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Staff augmentation and dedicated development teams are two popular approaches to successfully outsourcing your IT services. In this blogpost our aim is to guide you into selecting the best outsourcing model for your business needs whether it is one or the other, or even a combination of both.
Difference between staff augmentation and dedicated development team?
The difference between staff augmentation and a dedicated development team mode is not a clear one. There are many outsourcing benefits such as scalability, specific skill set and else that can be attributed to either. When deciding what might best suit your needs you have to consider your budget, timeline, project requirements, and the complexity of the project scope. Still, it is ok to accept that it is not all black and white and you can go for a hybrid model that has the best of each and suites your business needs.
Which one to choose?
Staff augmentation refers to the process of hiring additional external resources to work with an existing in-house team. This is typically done to fill a specific skill gap or to increase the size of the team, as well as to free some company resources for R&D. As a method of dealing with IT talent shortage, it can be one of the most efficient ways of handling very short, unexpected projects when your business needs ultra-fast results with a limited budget involved.
On the other hand, a dedicated development team model refers to a team of software developers that is specifically assembled for a project or set of projects. It is made for one company and can be adjusted as many times as needed during the engagement. This model is often used when a company needs a long-term solution for its software development needs.
Тhe benefits of staff augme ntation tend to fade away in direct proportion to the project’s length. The longer and more complex the IT project is, the more efficient and beneficial partnering with a software development vendor will be.
Below are benefits and factors worth noting that can be valid for both outsourcing models:
One of the primary benefits of outsourcing models like staff augmentation and dedicated development team is flexibility. Both of these models provide businesses with the ability to quickly and easily add resources to their teams without having to go through the lengthy process of hiring and training new employees.
Companies can easily scale up and down the team and at the same time pay only for the resources which they need without having to worry about overhead costs.
Access to specialized skills
Both models can also provide companies with access to specialized skills that they may not have in-house. This can be especially valuable for projects that require niche expertise or such related to emerging technology areas.
Onboarding is quick and smooth
It’s important to note that integrating new staff members into your company’s processes will require training. Usually, though, onboarding an external team consists of the same steps required for onboarding an internal one. This includes translating business rules, introducing corporate jargon, and familiarizing the new team members with the existing ways of working. Once this process is already established, it becomes quicker and more efficient.
Focus on more strategic initiatives
Thanks to both IT outsourcing models, companies free up internal teams that can focus on more strategic initiatives associated with the core business processes. At the same time, they can also dedicate that to the development team to bring some fresh perspective and technology expertise.
Scale up and down as needed
Companies can easily scale the team size as time passes and they have more trust in their development partner expertise. In this way, Accedia has gone from a team of 5 to over 30 working on different core projects within a client’s business. If the software partner is adept at that, they can quickly and efficiently onboard a team member.
In conclusion, both staff augmentation and dedicated development teams have their own benefits and things to look out for. Companies should carefully consider their specific needs and goals before deciding which approach to take. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on the company’s budget, timeline, and specific project requirements. Sometimes, it might include a hybrid version, that couples the best sides of both models.
Benefits of the hybrid model
The hybrid outsourcing model combines the strengths of staff augmentation and dedicated development teams, offering a flexible and cost-effective approach. You can adjust the team composition and size as the project evolves and supplement your dedicated team with staff augmentation resources for specialized skills or knowledge that are not available in-house. The hybrid model also enables better control over the project budget, timeline, and resource allocation while encouraging collaboration between the dedicated team and staff augmentation resources. By carefully assessing project needs and team requirements, you can choose the right combination of resources to achieve optimal results.
Why is it not black and white?
As mentioned the hybrid approach can be most beneficial in some project cases. For example, a company may start with staff augmentation to handle a specific task or project, and then transition to a dedicated development team as the project becomes more complex or long-term.
Here at Accedia we have similar cases, mostly with our long-term partners. A Swedish manufacturing company engaged in the production of bearings, lubrication, and seals, had both outsourcing models with us. At some point, they wanted an experienced UI/UX designer who can fill in expertise gaps in different projects where they already had a dedicated team. At the same time, we collaborate on projects with them, in which Accedia provides the entire dedicated development team that communicates with a business person from the client side for additional insights and assurance the solutions aligns with their goals.
A South African client in the advertising sphere also had similarly nuanced relationships with us. What started as a team of 3, has now grown to 27+ people, spread across more than 7 projects. Some of those projects have become long-term, more complex. We have even created an onboarding process to speed up the addition of new members. With other projects the client just integrated our team into their own till a point where they needed the in-house team to focus on more pressing matters and turned towards dedicated outsourcing model.
A financial institution, client of ours from the UK, has a few current projects, each involving the different outsourcing models. A solution that involved the migration of a client data warehouse, called for consultants with data analysis expertise who can fill the expertise gaps within their already existing team. In a different project, it was solely our dedicated team that developed from scratch a customizable system that allowed customers to provide complete and accurate information for credit validation.
In the end?
In conclusion, both staff augmentation and dedicated development teams have their own set of advantages and things to be cautioned about. When deciding between the two outsourcing models, it’s crucial to consider factors such as budget, project timeline, and the level of collaboration required for the project’s success.
However, do not underestimate the possibility that none of them might be suitable for your needs in the future. And that is ok. A good software development partner can help you build a collaboration aligned to the nuances of your technology and business needs.