With the first quarter of 2022 behind us, we know this much: Yesterday’s “emerging” IT staff augmentation trends are now shaping up to be lasting influences that may well determine the future of the industry.
One such trend is that, for all the havoc and uncertainty of a post-COVID economy, the sector is thriving.
In a recent report, market intelligence company SpendEdge forecasted that the global staff augmentation services market would grow at a 3.53% CAGR between 2021 and 2025, reaching a total incremental spend of $81.87 billion.
What are the reasons for the growing popularity of this outsourcing model, and what are some other IT staff augmentation trends you should be aware of?
Keep reading to find out!
What Is IT Staff Augmentation?
IT staff augmentation, also known as extended software development, is an outsourcing strategy where dedicated remote teams of software engineers work in close collaboration with your in-house staff.
The remote and in-house teams work on the same tasks and projects, have shared goals and KPIs, interact daily, and often report to the same project managers. This helps achieve seamless integration of the external and internal teams.
As a result, you get to boost developer productivity, address skill shortages, and realize a faster time to market — all at a lower cost and without the hassle of hiring more in-house employees.
Why Is IT Staff Augmentation on the Rise?
Here are three reasons why the staff augmentation model has proven so popular over the last few years:
Superior Flexibility and Team Integration
Staff augmentation offers a higher degree of flexibility and team integration than more traditional forms of outsourcing, such as offshoring.
The remote teams operate as seamless extensions of their in-house coworkers, allowing for smooth integration and close collaboration on daily tasks and operations. At the same time, you have the flexibility to scale your remote development team up or down as needed and with a lot less red tape than would be required with an in-house workforce.
Suitable for Remote and Hybrid Work Arrangements
Two years into the pandemic (and counting), remote work is no longer a new or trending concept. It’s the new normal, and the software development sector is no exception. According to an analysis by The Economist, just 13% of tech job listings in 2011 mentioned remote work. That figure jumped to over 75% a decade later.
IT staff augmentation services are uniquely well-suited for the needs of a remote-first global economy that isn’t yet ready to let go of all the benefits of onsite work. By combining extended software development with a high degree of team collaboration and managerial control, this business model brings the best of both worlds.
Lower Risk Than Other Outsourcing Models
Augmented teams usually work alongside the client’s in-house developers. This enables (and calls for) tighter supervision and control similar to an internal team, lowering the overall risk compared to other types of outsourcing services.
4 IT Staff Augmentation Trends to Watch Out for in 2022
Here are four trends in the IT staff augmentation space you should keep a close eye on:
1. The Great Resignation Is Upon Us
In the U.S., four million workers quit their jobs in July 2021 alone. Resignation rates had remained unusually high for several months prior. They peaked in April, resulting in an unprecedented 10.9 million job openings at the end of July. Turnover was highest among mid-career employees and in the tech and healthcare industries.
Economists quickly coined a name for this phenomenon: the Great Resignation. Employees across industries are quitting en masse — partly due to COVID, partly due to life changes or for better salaries and more flexible work arrangements.
One corollary of this is that the IT job market has become a lot more competitive. It has always been difficult to attract and keep high-skilled engineers. However, employers must now contend with the added challenge of filling a large number of newly open roles on short notice.
This is where staff augmentation services come in. Instead of going through the laborious and time-intensive process of recruiting in-house developers, staff augmentation enables you to quickly and easily assemble a first-rate software development team and fill any staffing gaps and skill shortages you may be experiencing.
2. Businesses Are Going the Extra Mile to Get the Right People
Depending on where you’re based, your local market may not offer the range and quality of tech talent your business needs. In contrast, staff augmentation enables you to tap into a much larger global talent pool, including locations known for top-rate tech experts such as Europe and Latin America.
3. Cyberattacks Are at a Record High
With the advent of remote work, many companies found themselves ill-prepared to ensure best security practices with their employees working from home. Poorly protected home devices were suddenly being used for business purposes, opening new attack surfaces for hackers.
The fact that cyberattacks are on the rise isn’t helping, either. In 2020 alone, ransomware victims in the U.S. paid nearly $350 million — that’s or 311% more than in 2019 — and 82% of IT teams reported an increase in cyberattacks.
What’s worse is that many employees don’t seem to be taking such threats seriously. One security firm found that over half of senior IT technicians believe their teams have picked up bad cybersecurity habits while working remotely.
Unfortunately, not all IT staff augmentation companies offer the same level of protection. To protect your employees and your business, it’s essential to choose an outsourcing partner who is up to speed with the latest security practices. For example, Zartis is ISO 27001-certified, and all our engineers go through rigorous security training.
4. Business Adaptability Is a Must
The pandemic and the ensuing market upheavals have caused many companies to seek solutions to help them navigate the rapidly changing environment. For some, this meant changing their product or service offering. For others, it meant changing the way they work and becoming more flexible and agile.
The traditional IT managed services model involves outsourcing complete projects or processes. This allows for little direct interaction and control over the extended developers and doesn’t enable quick and easy changes to the team structure or the project itself. In contrast, the staff augmentation model allows companies to work closely with their extended team daily, overseeing the tasks and the agenda. It also becomes much easier to tweak project requirements and scale up and down as needed.
Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation
To recap, what are the advantages of staff augmentation, and how can it benefit your business?
You Take the Lead
Staff augmentation solutions give you more control over product development than any other outsourcing model. You get to hand-pick and manage your remote engineers at every stage of the software development process, much like you would an in-house team.
You Can Tap into a Global Talent Pool
If you’re looking for developers with highly sought-after or advanced skills, you’ll probably find your local market too small or competitive. Staff augmentation opens you up to an international pool of engineers. Many of them will not only have the expertise you need but may also charge more cost-effective hourly rates than local talent.
You Can Become More Agile
It’s easy to scale an augmented team up or down as your needs evolve. As a bonus, you also benefit from having a wider range of skills on board, enabling rapid innovation.