What is Staff Augmentation? A Simple Way to Scale Your Team

Adriana Campoy
February 18, 2021

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, it’s critical to make sure your web or mobile app remains ahead of the curve. Achieving this requires technical talent that can maintain and grow your digital product.

Many companies face limitations in time and budget, in addition to challenges finding developers with the necessary skill sets. Not to mention, the temporary nature of some projects can make hiring in-house engineers impractical. If any of these issues sound familiar, staff augmentation may be the solution you’re looking for.

So what exactly is staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation enables a company to extend their IT team by hiring engineers at a software development agency or consulting firm. These developers are officially on the agency’s payroll, but they work as part of the client’s team, collaborating alongside existing staff.

In contrast to full project outsourcing, in which a client hires a complete team at a software development agency to build a web or mobile app end-to-end, staff augmentation services allow clients to simply increase the size of their software engineering team as needed. The staff augmentation model can also function as an alternative to managed services, allowing companies to continuously fix bugs and keep their digital products up-to-date.

When is staff augmentation the best option?

The outsourcing model you choose depends on your business objectives and the type of outsourced services you need. Are you building an app from scratch, or are you looking to add features to an existing product?

In the former scenario, full product outsourcing is probably the most cost effective model, as you’ll most likely need a complete team of designers, engineers, and QA testers.

When you’re growing or maintaining a digital product, however, you may only need one or two developers to get the job done. In this case, staff augmentation is convenient, since it’s often costly and slow to hire a full time employee in-house. A staff augmentation firm can deliver the talent you need quickly, and their developers are experienced in getting up to speed on a new client’s core business so they can integrate themselves with the team and continuously deliver high quality results.

Staff augmentation also provides a great solution when you have an in-house software development team, but your project requires some additional skills or specific expertise that your engineers are not well-versed in. Staff augmentation allows you to add these technical skill sets to your team without having to invest in infrastructure or recruitment. Finally, while you might opt for the full product outsourcing model while you’re building the MVP, it often makes sense to switch to the staff augmentation model for long term maintenance of your app.

What are the advantages of staff augmentation?

Staff augmentation can allow you to access quality software development while keeping your business priorities front and center. From speed to agility to a lower price tag, staff augmentation is a great option for development teams facing a range of challenges. Let’s take a look at what you stand to gain from opting for this outsourcing model.

Faster Time-to-Market

In the fast-paced tech world, being able to release a product quickly can provide you with a real competitive advantage.

Since a staff augmentation agency will have qualified developers ready to jump on board, you can save weeks or months of time that would otherwise be spent on the recruitment process. Developers at an agency are used to getting up to speed on a new project quickly, which translates to a time efficient training process. Their software engineers know how to deliver value right away, and project managers at agencies are experienced in making sure results match clients’ priorities.

Increased Flexibility

Staff augmentation makes it simple to increase or decrease the size of your team according to your needs. Perhaps you want to release a new product or feature as soon as possible, and you’d like to boost your team’s productivity with more manpower.

An experienced agency can make this happen quickly. In another scenario, you may need to reduce the size of your engineering team because of fluctuations in the market or because the project has entered the maintenance phase. Shrinking down your team can be difficult when you’re managing full-time, in-house employees, but an agency will expect these kinds of shifts, and they’re well prepared to take it in stride and assign their developers to a different client project.

Lower Cost

From a bottom-line perspective, staff augmentation makes good business sense. Hiring software developers abroad usually means lower hourly rates, in addition to savings on recruitment, infrastructure, and employee benefits.

Working with a nearshore software development company allows you to take advantage of reasonable rates while enjoying real-time collaboration, as the time difference is often minimal.

Access to Specialized Talent

When your project requires expertise in a particular language or technology, staff augmentation allows you to fill that skill gap immediately. This is especially convenient when the skills you’re looking for are not easy to find in your local talent pool.

You won’t need to spend time and resources training in-house employees when you can easily acquire external developers that meet the technical needs of your project. Software development agencies rely on the talent of their engineers to provide value to their customers, so you can rest assured you’ll be working with developers who are at the top of their game.

The staff augmentation outsourcing model provides an excellent solution to your staffing needs. At sophilabs, we have a lot of experience providing staff augmentation services to clients in a wide range of industries.

Our portfolio demonstrates our commitment to delivering quality software, and many of our customers are so pleased with our results that they choose to work with us time and again for different projects. We’d love to hear about the product you’re working on – drop us a line and find out how we can help you build and grow your web or mobile app!

We’d love to work with you.

We treat client projects as if they were our own, understanding the underlying needs and astonishing users with the end results.

"What is Staff Augmentation? A Simple Way to Scale Your Team" by Adriana Campoy is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Campaign Creators.

Categorized under research & learning.