Team Augmentation: Is It the Right Solution for the Lack of It Talents?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Current Situation — Employee’s vs. Employer’s Perspective
Solution — Definition of IT Team Augmentation
Companies need to be as effective as possible in today's business world to stay relevant in the ever-competing market. Outsourcing allows companies to still get all of their work done while reducing costs and increasing profits.
However, it's often hard to get it right and could actually end up delaying the outsourced projects even longer. Because of this, more companies are turning away from the model and are looking at — team augmentation, which is a great way to overcome all the challenges of outsourcing.
This alternative outsourcing model also helps reduce dev-related costs, maximize developer efficiency, and help them get a great ROI.
In this post, we’ll explore the IT team augmentation concept, its benefits, and everything else you need to know. We’ll also look at a few interesting team augmentation examples.
Current Situation — Employee’s vs. Employer’s Perspective
Expanding a development team and hiring new IT talent can take a lot of time and energy. According to Statista, hiring for more specialized roles, such as cyber security, big data, and analytics, may take you even longer. The IT skills shortage is a reality everywhere in the world. So much so, 87% of IT executives said in a survey that it’s challenging to find skilled tech professionals today.
Additionally, hiring may not be the best approach to expanding a team at all, as companies likely need someone to get onboarded and start working on your project as soon as possible. Onboarding people to the company, the team, and onto the project may last for weeks — no matter if it’s a startup or an established enterprise company.
Solution — Definition of IT Team Augmentation
Team augmentation is an outsourcing model that helps companies bring in more IT talent. The augmented team usually works as a part of the existing in-house team. Companies use staff augmentation services to access more software developers they can quickly hire, onboard to the company, and get started working on a project. Usually, the outsourced team is paid on an hourly basis.
Let’s say a product company is overhauling its iPhone app. During a critical stage, they temporarily need to hire an X number of iOS developers for Y hours of their time per month, augmenting their internal iOS development resources until the critical upgrade stage is completed. If they need more time or dev talent, they can simply request to buy more hours or developers.
Why To Opt In for IT Team Augmentation
Before deciding if you want to get software team augmentation services, you’ll need to spend some time defining your needs, expectations, and goals. Here are a few different scenarios when team augmentation makes sense.
You Need To Expand Your Team Quickly
Searching for local talent, especially with specialized or hard-to-find skills, will most likely take a while. Remote working seemingly solves this issue, but it’s usually not the case.
What actually solves this challenge is software team augmentation. Getting team augmentation services will help you save the time that you’d spend on finding the much-needed IT talent.
All you need to do is contact a vendor, look through the developers' resumes, interview them, and eventually hire them. The time you’d spend writing the job ad, posting it online, waiting to hear from candidates, screening, interviewing, and doing any other recruitment tasks can be better utilized on your actual project.
You Are Launching a New Project
Software team augmentation services are especially excellent for companies starting new projects, ventures, or building MVPs.
For example, a company has discovered a new opportunity on the market. To be able to assess if they can turn the opportunity into a real venture, they need to build an MVP. Unfortunately, their internal team is maxed out.
In this scenario, doing team augmentation makes perfect sense as the company only needs to quickly onboard the augmented team and they can get started working on the project.
You Have To Deal With Seasonal Bumps
In some industries, needing more IT experts during certain cyclical events such as high-volume market seasons or major annual upgrades is perfectly normal.
When that happens, it’s much easier to ramp up your in-house team with augmented experts and their hours than to hire developers at the season's peak and fire them later on.
You Have Budget Limitations
More often than not, startups and smaller companies need to find a balance between what they need from developers and how much they can afford. Usually, this means that they can’t hire the best of the best.
In this case, software development staff augmentation is a great idea, as it allows smaller companies to still work with outstanding IT experts for a certain number of hours each month.
How To Benefit From IT Team Augmentation?
Team augmentation is an excellent option for companies looking to develop high-quality software. They choose to work with augmented teams for many different reasons, depending on the specific objectives of their projects.
Probably the most obvious benefit of software team augmentation is all the internal resources you can save by choosing to augment your team on an as-need basis instead of dealing with the process of hiring.
When you want to hire a person, you need to spend internal resources either for hiring a recruiting agency or take up the time of your internal recruiter plus other people involved in the process.
Staff augmentation saves all those valuable resources, but especially time. A good IT team augmentation service can get you up and running in just a few days.
Team augmentation makes it easy for companies to expand the number of devs in their team without needing to commit to full-time hires. This reduces the risk of losing investments.
Since the team augmentation model can work on a project basis, companies have an alternative way to try out more people and evaluate how the market will react.
One of the most significant benefits of team augmentation services is the ability to hire as many IT experts as you need. You can quickly scale up or down the number of augmented team members as you see fit.
For example, you can start with a couple of iOS developers and then later scale them up while adding three more Android developers. At one point, you can scale down the number of Android developers while adding one Python developer, depending on your needs.
Team augmentation services are usually also flexible when it comes to budgeting. Many vendors offer the ability to pay weekly or monthly, per hour, and in other arrangements.
IT talents from augmented teams also bring a fresh outlook and opinion on how things are going in your company.
They bring a fresh set of eyes that isn’t going to be blurred by office politics and pre-existing opinions about and connections to other people in your company. This will allow them to express an unbiased and objective opinion about the project they’re working on. Who knows, maybe their opinion will bring positive change to your company.
IT team augmentation saves businesses money in a few different ways. First, companies don’t need to provide hardware, office supplies, and other equipment to the augmented team. They also don’t need to cover vacation, health insurance, sick leaves, or taxes.
Team augmentation services rates are usually on par with developers' salary rates. However, team augmentation is still more cost-effective than in-house hiring, with all the savings on other expenses.
When you compare team augmentation to project outsourcing, team augmentation provides much more control over how the augmented team and their workflow are managed. The augmented team is usually managed by your internal product manager or team lead, which gives you more authority than leaving the management to the outsourcing vendor.
Since the augmented team becomes an integral part of your in-house team, you’ll also be able to monitor their efforts and the development process. This eliminates any risk of dealing with problems months after they’ve occurred just because the outsources manager didn’t inform you about it.
Software Development Staff Augmentation Examples
Speaking of benefits, let’s take a look at how some companies utilized the power of team augmentation services.
TV Industry Leader
The partnership later grew and eventually reached a huge milestone when their software companyScienceSoft created their Backbone.js-based framework that reduced development costs and improved the speed of delivery. Today, the framework is core to all of the client’s products, and nine developers are improving and maintaining it. This team augmentation partnership resulted in the client becoming one of the leading TV app providers.
Permian Basin-Based Oil and Gas Company
Another IT company helped Parsley Energy plan and implement software and hardware IT projects that primarily focused on transforming various business processes across multiple departments such as land acquisitions, legal, risk and accounts, and many more.
The client needed to double the size of its IT department and augment various teams with project managers, analysts, QAs, and more. The augmented team needed to be experienced in complex software and hardware projects in the oil and gas industry. The client needed to establish a project management office (PMO) to coordinate better and establish quality standards.
Their software companyDarby Consulting assembled a full-time team of IT talent to work on the client's project. They also established corporate departments and coordinated all relocations of hard-to-find IT experts. In the first year of the cooperation, this saved the client $1.85M in consulting fees, travel costs, and enterprise project management software.
Speech and Interaction Analytics Leader
EX2 Outcoding partnered up with CallMiner, a production company that helps businesses listen to customer interactions to improve the performance of contact centers and collect business intelligence. The EX2 Outcoding team was tasked with augmenting a team that needed to launch a product in seven months in an area that didn't offer a big enough talent pool.
EX2 Outcoding hired 20 software development positions in 3 months that helped the CallMiner team launch the project smoothly, without any issues. The augmented team was able to hit the same velocity targets as the in-house team in 7 months.
US Federal Government Revenue Service
STP was tasked with quickly scaling IRS's resources to deliver high-priority projects, as IRS needed to quickly adapt its IT systems to support new or changed regulations. Usually, deploying these resources takes time due to the lengthy clearance process. The pressure during this project was even bigger, as the team needed to implement a new infrastructure before deploying new software.
STP utilized 13 subject matter experts, developers, and architects on an as-needed basis to provide IRS with expertise on infrastructure efforts. This partnership helped the IRS meet its tight deadlines successfully.
Check further successful team augmentation case studies.
So there you have it — IT team augmentation is a great solution for companies looking to get an objective outlook and have more flexibility and control while still supporting all business operations.
Software team augmentation is the ideal choice for startups looking to build MVPs or those in the early stages — they get to increase their output while being conscious of their budget, time, and other valuable resources.
If you’re still unsure about team augmentation, take a look at the FAQ section; it may help you find the answers you’re looking for.
Q1. What is team augmentation vs. IT project outsourcing?
While it may seem that team augmentation and IT project outsourcing are the same, they're actually quite different. Team augmentation adds resources to the in-house team to help them manage their workload. IT project outsourcing is the process of outsourcing complete or some parts of the project to a vendor.
Another huge difference between the two is who is responsible for the project. With IT project outsourcing, the outsourced company will usually manage the entire project independently and be responsible for the results. Team augmentation usually involves an in-house project manager or team lead. The in-house team is also responsible for project results, while the augmented team is more of an extension of the existing team, according to Forbes.