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The Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation

By: Dataprise

What is Staff Augmentation

Table of content

IT staff augmentation refers to supplementing your team with new employees who can pitch in when needed. For a small business or startup, it isn’t a matter of replacing key personnel, but about freeing them up so they can focus on enterprise-specific matters. For instance, instead of a CIO answering high-priority Help Desk tickets, they can instead work out a navigational pathway on the website that makes the most sense for visitors. We look at the many ways that teams can benefit when they have some of that pressure removed from their shoulders. 

More Flexibility 

One constant stumbling block for small businesses and start-ups is finding the best ways to scale. Because workflows are constantly changing, even small shifts can end up causing multiple headaches for the entire chain of command. Staff augmentation gives IT leaders a way to find people with the exact skills needed for specific projects. 

This doesn’t just free mental bandwidth for decision-makers, it’s a way to improve quality control over the work. Outside organizations, like a reputable managed service provider (MSP), can integrate with your current team if and when they’re needed, and then step right on out again to give the in-house team room. So if you’re concerned about overstaffing your company during a 6-month project, this could be the most cost-effective solution if you’d prefer not to lay people off once it’s completed. 

More Communication 

Traditional outsourcing is often fraught with multiple misunderstandings, no matter how capable the company has promised to be. Staff augmentation is an optimized version of hiring an external team. It doesn’t mean that there are never any hiccups along the way, but it does mean that the process is far more streamlined than many small business leaders realize. 

Plus, staff augmentation cuts down on the number of missed connections, as typical outsourcing is often completed in countries that are halfway around the world. An MSP will have expert staff available, and this is true even if an Amazon server crashes well before the sun rises. 

How to Get Started 

Every business will have its own relationship with its technology staff augmentation team. What’s essential is to work out what that relationship will be long before the contract is ever signed. You should also consider the dangers of your team getting too dependent on augmentation, as it can potentially undercut business profits if an outside team is calling too many of the shots. 

We recommend asking the following questions: 

  • What is the exact problem, and how will you measure the progress needed to fix it? This is a great time to ask for input from your team. 
  • What kind of skill level will you need to complete the project? How many people do you anticipate needing? High-skill levels may not always be easy to find, but they’re usually worth the effort to find them. 
  • Is this a short-term or long-term need? Will you call them in for individual project(s) or would you prefer having them available on a regular basis? 

From there, it’s a matter of researching agencies to see who’s qualified enough to work with you, and then negotiating the terms. As with everything else you buy in life, the cheapest solution isn’t always the best one. If you want to make a truly informed decision, consider testing their skills to give an indication of how well they understand your plight. Finally, consider their soft skills, which include everything from empathy to communication, as an indicator of what it’s really like to work with them on a daily basis. 

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