Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing: Which One to Choose for Project Development?


The first thing that comes to mind when planning a project is how to hire the team for it. With major technological advancements in the past decade, remote work is being accepted worldwide. Better connectivity, more capable devices and higher internet speeds all constitute creating an in-office environment for remote workers. Staff augmentation vs. outsourcing has been an ongoing debate for years, and we hope we can guide you the best.   

When it comes to project development, people tend to run in the other direction when it comes to augmenting staff or outsourcing their projects. The common downside makes people think that staff augmentation or outsourcing their project isn’t right. That’s hardly the case through; according to Clutch, over 90% of small businesses plan to outsource business functions in 2022.   

  • Both staff augmentation and outsourcing have been hugely popular with businesses across the world.   
  • Staff augmentation is fairly new compared to outsourcing but has gained immense pace given its specific capabilities and benefits over generic practices.   
  • Staff Augmentation vs. outsourcing doesn’t have a clear winner until you have your specific requirements ready. For some, either might work, for some specifics are required, and for some, both need to be utilized to create an ideal scenario. 
  • You can seek consultation if you are confused; experts would be the best option in this case to avail maximum benefits.   

What is Staff Augmentation? 

Staff augmentation is a strategy wherein the service taker can extend their team size and capabilities. IT staff augmentation has become a common practice to fill skill gaps within development teams. So, in simple words, using staff augmentation, people can hire the developers of their choice without any permanent commitments.   

One thing to know is staff augmentation is usually considered where everything has already been laid out. People know what to do and which components to build, and all you need to do is hire someone. The major benefits will be discussed below, but the one that tops all the above is scalability, wherein you can extend your team as much as you want.  

Benefits of Staff Augmentation  

  • Reiterating the above, staff augmentation offers great flexibility and scalability. This type cannot be imagined when you hire full-time employees. The only commitment in the case of staff augmentation is the contract you are bound by. With staff augmentation, you can ideally hire 100s of developers to work on your project on a per-hour cost basis. 
  • The augmented staff differs from the core staff on the basis of a lot of things. They don’t have to worry about anything regarding job certainty, security, or office politics. This doesn’t just affect the quality of work, but it improves working efficiency and productivity. When you hire through staff augmentation, you skip worrying about a thousand problems of hiring full-time developers. 
  • Staff augmentation works with integrating into the team rather than asking outside teams to work for you. It means you will essentially be hiring developers to work in your own team. You will have absolute control over everything like you have on your own team and can work your own way through the course of the project. 
  • Skill gaps are usually the number one reason why people choose staff augmentation. Suppose you don’t have access to Flutter developers for building specific components of your mobile apps; your options become limited. But with staff augmentation, you can easily reach out to service providers with your requirements and hire away experienced and expert Flutter developers within a week’s time.   

Cons of Staff Augmentation  

  • Not feasible for long-term projects and maintenance. While you can fill in skill gaps for the time being by leveraging staff augmentation, most companies offer their services for the contract duration. You might not be able to retain the developers that built your solution, leaving you at crossroads later down the project.
  • The cost might turn out to be higher based on how long the project runs. While staff augmentation can result in major cost savings for a project running a few months, it is the opposite for a project that needs to run continuously. Hiring full-time employees would be a better choice for the latter as it could save you more money.
  • Every individual works in their own way, and that may reduce the morale of your own team. This is one of the overlooked facts when opting for IT staff augmentation. When you hire someone on contract from a staff augmentation company, their goals and mindset would hardly align with your full-time employees.
  • Timezone difference tends to be the last one on the list. With staff augmentation from a different company and remote work, it would be tough to set a work timezone. While most employees would be ready to work in a timezone of your choice, it isn’t ideal making them work nights as it might cost in terms of productivity and efficiency.

Also Read: Staff Augmentation vs Consulting

What is Outsourcing?   

Project outsourcing is a long-standing strategy where you outsource the entire project or smaller parts of it to development experts. In this case, you have minimum control over the project’s development, but on the flip side, you won’t even need to move a finger to get things done. Your app/software/web development company will work for you and get back to you for feedback and prototypes from time to time.   

This model offers many benefits for people with more to worry about than actual development. You won’t believe it, but most people are focused this way at the beginning of establishing their businesses. We aren’t saying that there is any compromise in the quality; it’s just that the specifics of customization are to be defined, or the development partner will do what they think is best. There is a workaround for it, though, and you can detail everything so well that the product you get will be exactly per your requirements.   

Benefits of Outsourcing  

  • Reducing costs is the number one reason people choose to outsource their development projects. Building and managing a team is tough when your primary business isn’t developing apps/software. People choose to outsource to save the hassle and cost associated with creating a team, hiring full-time developers, and developing the entire project. When you outsource, you pay a specified fixed cost for the entire project; how to get it done in that budget falls upon your development partner. 
  • When you outsource to an established app development company, you can rest assured about the expertise they carry. Most such companies have worked for every possible niche and are experts in their respective fields. Outsourcing to professionals will multiply your chances of getting a reliable and expert development team and hence a great custom app/software. 
  • You can shift your entire focus to the business rather than development when you choose to outsource. It means your managers can improve the business and do what they are best at rather than running behind development team leads. Development is a major job and takes up a major chunk of productivity and time off your core team. To outsource means you could free up that time to focus on things more important to you. 

Cons of Outsourcing 

  • You would feel disconnected from the development cycle if it isn’t happening right in front of you. Outsourcing is mostly avoided for fear of missing out. While this can be countered by outsourcing to a good development company, some of the above would always remain for some individuals.
  • Jumped timelines are another of the cons of outsourcing and are usually the case when you hire the wrong development partners. While there are no fixed timelines due to changes and agile development methodology, development usually takes longer than expected.
  • Data security remains a concern, especially if you are in Europe. The GD/PR rules are strict towards giving access to data to outside countries, even for the outsourcing of a project and its testing. There are ways to counter it by testing on dummy data, but it is usually not the ideal scenario for any of the parties involved.  

Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing – Which One Would Suit You Best?  

Staff augmentation wins the race for you if you plan to hire dedicated developers. If you want the responsibility off your shoulders, outsourcing could be the best for you. But only if it were that simple. It all majorly depends on different factors related to your business, and you need to decide based on what you would like for yourself.   

There are different staff augmentation and outsourcing models; you have the absolute flexibility to even use both. Suppose you have planned software and a mobile app; you can easily outsource either or augment staff from a development company for either, again coming down to your personal preferences.   

If you have any questions or queries regarding the same, don’t worry. We have been in business for over a decade, and offering both services believe our consultants would be the best to answer staff augmentation vs. outsourcing. All you need to do is request a quote, and we will be happy to build the perfect development plan and help you with your project. 


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