The Evolution of Outsourcing: How Staff Augmentation is Changing the Game

Staff augmentation is a strategic approach companies use to augment their workforce with external professionals with the required skills and expertise. It allows organizations to quickly scale their teams and fill skill gaps without needing long-term commitments or hiring full-time employees.

Types of IT Staff Augmentation

Commodity-based Augmentation

Commodity-based augmentation is the most basic form of staff augmentation. In this model, the augmented staff possess general IT skills commonly required across various projects. These professionals are readily available and can be deployed quickly to meet short-term project needs. Commodity-based augmentation is ideal for tasks that require a lower level of specialization and can be easily managed by the existing team.

Skill-based Augmentation

Skill-based augmentation focuses on augmenting the team with professionals with specific technical skills. These professionals have expertise in niche areas and can bring valuable knowledge and experience to the project. Skill-based augmentation suits projects requiring specialized skills, such as software development, cybersecurity, data analysis, or cloud computing.

Highly-skilled Augmentation

Highly skilled augmentation involves bringing in top-level experts in their respective fields. These individuals have deep knowledge and extensive experience in complex technologies and can provide strategic guidance and leadership to the project. Highly skilled augmentation is typically used for critical projects that require advanced technical expertise and a high level of innovation.

When to Use Staff Augmentation?

To Reinforce Your In-House Team

Staff augmentation can be used to reinforce your in-house team during periods of increased workload or tight deadlines. By bringing in additional professionals, you can ensure the project is delivered on time without overburdening your existing team.

To Bridge Skill Gaps

Staff augmentation is an effective solution for bridging skill gaps within your organization. If your team lacks specific expertise or technical skills required for a project, augmenting your staff with professionals who possess those skills can ensure successful project execution.

To Expand the Team Fast

When you need to scale your team quickly, staff augmentation provides a flexible solution. Hiring and onboarding full-time employees can be time-consuming, whereas staff augmentation allows you to bring in external professionals without requiring lengthy recruitment processes.

To Meet the Deadline

Staff augmentation can help you meet tight project deadlines by providing additional resources and expertise. The augmented staff can work alongside your in-house team, increasing productivity and ensuring timely project delivery.

When Other Models Do Not Work for You

When traditional outsourcing models, such as hiring independent contractors or establishing offshore development centers, do not align with your requirements, staff augmentation can be an ideal alternative. It offers more flexibility and control over the project while allowing you to leverage external expertise.

Why is Staff Augmentation Popular in the IT Industry?

Staff augmentation has gained popularity in the IT industry due to its numerous benefits. Firstly, it allows companies to access a wider talent pool and bring in professionals with specialized skills that may not be available internally. This enables organizations to execute complex projects more efficiently and deliver high-quality results.

Secondly, staff augmentation offers flexibility. Companies can quickly augment their teams based on project requirements and scale down when the project is completed. This flexibility eliminates the need for long-term commitments and provides cost savings compared to hiring full-time employees.

Additionally, staff augmentation allows organizations to maintain control over the project and ensure it aligns with their business objectives. The augmented staff works closely with the in-house team, promoting collaboration and knowledge transfer. This enhances the team’s overall performance and fosters a culture of learning and growth.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services and How to Choose Them

On-site Staff Augmentation

On-site staff augmentation involves bringing external professionals to work at the client’s location. This model is suitable for projects that require close collaboration and frequent communication. On-site staff augmentation allows real-time interaction and seamless integration with the existing team.

Remote Staff Augmentation

Remote staff augmentation allows companies to hire professionals who work remotely, usually from a different location or even a different country. This model is ideal for projects that do not require physical presence and can be managed effectively through digital communication tools. Remote staff augmentation provides access to a global talent pool and offers cost savings regarding office space and infrastructure.

Project-based Staff Augmentation

Project-based staff augmentation focuses on augmenting the team for a specific project or period. This model allows companies to bring in professionals with the required skills for the project’s duration, ensuring efficient execution. Project-based staff augmentation provides flexibility and cost savings compared to hiring full-time employees for short-term projects.

Team-based Staff Augmentation

Team-based staff augmentation involves augmenting an entire team rather than individual professionals. This model is beneficial when you need to quickly scale up a team or establish a dedicated team for a specific project. Team-based staff augmentation ensures that the augmented team works cohesively and collaboratively, resulting in improved project outcomes.

When choosing the right staff augmentation service, consider factors such as the nature of your project, required skills, project timeline, and budget. Evaluate the expertise and experience of the staff augmentation provider, their track record, and their ability to align with your business goals and values. Additionally, ensure that the provider has a robust recruitment process and can provide ongoing support and management for the augmented staff.

Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Service

Choosing the right staff augmentation service is crucial for the success of your project. Here are some key factors to consider:

Experience and Expertise: Look for a staff augmentation service provider with a proven track record and experience in your industry. They should deeply understand the skills and expertise required for your project.

Recruitment Process: Evaluate the provider’s recruitment process to ensure they follow strict screening and selection criteria. This will ensure that the augmented staff meets your project requirements and possesses the necessary skills.

Flexibility and Scalability: Choose a provider that offers flexibility and scalability to meet your changing project needs. They should be able to quickly provide additional resources or scale down the team as required.

Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are essential for successful staff augmentation. Ensure the provider has processes to facilitate seamless interaction between the augmented staff and your in-house team.

Ongoing Support and Management: Look for a provider that offers ongoing support and management for the augmented staff. This includes performance monitoring, feedback mechanisms, and regular check-ins to ensure project success.

By considering these factors, you can select the right staff augmentation service that aligns with your project requirements and maximizes the chances of success.

Comparing Staff Augmentation with Other Outsourcing Models

Staff Augmentation vs Independent Contractors

Staff augmentation differs from hiring independent contractors regarding the level of control and integration with the existing team. With staff augmentation, the augmented staff works alongside the in-house team, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing. On the other hand, independent contractors work independently and may have limited interaction with the in-house team. Staff augmentation provides more flexibility and control over the project, while independent contractors offer specialized expertise for specific tasks.

Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services

Staff augmentation and managed services are two different approaches to outsourcing. Staff augmentation focuses on augmenting the existing team with external professionals, while managed services involve outsourcing the entire project or a specific function to a third-party provider. Staff augmentation offers more control and flexibility, whereas managed services provide end-to-end project management and accountability.

Staff Augmentation vs Dedicated Teams

Dedicated teams are similar to staff augmentation in augmenting the existing team with external professionals. However, dedicated teams are established for long-term projects and operate as separate entities within the organization. On the other hand, staff augmentation is more flexible and can be used for short-term projects or specific skill requirements.

Staff Augmentation vs Offshore Development Centers

Offshore development centers involve setting up a separate development center in a different country to leverage cost savings and access a global talent pool. On the other hand, staff augmentation focuses on augmenting the existing team with external professionals without setting up a separate center. Offshore development centers provide more control and long-term cost savings, while staff augmentation offers flexibility and quicker resource access.

Staff Augmentation vs Time and Material (T&M)

Time and material (T&M) is a pricing model commonly used in outsourcing contracts. It involves paying for the time and resources spent on the project. On the other hand, staff augmentation is a staffing model that focuses on augmenting the team with external professionals. Staff augmentation can be used with different pricing models, including T&M. The choice between staff augmentation and T&M depends on the project requirements, level of control, and budget considerations.

How to Choose the Right Staff Augmentation Model?

Choosing the right staff augmentation model depends on your project requirements, budget, and level of control. Consider factors such as the duration of the project, required skills, level of expertise, and the need for physical presence. Evaluate the pros and cons of each model, such as on-site vs remote staff augmentation or project-based vs team-based staff augmentation. Select the model that best aligns with your project goals and maximizes the chances of success.

Pros and Cons of IT Staff Augmentation


  • Access to specialized skills and expertise
  • Flexibility to scale the team based on project needs
  • Cost savings compared to hiring full-time employees
  • Enhanced collaboration and knowledge transfer
  • Increased control over the project and alignment with business goals


  • Potential challenges in integrating augmented staff with the existing team
  • Communication and coordination may require additional effort
  • Dependence on external professionals for specific skills
  • Potential cultural and time zone differences in remote staff augmentation


Staff augmentation is a valuable strategy for companies in the IT industry to augment their teams, bridge skill gaps, and meet project requirements. Organizations can access specialized skills, increase productivity, and deliver high-quality results by choosing the right staff augmentation service and model. Whether on-site or remote, skill-based or highly skilled, staff augmentation provides flexibility, control, and access to a global talent pool. Mastering staff augmentation allows companies to leverage external expertise while maintaining a cohesive and efficient team.