March 7, 2022 m.stachowiak@sigmoidal.io

Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation

a revolutionary way of outsourcing or just supplementary perks

The business environment is dynamically changing. Demand for freelancers, expert data scientists, and machine learning engineers is constantly growing as more and more companies decide to implement AI-based solutions. Therefore outsourcing parts of the project is imminent. Many companies have to determine if they want to outsource the IT project or use IT Staff Augmentation to complete it. 

So what exactly is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a way of complementing your existing team of engineers. You may put Staff Augmentation as a specific outsourcing strategy. It allows companies to fill the skill gaps within the organization and get a competitive edge in the industry. 

In staff augmentation, the responsibility of project management is the main difference. In the staff augmentation model, core project management is usually maintained internally by the client, despite the project being developed by external workers.

Your team can be augmented with a specialist with expert knowledge in a specific field. The ultimate goal of the professionals joining your project is to use their skill set to move the IT project forward.

The choice between IT Project Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation?

Determining whether to augment your data science team or outsource your IT project depends on your current team’s capability and your goals for your project. Staff Augmentation is a better option if you have a reliable internal team with structured project management, but you lack the machine learning expertise needed for a specific project. 

IT Staff augmentation boosts your software engineering team’s numbers with capable data scientists throughout a project or during specific phases. It is one approach an IT staffing agency can provide you with. This method ensures that you will hold onto your competitive advantage. 

Hiring a dedicated team, so outsourcing the workload completely, means also hiring a project manager, which minimizes your input and control over the project. In the case of smaller projects, outsourcing can be less cost-effective. In addition, outsourcing companies may charge a premium for them. Still, it’s a good way out if you do not have any IT specialists working for you internally. The drawback being less overall control over the project. 

Relationship between the client and the vendor

When utilizing Staff Augmentation of IT Outsourcing, it’s of utmost importance to create more direct and permanent cooperation. This is a factor you should search for while visiting vendors’ websites, reading through their case studies, or talking to their representatives. You have to make sure that the relationship will be long-lasting, with the vendors’ engineering team actively participating in your project. A close partnership allows for a deeper understanding of your company’s actual needs and challenges.

A possible challenge of temporary employment is that augmented data scientists or engineers may lack the knowledge of your organization and your products. Therefore you should research the companies that offer staff augmentation services in-depth to ensure their active engagement throughout the project. The vendor that is most likely to deliver the desired results should have previous experience in your industry with the ability to transfer their internal experience, expertise, and practices to ensure project success.

At the end of the day, if the vendor shows enormous interest in your project from the beginning, it’s more likely to ensure the final success of your IT project.

Advantages of Staff Augmentation

The main advantage of staff augmentation is cost reduction related to recruitment, payroll services, and project implementation. This model is also easily scalable. After finding the right partner, who has access to the right resources, it’s much easier to extend the contract to accommodate more data scientists or terminate some of them. Therefore it is possible to quickly increase (or decrease) the size of the team.

This complete shift of responsibility minimizes formalities with the internal recruitment process and employment, focusing more on the core business and project goals.

Supplemental machine learning engineers work directly with your in-house team, giving managers direct oversight over how data scientists integrate and cooperate with your employees. A bonus is that your internal team won’t have to worry about job security or be threatened by the additional talent coming in from technical staffing companies. This also means that your internal team will be more inclined to work closely with engineers provided through the staff augmentation service.

Staff augmentation is a way to cut costs without sacrificing quality. You can quickly fill in-house skill gaps with outside data science talent. In addition, the staff augmentation model will save you money by reducing the general overhead costs of hiring engineers internally. 

Conclusions

The demand for skilled data scientists is high, while the supply is low. For this reason, you should be on the lookout for companies specializing in staff augmentation with an already-in-place network of AI specialists rather than outsourcing your projects. 

It enables you to fill the skill gaps, maximize the project effectiveness, and reduce the overhead costs instead of hiring a whole new team of full-time employees that you need to let go when specific tasks are finished.

So, we recommend you take a look at Staff Augmentation, as it may be the answear you are currently looking for.

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