Staff Augmentation vs IT Outsourcing: Which is Right for Your Business?

Jeffery Thompson
Leading the Charge in Custom Software Solutions as Founder/CEO of BIT Studios
IT Outsourcing
11 min read
Published: Feb 15, 2023
Updated: Feb 15, 2023
Staff Augmentation Vs IT Outsourcing - Business owner deciding which outsourcing model to choose for his business

Finding the right approach to scaling your software development team is a significant challenge. It is often a make-or-break decision for many companies in the IT industry. With many business engagement models, deciding which to choose can be challenging.

What Is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is when a third-party service provider supplements a company’s in-house team with an external team of experts. It increases the technical capabilities of their development teams. This approach allows businesses to acquire highly-skilled talent and accelerate projects quickly. With this approach, companies won’t have to undergo the process of recruiting full-time employees.

More flexibility and operational efficiency are the main benefits of staff augmentation services. This strategy also allows the in-house team to scale depending on current project needs. Staff augmentation is the ideal approach for companies working on short-term projects.

What Is IT Outsourcing?

IT project outsourcing involves transferring certain software development operations and processes to outsourcing vendors. With this approach, companies can offload specific tasks to specialized experts. It frees their internal teams and lets them focus on core activities and strategic projects.

Software outsourcing is often employed when a business needs to expand its IT capabilities. Businesses use this model when they quickly need more in-house skills to handle technical tasks. Companies can benefit from improved flexibility and scalability through outsourcing. They will have access to leading technologies, faster time-to-market, and overall cost savings.

Staff Augmentation vs. IT Outsourcing: Understanding the Differences

When embarking on any project, it pays to be aware of the critical differences between staff augmentation and IT project outsourcing.

Staff Augmentation vs. IT Outsourcing: Understanding the Differences - Infographics by BIT Studios

Purpose of the Project

Staff augmentation allows companies to deploy specialists when needed quickly. They can keep staff size and the overall scope of their contracts with full-time workers. It makes meeting deadlines and fulfilling projects easier.

IT outsourcing provides a unique way for businesses to take advantage of specialist skill sets. This model assigns chunks of process work under more strict terms than staff augmentation projects often offer. With staff augmentation and software project outsourcing, companies can benefit greatly. Still, they must evaluate their options carefully to choose between staff augmentation VS outsourcing.

Project Control

One significant difference between staff augmentation and IT project outsourcing is control. You retain direct managerial control when you choose staff augmentation for an IT project. You can choose which staff members to hire to develop specific application aspects. Setting parameters surrounding deadlines and expected outcomes is also in your control.

In comparison, when an organization decides to outsource IT projects, most of the commands are with the outsourcing vendor. This shift in management may result in a different work culture. It’s essential to carefully consider each approach and factor in control when deciding which best fits your needs.

Work Location

With staff augmentation, you can hire a remote team from remote locations. The augmented team is usually within the origin country. However, with project outsourcing, the services will always be in a remote geographic location.

The benefit of remote IT project outsourcing is that it gives companies access to highly skilled professionals at a fraction of the cost. Companies that engage in remote project outsourcing often use multiple vendors to manage regular daily operations.

Project Timeframe

The timeframe for outsourcing software development can vary greatly. While remote software outsourcing is more cost-effective and faster to implement, the total duration of projects can be up to 6 months.

Staff augmentation offers more flexibility concerning project timeframes. Depending on the specific project requirements, an entire project may take anywhere from 1 week to several months. This timeframe allows organizations the luxury of completing tasks at their own pace.

Advantages Of The Staff Augmentation Business Model

Staff augmentation is a valuable tool for organizations looking to acquire skilled resources. It increases the development capabilities of their existing team. Here are some of the advantages human resource augmentation offers.

Flexibility in Staffing

Staff flexibility allows organizations to respond swiftly to changing market conditions. It will enable them to scale depending on current project needs and quickly transition between different technology stacks. Companies can staff up or down as needed. They can save on long-term contracts, which allows them to focus resources on priority initiatives.

Reduced HR and Recruitment Overhead

Staff augmentation helps reduce the work of finding new people. Companies can add extra people to their in-house teams without going through an expensive process of recruiting and hiring full-time employees. This model makes it easier for companies to get more help when needed without worrying about extra costs or long-term commitments.

Scalable Payment Structures

Staff augmentation provides a company with a scalable payment structure, avoiding restrictive contracts. With this delivery model, businesses can add or remove resources as needed. Staff augmentation offers a more cost-efficient way to gain access to specialized skill sets.

Access to Specialized and Global Talent

This business model is an excellent way for companies to access the specialized and global talent they need. Staff augmentation vendors can bring their technical skillsets and international experience to several projects. This engagement model enables companies to take on larger, more complicated tasks.

Better IP Rights Security

Staff augmentation is a way to get help with projects without hiring someone for a long time. It helps keep your project safe because it doesn’t give anyone else too much control. It means no one else can use what you create, so it’s safer.

Risks of Staff Augmentation And How to Mitigate Them

Staff augmentation can be an excellent way for companies to acquire specialized talent. It also allows them to expand their development team quickly. However, there are certain risks that businesses must consider before proceeding. Here are some tips on mitigating risks to ensure successful projects.

Potential For Higher Expenses

Human resource augmentation can cost more than other methods because you still have to hire and pay the extra staff. Businesses can prevent this by setting a budget and sticking to it. Before hiring an outsourcing company, they should also research different companies and their prices. That way, they know how much it will cost them.

Risk Of Team Conflict & Miscommunication

It can be difficult for people from multiple backgrounds to come together collaboratively. As such, there is a risk that conflicts could arise between members due to differences in language, working style, or culture. The augmented team must adopt good communication practices. They should clearly define each member’s roles and responsibilities. Additionally, companies should consider providing additional training to staff members before deploying them. Training them ensures they are up-to-date with the organization’s process and workflow.

Reasons Companies Outsource IT Projects

IT project outsourcing is a common practice for businesses looking to expand their IT capabilities quickly. It offers many advantages. Take a closer look at why companies outsource IT projects and how they can ensure successful outcomes.

Better Compliance with Industry Requirements

Project outsourcing helps companies follow the rules that they need to. It makes sure they do things the right way. Compliance is crucial for companies in the IT industry. This industry has particular regulations and standards.

Improved focus on core business activities

IT project outsourcing frees up time for companies to focus on their core business. It takes away time-consuming IT tasks and gives them to people specializing in them. The company can focus on its primary business goals and deliver better results. Organizations can direct more resources toward their core operations by outsourcing IT services. They will also have time to take advantage of opportunities they may have missed.

Reduced Financial Risk

Partnering with an outsourcing company helps businesses reduce financial risks. Companies can hire fewer people or pay full-time salaries for IT projects. They pay only for the services they receive. Companies can avoid additional costs associated with full-time employee recruitment.

Access to Skilled Developers

Outsourcing IT projects can help you get access to people who are good at what they do. Skilled professionals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. They have special skills that your internal team might need more training to gain. So, it’s a great way to get the job done without hiring extra people or paying full-time salaries.

Greater competitive advantage

IT project outsourcing provides businesses with the skills and expertise they need to develop advanced applications. This model also gives them a competitive edge. With the help of an outsourcing service provider, businesses can access a global talent pool of skilled developers. They will have access to leading technologies that are not readily available in their local markets. It enables businesses to focus on their core business and launch new products and services.

Risks of IT Project Outsourcing And How to Mitigate Them

IT project outsourcing is an increasingly popular approach for businesses in the IT industry. However, there are certain risks associated with this practice. It would be best if you considered these risks when deciding whether or not it’s the right option for your business.

Coordination Issues

When businesses outsource IT development, coordination issues may arise. Time zone differences may cause conflicts. To fix this, companies should ensure that the internal and external teams are talking and listening to each other. Setting up clear communication channels can help everyone stay on the same page and get their work done faster.

Trust Issues

Companies may need to trust the outsourced team when outsourcing IT projects fully. To ensure everything is safe, companies should research the people they hire and implement safety measures. Thorough background checking can help them be confident about the outsourced team. Companies should also ensure they have a managed services provider to protect their data and systems.

Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfer is a risk in this model as it involves transferring in-house IT knowledge and resources to an external team. There is always a risk that it may lose crucial institutional knowledge or software skills in the transition. Companies must ensure they have a well-defined plan to transfer the knowledge of their in-house IT team to their external provider. It involves auditing the existing knowledge and expertise and providing training sessions.

IT Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourcing: What’s the Best Technology Delivery Model for You?

It would be best if you based your technology delivery model on your specific needs. Both models have advantages and disadvantages. So, it is essential to weigh all factors carefully to make the best decision for your organization. Ultimately, both approaches provide excellent opportunities for companies that want to take advantage of specialist expertise.

When To Choose IT Staff Augmentation

Choose IT staff augmentation when:

  • you need to quickly scale your dedicated team for a specific project or initiative;
  • your business needs expertise in core areas such as software development and creative design;
  • you need assistance with IT projects requiring specialized knowledge; and
  • you need to bridge temporary gaps in human resources due to unexpected absences or turnover within the organization.

When To Choose IT Outsourcing

Outsource your IT projects when:

  • your business requires access to specialized skill sets or expertise not available internally;
  • you need to reduce operational costs by replacing expensive, full-time IT staff with an external team of specialists;
  • you need to quickly scale up the existing internal team without additional headcount or resources; and
  • You want to tap into a larger global talent pool as required.


When deciding if staff augmentation or IT project outsourcing is right for your business, it’s essential to understand the critical differences between the two models. The best delivery model for your company will depend on your unique needs and objectives.

BIT Studios offers staff augmentation services and would be happy to help you determine if this delivery model suits your business needs. Give us a call today to get started!

Originally published February 15, 2023, updated February 15, 2023

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