing, many companies have struggled with the decision-making process, as both solutions have their perks. And even though understanding these practices and what they entail, might be the first things that come to one’s mind, when it comes to aspects that stand at the basis of this decision, they aren’t the only important elements to be taken into consideration.
Understand your company’s needs, strong points, and shortcomings first.
Before looking into solutions such as staff augmentation and outsourcing, you should make a thorough analysis on your company’s current situation. Determine which are your weak and strong points, and what goals you wish to achieve in the near and distant future. Asking your in-house employees for their opinion is also a good idea, as they might offer valuable insights and can provide different perspectives on the matter. Moreover, they will be the ones that will have to deal with the change too, so make sure they are ready for it.
Know the difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing.
Staff augmentation refers to the process of filling skill gaps, for a determined period of time, while outsourcing implies delegating entire projects to remote teams, that will work on them from start to finish. With staff augmentation, you are able to add or remove specialists, depending on the complexity of a particular project; these experts can help in various ways, whether they assist you with product design, software development, or even offer consulting services. In other words, you get an extra hand, but you’re still entirely responsible for the results and quality of the final product. On the other hand, outsourcing entails hiring a company to complete projects and tasks, and all responsibilities and risks reside with the vendor.
Weigh the risks and benefits of staff augmentation.
In terms of advantages, staff augmentation offers flexibility, in the sense that you are able to scale your team, according to fluctuating demands. This scalability allows companies to quickly adjust to any unexpected requests from their clients, without having to go through the process of interviewing and hiring new employees. Besides filling skill gaps, you benefit from close and direct control over your newly acquired talent, advantage which cannot be found in the case of outsourcing, which offers less monitoring powers. But staff augmentation has its disadvantages too; with increased control comes the extra need for supervision, which results in an increased management overhead. Another disadvantage is related to the unforeseen costs occasioned by bringing the acquired resources up to date with your company’s internal processes and tools, which entails special training.
Know the pros and cons of outsourcing.
Outsourcing provides the great benefits of having more time for your in-house employees to focus on core activities and reduced labour costs. But it is, nevertheless, more challenging to adopt, in comparison with staff augmentation, which is an easier to manage change for both company and already existing employees. In-house staff may feel threatened and unsure about their position in the company, resulting in a tensed and less productive atmosphere. On the subject of costs, outsourcing small projects may prove to be costlier than choosing staff augmentation, as outsourcing companies could charge extra for such projects. But going back to pros, we have to mention that the outsourcing model provides increased efficiency, access to skilled resources, and an accelerated time to market, which are some serious benefits to be considered.
Deciding between staff augmentation and outsourcing may be tricky and you might end up choosing the wrong solution, if you do not take doing thorough research on both matters seriously. Identify your company’s needs and weak points, understand the concepts of staff augmentation and outsourcing, and what they offer in terms of advantages and disadvantages, and only then, you will be able to make an informed and correct decision.
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