October 12, 2020

IT Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services

More companies than ever before are searching for solutions for IT outsourcing. Finding and hiring an in-house IT staff can be time-consuming, challenging, and costly — not to mention inconvenient if you have a fast-growth or limited-time project.

The two primary IT outsourcing models are IT staff augmentation and managed IT services. Both models are strong alternatives to making full-time hires in house, but the most effective model depends on your project types and scale.

Staff augmentation is used to outsource specific tasks and functions (input). The managed services model outsources the entire problem and solution to a third-party vendor (output). Staff augmentation's key benefit is the ability to rapidly scale specific functions, while managed services are best for long-term handling of processes like infrastructure and security.

Functional AreasStaff AugmentationManaged ServicesProcessesOutsources tasks and functions (inputs)Outsources solutions and management (outputs)BillingBills on time spend, often bi-weeklyBills on retainer, often annuallyProject TypesFlexible and scalable for rapid-growth projectsStable and reliable for long-term IT management

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

IT staff augmentation services can help your company scale up or down based on current needs. Rather than dumping time and energy into hiring permanent IT personnel, staff augmentation allows you to work temporarily with skilled specialists as projects come along. 

The staff augmentation model of IT outsourcing gives you access to a pool of the best tech talent in the industry as soon as a need arises. 

While some argue that staff augmentation is best for small to medium-sized companies, Rootstrap has effectively worked with tech giants like Spotify, Google, and Disney to scale their processes and products successfully. Both startups and well-established companies can boost productivity and save money with IT staff augmentation. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of IT staff augmentation: 

Pros of IT Staff Augmentation

Retain Project Control

With IT staff augmentation, you retain project autonomy. That way, you can ensure project completion to your specifications.

The outsourcing company will simply determine your needs and present qualified candidates for the job. Once you agree upon your outsourced team members, they will adapt to your company and follow your direction to carry out your project’s parameters.  

With Rootstrap’s IT staff augmentation services, our support does not stop when you sign an agreement with the candidates we present. We help them transition into your company and monitor the relationship to ensure success.  

Get the Pros You Need by the Project

Rather than onboarding new hires for a project only to let them go when it's over, Rootstrap’s staff augmentation services allow you to scale your staff according to current demands. 

We offer specialized talent for every IT niche to help you see any project through to the finish. Whether you want an app built from the ground up, desperately need to rescue a software failure, or just need an extra hand with coding, we can pair you with the right team members. 

Increase Output & Reduce Costs

Hiring new employees can drastically increase overheads, including the cost of additional office space, hardware, software, and more expenses associated with on-site staff. 

IT staff augmentation allows your company to work remotely with globally sourced talent to achieve the same or even better results at a reduced price. 

Since IT functions can be outsourced internationally to areas with a lower cost of living, you can save money on development without compromising your products’ quality. 

Plus, shifting some of the workload from your in-house staff to outsourced teammates can actually increase productivity, since your employees will spend less time multitasking and more time doing what they do best. 

Fewer Legalities 

While processes vary by company, Rootstrap has created a zero-headache approach to IT outsourcing. We provide access to highly-skilled developers on a contract basis.

Rootstrap acts as the official employer, handling human resources issues, taxes, payroll, and employee benefits, so you don’t have to. We also navigate the technicalities of offshore IT outsourcing, ensuring you get competitive pricing without cutting any corners.

Additionally, all of our new hires are bound to the terms of our employee handbook, which covers legalities and outlines codes of conduct. Our IT staff will work to adapt to the policies that govern your company.

Cons of IT Staff Augmentation

Better for Short-Term IT Support

IT staff augmentation is a practical solution for companies that need access to a flexible IT support source as projects come and go. 

If your company requires consistent heavy-lifting in the IT department, it may be more cost-effective for you to hire an in-house team of developers or opt for managed IT services. 

Requires Management Resources

Outsourced IT staff will be under your management. The need for management only counts as a con if you don’t have the resources and vision needed to supervise your IT project. 

What are Managed Services?

Managed IT services are another popular outsourcing model. With managed IT services, your company outsources IT processes to another company. 

The IT company agrees to operate within specific parameters and specifications determined by the parent company. However, the managed IT service company assumes control of IT staffing, management, and project execution. 

When drawing up a contract, the parent company and IT firm will agree upon the deliverables or desired outcome. 

Managed IT services are appropriate for companies who need a specific technical output but do not have the resources to be heavily involved in the process. This model of outsourcing is also a good fit for companies with long-term, labor-intensive developing needs.

Pros of Managed Services

Retain Focus on Operations

Since managed IT services provide their own project management processes, the parent company can step back and focus on its services. The IT company will care for technical functions and development, while your staff zones in on other operations. 

Save Time Managing IT

If your company hires in-house IT staff, you’ll need to dedicate time to managing IT projects. To properly supervise IT functions and keep everything on schedule, a project manager will likely need a working knowledge of the project itself. 

For companies lacking in technical expertise and management resources, managed IT services might be a practical solution, saving both time and money in the long-run.   

Cons of Managed Services

Higher Cost

Since managed IT services cover both IT functions and project management, the cost of handing over your technical processes to an IT firm may be higher than outsourcing through staff augmentation. 

Loss of Autonomy

If your company prefers to retain full control of in-house processes, relinquishing your products’ development to a managed IT services company may not be in your best interests. 

Companies that want to internalize project management and supervise outsourced staff are better off opting for IT staff augmentation services. 

IT Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services — is Staff Augmentation Better?

Since no two companies are exactly alike, it’s crucial to determine what IT outsourcing model works best for your company’s unique needs. Use the pros and cons above to compare and contrast staff augmentation vs. managed services and determine what suits your business model. 

Both methods of IT outsourcing save you from spending time and energy on recruiting the specialists needed to develop your products and reach your company’s goals.

However, many companies appreciate the flexibility and retained control of IT staff augmentation over managed services. 

Since IT outsourcing companies employ some of the most talented developers, programmers, and coders in the world, you may find more success in outsourcing your IT needs than trying to hire in-house staff. 

Whichever method of IT outsourcing you decide on, be sure to choose your outsourcing company wisely. Avoid ‘budget’ IT outsourcing companies, and read any agreements carefully before signing.  

Best IT Staff Augmentation Services

With so many IT staff augmentation services to choose from, why partner with Rootstrap? Our awards, reviews, and features in magazines like Entrepreneur speak for themselves. 

Here are just a few of the awards our team of developers, strategists, and designers have won:

  • CSS Design Award by CSS Design Awards
  • Made the Inc 5000 list in 2019 and 2020
  • #1 in Tech on Product Hunt
  • #1 Best B2B Company in Uruguay:
  • #8 B2B Service Provider in California:
  • Financial Times 1000: Americas’ fastest-growing companies
  • Webbys Nominee for Cleo
  • Webbys Honoree for Generis

After working with companies like MasterClass, Epson, and Microsoft, our cutting edge IT services are sharper than ever.

“When considering the top mobile app development companies of today, my mind automatically gravitates to Rootstrap,” says Moshe Reuven Sheradsky, Founder & CEO at Wedu.

We can back your company’s innovative ideas with world-class development. Our talented pool of tech talent can turn your company’s sketches into stunning software, high-functioning applications, or whatever deliverable you have in mind. Rootstrap specialists operate on your timetable to deliver the products you need to launch your company to the next level. 

Start exploring your IT staff augmentation options by scheduling a free consultation with Rootstrap. We’ll listen to your vision, walk you through the outsourcing process, and facilitate a seamlessly smooth transition to working with your new IT staff.