Graphic with the outline of a computer screen and the text: staff augmentation vs. managed services

Business leaders have a lot of choices to make when it comes to handling their IT infrastructure. One of the most important decisions is whether to use staff augmentation or managed services. Each approach has its own set of pros and cons, and it can be difficult to decide which option is right for a given company. In this blog post, we will compare staff augmentation and managed services and offer tips on how to make the right choice between them.

IT staffing challenges

It is common for companies to face obstacles such as a lack of access to top talent, a long and costly recruitment process, or a high risk of contract termination. In particular, retaining top talent can be difficult to address, as its causes are highly varied, from a lack of culture fit to unmet salary expectations. Additionally, skills gaps are often identified late within an IT workforce, when addressing them effectively requires a faster solution than traditional recruitment.

What are staff augmentation services?

Staff augmentation services provide businesses with a way to fill in staffing gaps. It is the process of hiring external staff on an as-needed basis. This approach is often used when a business needs to fill a specific role for a short period of time or when there is a need for additional staff to finish a project. Usually, staff augmentation is best for short-term projects or when there is an immediate need for specialized software developers, but it can also be used for long-term engagements. The main advantage of staff augmentation is that it allows companies to access a pool of skilled professionals without having to go through the entire hiring process.

Advantages of staff augmentation: 

  • Cost savings in terms of recruitment and onboarding processes 
  • Flexibility to hire staff on an as-needed basis 
  • Fast access to niche expertise 
  • Ability to scale up and down quickly
  • Reduced risk of team members leaving without an available replacement
  • Lower costs of training and onboarding

Disadvantages of staff augmentation: 

  • Limited control over staff development and training 
  • Need for oversight and management of augmented staff

Staff augmentation use cases

Staff augmentation is often used in the following situations: 

  • When businesses need access to specialized software developers for a short period of time 
  • When staff shortages occur due to staff turnover or other unforeseen events 
  • When businesses are unable to find staff with the right skill set and experience 
  • When an organization requires a highly flexible approach to staffing to adjust to changing circumstances

What are managed services? 

Managed services provide businesses with a way to outsource their IT operations. They give businesses access to a team of experts who can manage, monitor and maintain their IT infrastructure. This approach is often used when businesses need long-term support or when they have complex IT requirements. Working with a cross-functional, autonomous IT team allows companies to reduce the time and costs associated with hiring staff and managing their IT operations in-house.

Advantages of managed services: 

  • Reduced staff costs 
  • Access to a fully functional team of experts 
  • Increased efficiency and scalability 
  • Reduced risk of downtime 

Disadvantages of managed services: 

  • Less flexibility in terms of staff management and training 
  • Limited control over staff selection and recruitment process  
  • Difficulty building an internal knowledge base

Managed services use cases 

Managed services are often used in the following situations: 

  • When businesses need to outsource their IT staff due to staff shortages 
  • When companies need support and maintenance over a longer period of time, but the work will not be intensive enough for an in-house team
  • When businesses have complex IT requirements

What to choose: staff augmentation or managed services

The decision of whether to use managed or staff augmentation services will depend on the individual needs of each business. For dynamic projects, staff augmentation may be the best choice as it allows companies a high level of risk management: quickly accessing skilled professionals that can be brought into the team as needed, without having to commit to a long-term contract. Additionally, staff augmentation facilitates knowledge sharing within the team, which results in the added value of retained know-how.

On the other hand, managed services can be a good option for businesses that need IT staff on an ongoing basis for an engagement of a limited scope, or who have a complex project in mind and no internal staff to take care of it. A cross-functional IT team also requires much less involvement from the client, as it should be very self-sufficient.

Tips for choosing a staff augmentation or managed service provider: 

  • Understand your specific needs and budget constraints 
  • Have clear goals and expectations in mind for the short and long term
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of staff augmentation and managed services  
  • Consider your timeline and whether staff augmentation or managed services will be more cost effective in the long run 
  • Determine what level of engagement and expertise will be practical on your side

Get started with staff augmentation or managed services 

Whether you choose staff augmentation or managed services, the key is to find the right provider and establish a good cooperation with them. Having a team of experts with the right skills and experience can make all the difference for your business and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Start by evaluating your specific needs and consider talking to a provider like DEVTALENTS - we are always happy to offer our recommendations.

Olga Trąd

Marketing Manager

Fascinated by the spirit of innovation that permeates the IT industry, Olga has never abandoned her roots as an IT content marketing specialist. She draws on years of experience in the technology sector to shed light on interesting trends, solutions and practices.

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