10 min. read


Staff Augmentation vs. IT Outsourcing. Which Model Should You Choose?

Staff Augmentation vs. IT Outsourcing. Which Model Should You Choose?



Nowadays, the success of a company depends on gaining a competitive advantage. For this reason, every company strives to reduce expenses while building efficiency and innovation. In this situation, the ideal solution for most organizations is IT outsourcing, which is becoming increasingly popular. The dynamic development of outsourcing has resulted in the emergence of many different outsourcing models to meet the diverse needs of customers. Some want to develop a mobile app, while others want to strengthen their existing team. It is worth learning everything about this issue to make the best choice between different outsourcing models. For this reason, we have prepared a series of articles about outsourcing that will help you understand the topic in depth.

In the following article, we will focus on Staff Augmentation and IT Outsourcing, which are the most popular among both startups and larger companies.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation is an outsourcing model, thanks to which the company can quickly supplement the missing specialists in their in-house team. Such experts are usually employed for a short time (e.g., for the duration of a project or task). They join an existing team at any stage of software development, and their skills are crucial during project development.

Thanks to this model, you save time because you do not have to deal with recruitment, which is usually a long-term process. It is an ideal solution in the absence of a specific specialist or a sudden loss of an employee for random reasons.

In our article "IT Staff Augmentation Services - everything you need to know," we discussed this outsourcing model in detail.

Advantages of Staff Augmentation

Advantages of Staff Augmentation

Thanks to Staff Augmentation, you can temporarily enlarge your software development team, which will help you create a successful product and gain a market advantage. An outsourcing company that will provide you with the right specialist will make every effort to ensure that his knowledge and experience push your project to a higher level.

Staff Augmentation has many advantages, but we will mention only a few of them, which from our perspective, are the most important for both startups and larger companies.

  • Access to a Vast Talent Pool

The IT industry often lacks specialists; moreover, their recruitment is time-consuming, and the rates are very high. Thanks to the Staff Augmentation service, you have access to an unlimited pool of talented specialists from around the world, which you would not be able to acquire in the standard recruitment process due to, for example, too short a project duration.

  • High Level of Productivity

At the heart of the high productivity of staff augmentation services are developers who are entirely dedicated to one project, as opposed to an outsourcing team that can deal with several projects simultaneously.

Working for one client and focusing on one specific project is easier for most specialists and is associated with greater motivation and commitment.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

The cost of staff augmentation is very transparent. You will not have to worry about administrative and organizational costs, such as office space, workstations, or other amenities. You pay a certain amount, and the outsourcing agency takes care of everything while you focus on your core business.

This model allows you to hire temporary workers, which means you don't have to hire full-time workers, which can be very costly. You only pay for what you need for as long as you need it.

  • Easier Management

In this cooperation model, the employed specialist directly cooperates with your internal team during project outsourcing. An external specialist works according to a given company's internal procedures and schemes, making it easier for many project managers to manage a team built in this way. In addition, such a cooperation model facilitates teamwork and affects the coherence of tasks.

Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation

Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation

The staff augmentation model has many advantages but is not free of disadvantages. How much a given defect will be inconvenient for a given company depends mainly on its approach, expectations, and work structure.

  • The Need for Onboarding

Each specialist who joins the internal team must be adequately trained to learn internal procedures, tools, and ways of working. It requires commitment from the company, and not all organizations have the time and resources to do so.

  • Management Burden

If one or two specialists join your team, it will not affect the management level. But if you hire a dozen or so external employees, then managing such a team can be a heavy burden for the project manager. If your company lacks the required management staff, increasing staff may not be the best solution for you.

  • Responsibility

Using Staff Augmentation, you acquire resources for your company. But your company is still responsible for the results of the entire project. So the whole software development process, quality control, and testing are still on your side.

IT Outsourcing

IT outsourcing is a trendy outsourcing model in which you outsource the entire project to an external company.

The outsourcing company handles the entire development process from start to finish according to the specifications set out at the beginning of the project. In this model, software outsourcing aims to create a high-quality product to meet users' expectations and gain a market advantage. The external team consists of various types of specialists, and the creation of such a team is solely the responsibility of the external company.

Advantages of IT Outsourcing

Advantages of IT Outsourcing

This cooperation model is very comfortable because it takes little time for the company to commission the project. In addition, it depends only on mutual arrangements to what extent you will be involved in the project. You can take an active part in it, and you can just as well only receive cyclical summaries of the current stage of work. It all depends on your preferences.

  • Ability to Focus on your Core Business

One of the main reasons why companies choose IT outsourcing services, it is possible to focus on their core business. The implementation of the project is from the beginning to the end on the side of an external software development company, which is why your internal team is not burdened with additional tasks, supervising and monitoring the entire project. Thanks to this, your employees can focus on the company's core business, maintain customer relationships, and create business strategies that help the company grow.

  • Less Responsibility

The main difference between staff augmentation vs. outsourcing involves different levels of responsibility. In the case of staff augmentation, you are responsible for the quality and timely implementation of the project. In contrast, in the case of outsourcing, the responsibility lies mainly with the external outsourcing agency.

  • Faster Project Start

The great advantage of outsourcing is that external teams can start the project almost immediately because they have the right resources, knowledge, and experience. It saves a lot of time because you don't have to build a team yourself and spend a lot of time recruiting. You only need to have a clear concept of the project and clearly defined requirements because, on this basis, the outsourcing company will implement your project.

  • Higher Level of Security

Unfortunately, cyberattacks are constantly growing, forcing software developers to create new, more effective solutions. Even the best application will fail if user data is at risk. Professional external software development companies understand the importance of software security and use several solutions and procedures to ensure the highest level of protection. The DevSecOps methodology or a specific method of mobile testing applications are just some ways to detect bugs and security vulnerabilities. In addition, for outsourcing companies, ensuring an appropriate level of security for the software they create is associated with reputation and gaining a competitive advantage. For this reason, external companies hire skilled professionals that you probably wouldn't be able to hire for a single project.

project. The issue of security is another feature that distinguishes staff augmentation vs. IT outsourcing. In the case of staff augmentation, ensuring safety is your part. In contrast, in the case of IT outsourcing, it is the task of the outsourcing company.

Disadvantages of IT Outsourcing

Disadvantages of IT Outsourcing

IT outsourcing is a widespread solution, and there is no indication that this trend will change. However, there are no perfect solutions, so IT outsourcing also has features that may be a problem for some.

  • Less Control

With outsourcing, you have much less control over project delivery than staff augmentation. It is because the outsourcing company is fully responsible for implementing the project. However, our experience shows that an experienced outsourcing company is open to any level of the client's involvement in the project. However, it is good to agree on such issues before starting the project to satisfy both parties with the agreed solution.

  • Higher Price

Outsourcing is more expensive than staff augmentation by one or two people. It is because the outsourcing company is responsible for the overall implementation of the project, and it is also responsible for creating a successful, safe product that meets the expectations of users.

  • Choosing the Right Supplier

Choosing the right outsourcing service provider determines the success of a given project. However, our experience shows that finding a trusted partner is a big challenge for many companies. For this reason, we have prepared the article "Choosing the right software partner - guide," in which we discussed in detail all the issues that should be taken into account when choosing an outsourcing company. In addition, signing a contract with a managed services provider that will regulate all critical aspects regarding the project and cooperation is crucial.

Which Model to Choose?

Which Model to Choose

The outsourcing model you choose must meet the needs of your company. Staff augmentation will work when you need to strengthen or expand your in-house team. This solution is mainly used in short-term projects because, thanks to it, you do not have to waste time on recruitment. However, it is worth remembering that in this model, the responsibility for the project lies entirely with you, but you have complete control over it.

IT outsourcing will work when you need a dedicated team or want to outsource the entire project. Then you can focus on the company's core business, and the responsibility for the implementation of the project lies mainly with the external supplier. This solution is especially recommended for long-term projects.


Choosing a suitable outsourcing model is undoubtedly challenging. Still, it is essential to remember that the selected solution must meet your requirements and expectations. Our experience shows that the best course of action is to choose a trusted software partner who will help you solve your current challenges, whether strengthening an existing team, creating a dedicated team, or outsourcing the entire project. Thanks to this, your company will be more effective, make it more competitive, and help you gain a market advantage.

As an offshore outsourcing company, we know how to meet the needs of users and customers, so if you still need to know which outsourcing model will be the best for your company, make an appointment for a free consultation with our specialists.

About the author
Milo Miszewski - Chief Executive Officer

Milo founded mDevelopers in 2010, bringing his over 10 years of sales management, B2B solutions, and business relations. Milo acts as the general director, as well as a mentor and advisor. In everyday work besides managing the company, he supports the sales department in networking and building relationships.

Miłosz Miszewski

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