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Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services – what is the best kind of IT service?

Are you considering outsourcing IT services, but you’re not quite sure what type of service is best? You have many options – you can hire a freelancer, ask an external software house to deal with the project, or try Staff Augmentation. In this article, we will point out the differences between various solutions for your business and help you choose the one which best suits the needs of your company.

Staff Augmentation and Managed Services are two terms for the most popular outsourcing strategies used for conducting IT projects. Do you need to implement modern technology in your company, but you lack experienced specialists in a particular field? Perhaps your project is short-term, and you don’t want to hire another person full-time? We will advise you on the best solution for your company.

Staff Augmentation – IT experts can support your team

Imagine that your team needs help for a project from an experienced developer who possesses specific knowledge in a narrow field of expertise. Now, you don’t need a full-time programmer, as this particular project is a short term endeavour – you have to implement a new solution, build an application for your brand or develop very complicated software for your company. You know that your team can’t handle it alone without support from an expert. You need to make a choice… You can either decide to go for total outsourcing (Managed Services), assign a freelancer to complete some tasks or choose to deal with the project using Staff Augmentation. But what does it mean?

You can easily hire an IT specialist from an experienced and reliable software house for a short period to work with your full-time employees to complete a project. How is that different from hiring a freelancer? The software house which is commissioned by a developer takes full responsibility for the quality of the work. We’ll be happy to tell you how we do it here, in our internal software house.

When a new customer contacts us and wants our help, we ask for a description of the project in detail, so we could learn about all needs and expectations. When we are sure we understand the business and technical requirements, we select the best programmers to participate in the particular project. We choose those with appropriate experience in a specific industry or who used to work on similar projects. Such an expert, or experts, join your in-house team and support your employees by completing complex tasks, saving time and increasing the quality of the final product. In any case, Staff Augmentation allows you to significantly reduce the expenses of the development process.

Our expert can join your team at any phase of your project. Sometimes unexpected things happen, like a sick leave, or you realize that the project is more difficult than anticipated. Idego experts can implement our solutions at any stage of the software development.

Managed Services – how about leaving it to the specialist?

Different projects require different approaches. Managed Services means continuous outsourcing of services. It is the most popular type of outsourcing. Instead of running some processes in your company, you can order them done by external specialists. Some companies do not want or can’t create their own internal IT department, but do need some advanced technical solutions for business. That is when you need to consider Managed Services.

How is this better than having your own IT team? For one, it is often much cheaper than employing full-time programmers, buying hardware and tools for them and ensuring proper maintenance. Managed Services is the strategy which allows you to handle even the most complicated processes at a low cost. It is currently a trend in many industries – you can outsource external IT, HR or accountant services, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on hiring people. It may be a great solution for small and medium-sized companies or startups!

This strategy is becoming more and more attractive as the difficulty of maintaining sensitive data grows. It is often easier and cheaper to entrust the duty and the responsibility to an external software house which will deliver technologies to your company.

This, along with Staff Augmentation, may prove a reasonable solution for your company. The question is: what kind of services and experts does your company require?

Which outsourcing strategy is better?

Each of these strategies has its pros and cons. If you’re wondering which one is better – Staff Augmentation or Managed Services – you should carefully consider what kind of project you have planned. Choose the right solution based on the type of tasks and time required for their completion.

Total time for the project

Think of how much time is necessary for completing the project. Do you need to perform some specific tasks only once, or do they need to be done regularly? Managed Services help you save money on ongoing processes, which require maintenance. It is a good choice for a non-IT company. You leave IT processes to experts and focus on more important challenges of your particular industry. In short, Managed Services is a good strategy when you need to handle tasks which are not among your core competencies and can be performed outside your company.

Sometimes though, you need to develop customized software or an application for your company, or implement new technologies. Such projects usually have some specific deadline. It is often quite expensive to hire an experienced developer needed for such a big project full time, especially since you usually would not need such highly qualified experts after the release of the final product. The best solution for your company would then be to apply Staff Augmentation. Simply add a skilled programmer to your team for the time needed to complete the tasks to deal with the unusual challenges of a particular IT project.

Control over the project

If you opt for Staff Augmentation, experts “rented” from the software house will become – in a way – a part of your in-house team for some specific time. This is a great solution for companies which already have their own IT departments, with a clear vision of the product or process. This strategy allows you to run the development process according to the requirements of your company. Choose this strategy if you already have an IT team, but need someone experienced to guide it with web or mobile app development, migration into the cloud or modern software implementation.

Managed Services would be appropriate for all those businesses without their own IT team, or which want an external IT company to take full responsibility for managing sensitive data or complicated processes. What will you gain from Managed Services? You will certainly save time, as you don’t have to focus on less important – but still necessary – processes. You set the requirements and someone else handles the IT matters for you.

IT professionals

Those who choose Staff Augmentation are “renting” services of one or several developers who excel in some narrow field of expertise. Their job is to support your team using their unique experience. You can hire programmers with skills that are streamlined to a specific project. In Managed Services you pay for the effect of developers’ work. In Staff Augmentation you’re paying for the expert’s knowledge and time.

If it is the final product you’re interested in and not the development process, you should choose Managed Services. Maintaining a team of experts is then the responsibility of the software house. You’re paying for the results of their work. It is a good strategy for those who need some specific technology or solution and want it provided within a set deadline without engaging in the process along the way. Staff Augmentation is a much better solution for those who wish to have their finger on the pulse. It is the strategy for companies which understand the world of technology and are aware of the newest IT solutions for business.

Choose the best services for your IT project

There is no single solution for IT projects. In the end, all companies will face the day when they need to implement new technologies, manage software or other IT tools. There is a growing demand for highly qualified developers and maintaining your own IT department is extremely expensive. Staff Augmentation and Managed Services are strategies you will need to consider sooner or later.

These solutions allow you to hire great IT experts with the right skills or order some tasks from an external software house. What is the best strategy for your business? Properly chosen IT services will help you reduce stress while saving time and money. If you need support from our experienced developers, contact us – we’ll help you achieve success in your industry with the best technology available!

cto - Chris Gibas

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