Staff Augmentation vs. Software Outsourcing: A Comparative Analysis

Staff Augmentation vs. Software Outsourcing

Consider the following situation. Your company is keen on developing software to reap benefits such as optimized business processes, automation, adaptability, compatibility, security, and cost savings. 

You have a brilliant idea, but you are still not entirely sure whether you should carry out your development initiative through staff augmentation or outsource it to a software outsourcing company. 

So, what do you do? Software Outsourcing Company 

Don’t worry. To help you make an informed decision, I present a comprehensive analysis of Staff augmentation development VS. Software development outsourcing based on mission-critical parameters such as expertise, quality, time, and cost. So, let’s get to it right away. 

1. Expertise 

The first factor you need to consider is: does your staff augmentation team have the ability and expertise to build your application? If the skills of your staff augmentation team do not match with your product’s requirements, there is a chance that you may incur significant technical debt. Here is a comparison between staff augmentation teams and Outsourced teams based on the factor of expertise.  

  • Staff augmentation 

If a narrow time frame does not bind your development initiative, developing your software through staff augmentation might not be such a bad idea. However, consider your team’s specialization and the underlying technologies required for the product, as it might take some time for your team to come up to speed with development requirements. 

For your augmented team to learn new technology can prove quite time-intensive, and the question that arises is whether the expense of time and resources on getting your augmented team familiar with the new technology is worth it. 

  • Outsourcing 

IT outsourcing services immediately offer you access to resources skilled in the exact tech required for your project, thus cutting down on development time and resources. 

Your outsourcing partner probably has other value-added expertise that could benefit your development initiative. E.g., Your outsourcing partner can work on your project with scalability issues in mind, thus wholly avoiding technical debt. Your outsourcing partner might also provide consultation, allowing you to circumvent potential pitfalls thanks to their expertise and experience.   

  • Winner: Software Development Outsourcing 

2. Quality 

You require that the software your enterprise intends to develop is of high quality, offers customers a great experience, and is easily maintainable and scalable. Let’s address the question of which approach, developing through staff augmentation or opting for software development outsourcing, provides you with an easier way to meet your enterprises’ short–term and long-term interests.  

  • Staff augmentation 

Coding standards can be controlled better when developing software staff augmentation.  While working with your staff augmentation team, you can ensure that the coding standards you have set are being followed and industry best practices are being adhered to by consulting with your enterprise’s CTO or even working directly with the development team. 

  • Software Development Outsourcing 

High-quality developers create high-quality code. Software development outsourcing offers you access to a talent pool that is much larger in proportion than a staff augmentation team. With guide to enterprise software development process, you can have your cake and eat it too. 

The flip side is that your outsourcing partner may not be familiar with your SOPs, and someone from your team will have to spend time onboarding your outsourced IT Outsourcing Services resources and making sure that their efforts are aligned to your requirements.  

  • Winner: Draw 

3. Time 

In the tech world, time is a precious commodity. The faster you release your software, the lesser the chances of someone else capturing your target market with a similar product. Therefore, getting your product out there as fast as possible is an essential factor to consider when choosing between staff augmentation development or software development outsourcing. 

  • Staff augmentation 

Communication down-time is cut down significantly when working with a staff augmentation team, and project delays due to people responding slowly or going AWOL are much less likely to happen. 

With staff augmentation teams, it is much easier to push for updates and progress. However, there might be a certain amount of feet-dragging as a staff augmentation team might not be as enthusiastic about the software they are to develop, given the other professional commitments they might already have.  

  • Software Development Outsourcing 

With software outsourcing services, you can rest assured that there is a dedicated team of experts working exclusively on your project. That being said, delays in terms of communication may arise if your development partner is in a different country or time zone. However, laying out clear expectations, guidelines, and timeframes can minimize and mitigate delays.  

Agile Scrums are a great way of keeping deliverables coming within pre-set timeframes. Another advantage is that while you are asleep, your outsourcing partner has probably already finished with the assigned task for the day and is ready to present it to you as soon as you reach your desk.    

  • Winner: Draw 

4. Cost 

Cost is arguably the most important factor to keep in mind while choosing between an staff augmentation team and software development outsourcing; which is why, I have saved the best for last. 

As an enterprise, you desire a high-quality product, developed in a short time and at an affordable price. Here is a competitive analysis of the two approaches, staff augmentation development and software development outsourcing.  

  • Staff augmentation 

The strongest argument in favor of a staff augmentation team while considering cost is that you are compensating your augmented team on for the duration of the project.  

If your development initiative needs expertise in fields that your staff augmentation team does not have, then hiring reinforcements can be quite a time and cost intensive task since you would need to pay for your new hires’ benefits and spend on training them.  

  • Software Development Outsourcing 

Outsourcing, done right, provides you with experienced developers at a very affordable cost. You don’t have to invest in infrastructure, training, or employee benefits. If you choose an outsourcing partner from countries like India or The Philippines, which happen to be tech outsourcing hubs offering avant-garde quality at exceptionally attractive price-points, then you are sure to get the best value for your money.    

Software development outsourcing offers you scalability and flexibility that just cannot be matched by a staff augmentation team. With software development outsourcing, you can hire developers whenever you need them and effectively scale your team size up or down based on your requirements making outsourcing a very cost-effective option.  

  • Winner: Software development Outsourcing 

Conclusion 

Well, there you go. You now have a clear view of the pros and cons of choosing either a staff augmentation team of software development outsourcing for your project. According to my parameters, outsourcing wins hands down. 

While outsourcing gains the edge over a staff augmentation team in terms of expertise and cost, if money isn’t an issue, there is always the option of choosing a staff augmentation team that you can micro-manage. However, in the world we live in, a penny saved is a penny earned, and software development outsourcing comes out as the more pragmatic and practical choice. 

In the end, it is entirely up to you, the stakeholder, to decide which of the four factors we have discussed are the most important to your specific goals and which option, staff augmentation development or software development outsourcing, fits your enterprise needs. 

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