When considering staff augmentation vs consulting for outsourcing software development services, it is important to know what is important for the growth of the business.
The difference between these two outsourcing solutions depends on the external expertise you need to complete the development in a timely manner and to market standards.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation also allows companies to hire experts who are more qualified to complete a project than their current in-house team.
It can be an excellent opportunity for companies that are already successful but are looking to expand their business into new markets or product lines that require new skills.
Staff augmentation is essentially using external resources, which can include contractors, temporary staff, freelance workers, foreign nationals, or employees on secondment.
What some people don’t realize is that these individuals are not always freelancers or contract workers.
Staff augmentation is becoming increasingly common in the domestic and global staffing industry. With this method, a company does not need to pay the overhead costs of hiring and training a full-time employee and then needing to lay off that employee when the job has been completed.
Instead, a company can hire only the staff needed for a specific task and then let them go when they are no longer needed.
What is Project-based Consulting?
Project-based consulting is a type of outsourcing that commonly relies on short-term assignments to support business growth projects or business initiatives. The type of projects may vary in time, cost and volume.
The major difference between staff augmentation and project-based consulting is the availability of the consultant. The specialist will be hired on a long-term basis to look after the customer’s needs, bringing in his or her experience and expertise. The employee, meanwhile, has his or her own projects to manage.
When to opt for project-based consulting?
The digital transformation of the enterprise will radically change how your potential customers interact with your product.
Increasing access to software solutions has introduced a whole new range of potential customers into each domain.
Each new endpoint offers new connections and the opportunity for a new audience.
Everyone wants to maximize product success by making their product available to as large a customer base as possible. However, some companies have the extensive experience needed to effectively implement sales on all of these new platforms.
The project-based consultant will address that broader challenge. They can guide companies through the tools, technologies, and industry standards — especially security and privacy requirements — that ensure efficient product delivery to new territory.
Their job is to apply industry best practices to your unique development environment to create a new roadmap for project delivery. The project-based consultant will define the most effective route and then hand over the reins to the company to execute their plan.
Whether the goal is to access a new customer platform or apply your business solution to a new field, project-based consultant enterprises can help introduce their core talent to the new challenge.
Three benefits of project-based consultation
- Strategic guidance in the unknown field
- Liability for industry compliance
- Project-specific resource commitment
When to Opt for Staff augmentation
Staff augmentation is for companies that want flexibility. It affects outsourced professionals who have a wide range of skills applicable in a particular development project and depends on the time and place in the product range of the enterprise.
Increasing the IT staff is a way to increase your team’s capabilities. This external staff will work as part of a team, taking their guidance from your own management and sitting alongside your developers as part of the coordination unit.
They help you scale up your productivity and reach deadlines without having to go through a lengthy recruitment and training process every time enterprise aspirations increase.
These dedicated professionals can be called upon to maximize output as dictated by the development cycle.
They bring with them knowledge of the latest industry trends and best practices that introduce capabilities to your current protocols such as active development approach or implementation of QA testing methods.
Three benefits of staff augmentation
- Scale-up development in new stages of maturity
- Faster onboarding with minimal training
- Talent Flexibility to Identify Peak Development Cycle Periods
Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting Services
Now, since you have an idea about each policy, let’s go straight to our main topic and see what you get with each service.
Benefits of staff augmentation
As mentioned above, increasing staffing through businesses is a high priority to reduce costs. By hiring on-board skilled personnel on a temporary basis for a project, the Company will not be liable to pay any expenses other than the finalized paycheck.
The company also saves on training and resource development as skilled personnel for the skills and competencies required to complete the project.
In today’s competitive and hostile business environment, businesses need the flexibility to stay relevant and thrive.
Staffing helps businesses expand their portfolios to non-core services, simply by hiring expert staff on-board in addition to the in-house team. It gives businesses the flexibility and agility they need to stay relevant in the industry.
With expert staff taking full control of the project, project managers will have more ability and control to oversee key aspects of the project and ensure that the project is completed in a timely manner.
Hiring consulting services for software developments and other data-sensitive projects is not the best option. In addition, as you outsource your work to a consulting agency, you will also lose control over project supervision and status.
Getting expert staff on-board to relieve you of the risks associated with data and identity thefts, however, requires you to oversee every aspect of the project to the end.
Staff growth also serves as a great deterrent against employees leaving the company. According to one study, nearly 50% of IT professionals are willing to change companies when offered better opportunities or greater incentives.
It can leave businesses with great vacuums in human resources and the best way is to increase staff to quickly fill the remaining space without wasting valuable time and resources.
Disadvantages of staff augmentation
Even if the staff you hire excels in the technical skills required for the project, you will still have to spend time and resources training your staff for the internal processes of your company and following your company’s work culture. This means you may not be able to complete the project immediately at full speed.
Hiring new staff on-board means an additional resource to manage. Being an expert means that they do not need to manage extensive resources, you still need to create additional capacity to manage additional staff
Integration with the team
Last but not least, integrating new staff into an internal team is not an easy task to achieve. In-housing an outside resource to an existing team is quite difficult.
New staff and your existing employees may need time to adjust to the new setting, which may hamper project implementation speed and efficiency for some time.
Benefits of consulting services
Okay, now that staff has upgrade benefits, let’s go quickly to see some of the great benefits of hiring consulting services, so you have a better understanding of what you can expect from this approach.
Also Read: Payroll Continuation Plan – Is Your Company ready post-Covid
The primary purpose of hiring consulting services is to save time. Businesses often do not have the necessary skills or sometimes do not have the resources to complete a project on time.
Under these circumstances, getting a dedicated consulting agency on board means that the project is ready to provide easy and quick access to expert services, on time and within budget constraints.
Many businesses are looking for consulting services to outsource non-core business aspects such as marketing or financial management.
This means they do not have to hire full-time employees on-board or build an internal team to complete tasks, which consumes considerable resources.
Specialized consulting services have the internal resources to solve those problems and often offer highly competitive prices, which makes them more monetary practical than building an internal team.
As discussed above, specialized consulting services for each service complete infrastructure to provide expert services without any hassles. For example, a digital marketing agency has an expert marketing team with complete industry knowledge to assist you in meeting your marketing needs better than any internal resources.
In today’s competitive business world, you can’t take a reactive approach that leads to a “fireproof” environment for project management.
An expert consulting firm brings with them a proactive project management approach that helps businesses keep afloat with the challenges they face during the project, thereby enabling them to better inform and make better decisions for project management.
By setting up an early warning system, consulting services ensure the timely and accurate execution of the project.
While every project is crucial to the growth and sustainability of the business, there are projects where failure is not an option.
For such projects, complacency is not an option and you need the best talent with the right tools and technology to complete the project logically without any hassles.
Specialized consulting services with their technical expertise and outstanding talent are available to ensure businesses the peace of mind they need and to ensure the successful completion of projects.
Short-term support solutions
Businesses often face a shortage of qualified human resources due to congested timelines or pipeline projects, which limits their ability to undertake more projects.
At such times, project-based consulting firms are protected by bridging the talent gap and providing immediate expert solutions in addition to the firm’s portfolio services.
Disadvantages of consulting services
Well, consulting services are very expensive compared to staff augmentation. If you are working on a low-budget project, you may want to reconsider getting a consulting agency on board.
The reason behind the high costs is the range of its expertise. However, by increasing the staff, you pay per staff, the consulting services provide a range of skills and resources that will help you craft the project completely so that you will pay more relative costs.
Consulting agencies work with multiple clients at once, which means they may not receive your requests every time. There may be times when you would like to contact the agency on an urgent basis, however, they may not be in a position to grant your meeting request.
Size fits all solutions
In the business world, it is rare to find a one-size-fits-all model that can be implemented for all projects. Since consulting agencies work with multiple projects, they can come up with pre-designed strategies and try to implement their established methods to crack your project, which is not a good idea to deliver the expected results.
Therefore, it is important to check the reputation, experience, and project management approach of the consulting agency before taking them on board for the project.
Which is Better: Staff Augmentation Vs Consulting
Staff Augmentation vs Consulting – Comparison
So, now that you know the benefits of each alternative approach, it’s time to choose. But how are you going to make that decision?
Do you go with an expert consulting agency who can take care of the whole project while you keep your resources for major business issues or are you thinking of getting expert staff to supplement your team?
Here are a few quick tips to help you make a better, more informed decision related to staff augmentation vs consulting:
Get to know your team
Before you decide on any external resources, you should evaluate your internal team, strengths, capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
You need to evaluate your team’s reaction against your decision, can they gel with the new staff controlling the project or will it weaken the team? You definitely don’t want to demotivate your inner team with your arbitrary decision, right?
Now, if you are more inclined towards consulting services, identify the work culture and people you will be dealing with.
Check whether the consulting agency has acquired the skills and competencies required to complete the project and whether they are willing to collaborate and collaborate with your team to monitor and share the status of deliveries.
Analyze the budget
This is an important consideration though as both alternative approaches are meant to help you reduce costs. See if project funds give you the freedom to hire multiple staff for the project (which you may need for larger projects) or whether the project fund is adequate to hire a reputable consulting agency.
The choice between staff augmentation vs consulting services will ultimately depend on your preferences and expectations.
Some companies are more comfortable with consulting services, while others prefer to hire consulting agencies for project completion.
Whether you go for staff augmentation vs consulting, your ultimate goal should be to be able to add more value to your business and reduce costs (however that remains your priority) such as enhancing your team skills or expanding your portfolio services so-called diversifying the business.