If your company is based in the US, a well-thought-out and professionally executed IT staff augmentation can help take your business to the next level. From cutting back on costs and making better use of your resources to accessing a larger talent pool and accelerating your time to market, the efficiency and flexibility of the staff augmentation model are unparalleled.
In this article, we’ll go ahead and tackle some frequently asked questions such as:
- What is staff augmentation?
- What are the benefits of staff augmentation?
- Is there a difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing?
And while we’re at it, we’ll also let you in on the best countries to outsource your software development if your main office is in the US!
What Is IT Staff Augmentation?
IT Staff Augmentation Definition:
Staff augmentation, also known as extended software development, is an outsourcing model that allows you to set up a remote team of engineers to work alongside your in-house staff.
Nearshore vs. Offshore Staff Augmentation
An augmented team can be based in a neighboring country (nearshoring) or on another continent (offshoring). Both models have their pros and cons. Which one would work best for you depends on a number of factors. These include your budget, project type, management style, and business objectives.
As a rule of thumb, offshore staff augmentation tends to be more affordable, whereas nearshore development ensures real-time communication and encourages closer collaboration between the remote team and your in-house employees.
Staff Augmentation vs. IT Outsourcing
Staff augmentation is a type of IT outsourcing in which the remote development team — whether nearshore or offshore — works on the same short- or long-term projects as your core staff. They have common goals and KPIs, interact with each other on a day-to-day basis, collaborate closely on shared tasks, and report to the same project managers. The aim here is to achieve such a seamless integration of the two teams that they become one.
In contrast, under traditional project outsourcing solutions, the remote employees form a separate team that works somewhat independently from your in-house software engineers. The outsourcing provider handles key processes, from hiring and structuring the team to managing product development from start to finish.
IT Staff Augmentation for US Companies
- The level of skill your project requires
- How closely you need your remote and in-house team to collaborate
- Whether having direct, real-time communication between the two teams is essential to you
- How tightly you want to manage your extended developers
- The cost savings you are hoping to achieve
If you need your remote teams to work side by side and communicate directly with your in-house staff, you should opt for nearshore development. The geographical proximity and minimal time difference will ensure tight collaboration and near-instantaneous communication. For US businesses, that means venturing into Mexico, Brazil etc.
However, if you are looking to set up a team of programmers that will work independently, with minimal supervision, and at a highly competitive hourly rate, offshore outsourcing might be a better option for you. Traditional offshoring destinations include India, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Brazil, as well as Eastern European countries such as Romania and Ukraine.
What about Central and Western Europe? Traditionally, this region would be seen as too far away for nearshoring and too expensive for offshoring.
Not anymore, though. The industry has been changing. The past decade saw a massive surge in the numbers of highly qualified yet affordable developers from places such as Spain, Portugal, and Poland. In fact, our US clients report the highest ROI and the best product quality when working with remote engineers from these countries.
5 Advantages of IT Staff Augmentation for US Companies
1. You Are in Control
Staff augmentation solutions give you full control over the product development at all times. Unlike with conventional outsourcing, you get to personally hand-pick and manage your remote engineers at every step of the development process — much like with an in-house team.
2. You Save Time and Money
Many of our clients say one of the best features of extended development is that the staff augmentation vendors take care of a large part of the administrative and organizational hassle. That includes everything from recruitment and onboarding to setting up the office space and workstations. As a result, you are able to increase and optimize the use of your resources. That, in turn, speeds up the development process and saves money. Additionally, choosing a provider in Europe will be cheaper than hiring in-house and locally in the US.
3. You Get to Access a Larger Talent Pool
Are you looking to hire experts with highly sought-after or specialized skills? If so, the chances are that you will find the US market too small, too competitive — or too expensive — for the task. With outsourcing, however, you get to tap into a truly global pool of professionals. Not only will they have the required expertise, but they also can be much more cost effective than local developers.
4. You Can Extend Your Business Hours
With your remote developers and core team working across different time zones, you can achieve considerably longer business hours. An offshore European team, in particular, allows you to stay online and fully operational 12+ hours a day. At the same time, you can still have some overlap to coordinate the workflow during the day.
5. You Become More Agile and Adaptable
Staff augmentation gives you the flexibility to quickly scale your workforce up or down and address urgent needs as needed. It also ensures that your company benefits from having a wide range of professionals and additional skills on board. Given the lightning-fast speed of innovation in Silicon Valley and the US IT industry in general, becoming more agile can give you a real competitive advantage.
IT Staff Augmentation Project Example:
In 2017, Zartis partnered with Valant, a Seattle-based leading provider of cloud solutions for the healthcare sector. At the time, Valant was having difficulties hiring talented and cost-effective software engineers locally.
The company had tried recruiting developers across the US but was unable to assemble a team in the required timeframe. They had also looked into staff augmentation companies in India, South America, and Eastern Europe. However, none of those ended up being a good cultural fit.
The first thing our team did was to listen carefully to what the client wanted: a highly integrated team with excellent technical and language skills that would fit in with Valant’s company culture.
Given these requirements, we pinpointed Madrid, Europe’s up-and-coming tech hub, as a place with a high likelihood of having just the kind of developers Valant was looking for. Then, in only two months, we managed to assemble a team of twelve engineers! Spain really was the place to find top-notch extended developers.
For more details on our work with Valant, check out this case study.
Want to Learn More About Our Team Augmentation Services?
Be sure to get in touch.
At Zartis, we specialize in providing tailor-made technology solutions and IT staffing services. Whether you need assistance with designing the best outsourcing solution for your company or assembling an extended development or scrum team, we’d be happy to help!