By Richard Arneson
Yes, staff augmentation and outsourcing are different, but if you’re needing either, you’ll soon be enjoying a cost-effective solution that will―if the right professionals are secured, of course―help you meet performance and project goals. Choosing either really comes down to one (1) thing: what exactly are you trying to accomplish by bringing additional personnel into your organization, if only for a set amount of time?
It can be argued that the IT industry is the perfect one (1) for staff aug and outsourcing. Finding the precise talent with the right skill sets and certifications, and who understands specific technologies and architectures, can be needle in a haystack stuff. And pulling your personnel from their responsibilities to go in search of the right talent can take weeks, usually months; and they might not find that person at all. And with deadlines nearing, companies often have to settle for somebody who isn’t qualified, which leaves them praying that their new hire will fit the bill―many times they don’t.
The following will outline both staff augmentation and outsourcing, and give you a better idea which solution is perfect for your particular project(s), goals and environment.
If you’re in search of a temporary addition to your IT organization with the right skill sets to augment your staff’s capabilities on a particular project or set of them, it sounds like staff aug is what you’re needing. It’s like a major league team making a trading deadline acquisition to pick up that last cog they hope will get them through the playoffs and help them walk off with the World Series trophy. Yes, they could sign that person to a multi-year contract once the season’s over, but they need their precise talent now (left-handed pitcher with a wicked slider that produces more ground balls). You might need an engineer who’s both a CCIE and ACMP with over ten (10) years of experience, has worked on projects and networks with at least a thousand network assets, and has five (5) years of DevOps experience.
Take that baseball team that needs a left-handed pitcher. Let’s say they didn’t win the World Series, so the next season they’ve decided to trade their sub-0.100 hitting infield for four (4) fielders who will give them more punch at the plate. And while this would be highly unusual in baseball, they’ve signed these four (4) infielders to one-year contracts. Project outsourcing in IT takes a similar approach. A team of professionals are brought in to manage and oversee a particular project from start to finish. They’re not augmenting staff to assist in day-to-day functions; outsourced personnel handle the project soup to nuts.
Best fits for both
While a single IT professional or team of them might be secured for a particular project, staff augmentation definitely provides far more flexibility. It’s not always that they’re assigned to a particular project; they may work on a variety of them that can benefit from their experience and expertise.
Outsourcing is more effective when a single project requires completion. You wouldn’t pull outsourced personnel to work on something unrelated to the project for which they’ve been hired. The specific project will be outlined in the contract. The team hired to complete it is expected to work solely on that project. Not much room for flexibility. If you’ve overestimated the personnel needed, you could be contractually obligated to pay a team of five (5) professionals when only four (4) were required.
And, of course, you may determine that both are needed. Either way, it’s critically important to secure the right personnel. Without them, neither approach will work.
Call on the Experts
If you have questions about augmenting your IT staff or if you require project outsourcing, talk to the best and brightest the industry has to offer, contact the GDT Staffing Services professionals at Staffing@gdt.com. Some of the largest, most notable companies in the world have turned to GDT so key initiatives can be matched with IT professionals who can help drive those projects to completion. They possess years of IT experience and expertise, and maintain a vast network of IT professionals who maintain the highest levels of certifications in the industry. In addition, the IT professionals they place have access to the talented, tenured solutions architects and engineers at GDT. They’d love to hear from you.