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What is the difference between IT Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation?

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IT Project Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation:
Simply put, with IT outsourcing, your company outsources development work fully to an external company while staff augmentation allows you to bring a resource into your in-house team.

Let’s dig in a bit more…

Both staff augmentation and outsourcing are excellent solutions for finding very specific skill sets and developers who can start almost immediately. Start times are quicker because you can skip the process of posting the job, interviewing, and hiring someone just to fill a short-term position. An experienced, vetted developer or team of developers can be placed at your company quickly, and you don’t need to incur the overhead of hiring an in-house resource.

The main difference to consider when deciding between staff augmentation or outsourcing is whether your team will handle the project management or if that is something you want your outsourced team to handle.

Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is a type of outsourcing model that uses developers (either part-time or full-time) to fill a short-term position within your company. Your team is still responsible for managing these developers, including project management, timeline, and delivery. This allows you to tap into highly skilled global resources while still maintaining control over your team and project.

Just like staff augmentation, outsourcing allows you to quickly augment your team with outside resources. The main difference is that with outsourcing, you hand over the project responsibilities to the outside organization doing the work. This is a great option when you don’t have the resources in-house to manage an often complex and extremely technical project. This simplifies your project – you set the requirements and your outsourcing team takes care of the rest.

Location of Resources
Whether you are opting for IT staff augmentation or outsourcing, you can find the resource that best fits your workflow and budget. You can choose whether the developer or development team is physically working at your location, or working remotely. Options can include:

Onsite – developers working out of your physical office space. A simple way to integrate a new developer into your in-house team quickly.
Onshore – either hyperlocal (for in-person meetings) or somewhere within your home country, great for preventing any time zone or language challenges.
Nearshore – usually developers from a country that is geographically close to your home country. If you are the US, a developer from Central or South America is a great option for time zone compatibility, plus nearshore hourly rates are generally lower than onsite or onshore options.
Offshore – in this case the developer is generally farther away. If you are in the US, this generally means a developer from Eastern Europe or India. They will be outside of your time zone but have significantly lower hourly rates than the above options.

There are pros and cons to each option and your choice depends on the scale of your project, skill sets required, as well as your budget and timeline. Unidev provides both outsourcing and staff augmentation models as well as a range of locations. Contact us to talk through the staffing model that will work best for your project!