IT Project Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation: Pros & Cons

Project management is important but incredibly difficult to manage properly. In fact, PwC reported that out of 10,640 projects, only 2.5% of those companies successfully completed 100% of their projects. 

While project management is difficult, it’s still imperative for business success to complete. That’s why companies need to make sure their IT project management is solid and able to meet the ever-changing needs of their IT departments. 

Two popular IT project management solutions are IT project outsourcing and staff augmentation. Both have pros and cons, so it’s important to understand how each works and which one works best for your company.

IT Project Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation

IT project outsourcing is the practice of hiring external IT service providers to complete IT projects and tasks instead of relying on an in-house IT team.

Staff augmentation is the practice of temporarily supplementing in-house IT staff with IT professionals from an external IT service provider. This approach will also provide virtual resources to provide more support for a business’s in-house IT department.

What’s the Difference?

The main difference between IT project outsourcing and staff augmentation is who is held responsible for the IT projects. IT project outsourcing involves handing over IT projects to an IT service provider who is solely responsible for executing the project.

Whereas with staff augmentation, tasks and projects are completed collaboratively between a business’s in-house IT department and IT professionals from an external IT service provider.

The Pros of IT Project Outsourcing

IT project outsourcing is a great way to save time and money, as IT service providers can offer competitive rates and access to specialized IT talent that may be difficult or expensive to find through traditional methods.

1. Outsource to a Project Manager

Outsourcing IT can take a load off your team, freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic IT initiatives by handing off project management duties to experienced IT professionals. An IT service provider can provide an experienced IT manager who is equipped with the technical know-how and experience needed to successfully manage IT projects.

2. Reduces Overhead Costs

IT project outsourcing helps businesses reduce overhead costs by eliminating the need to hire IT professionals on a full-time basis and avoid buying expensive hardware and equipment. IT service providers can provide the necessary IT resources and support on a project basis.

3. Requires Less Training

IT service providers have expert IT professionals who are already trained and experienced in everything technology related. Your managers will save time by not having to train IT staff, allowing them to focus more of their energy on other areas of your business.

4. Shifts Focus to Business Core

Outsourcing your IT projects allows businesses to shift their focus back to their core business operations. IT service providers can take on IT projects and tasks that would otherwise require the company’s time and resources.

The Cons of IT Project Outsourcing

If you already have a full IT department, outsourcing IT may not be the best option for your business. However, if you find your in-house department struggling to keep up with projects, you may benefit from outsourcing.

1. Loss of IT Control

IT project outsourcing can lead to a loss of IT control since the IT service provider is responsible for making decisions and managing IT projects. If not communicated properly, projects may not be completed on time or up to the company’s standards.

2. Communication Challenges

Businesses may also face communication challenges with IT project outsourcing because IT service providers may not be as familiar with the company’s requirements and policies. This could lead to delays in IT projects or even a lack of quality IT services.

3. Fixed Subscription Plan

While outsourcing IT is a scalable service, once businesses sign a contract, IT service providers may require them to stick to a fixed subscription plan. This could limit IT services that businesses need, and they may be stuck paying for IT services they don’t need anymore.

The Pros of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation is an effective way for businesses to temporarily supplement their IT staff with highly skilled IT professionals without committing to a new IT external team.

1. Greater Control Over Projects

Staff augmentation allows organizations to maintain control over IT projects because in-staff teams collaborate temporarily with an outsourced IT team. The outsourced team’s purpose is to supplement the in-house staff with additional expertise and resources to get projects completed.

2. Easier Integration

Staff augmentation makes it easier for IT teams to integrate IT services into their existing IT infrastructure since the IT service provider is working in tandem with the in-house IT team. This allows businesses to quickly and easily add IT resources to their IT department without having to invest in new IT staff or equipment.

3. Cost-Effective Option

Staff augmentation is a cost-effective option for businesses looking only to provide additional assistance to their in-house IT team. IT professionals are hired on an as-needed basis, allowing organizations to control their IT costs and IT staffing expenses.

The Cons of Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation may not be the best option for IT projects that require long-term IT support. Additionally, staff augmentation can come with communication and integration challenges if IT teams are not on the same page.

1. Lose Focus on Core Business Needs

Due to the temporary IT staff, organizations may lose focus on their core business needs and goals. When IT teams are constantly changing with each IT project, it can be difficult for managers to maintain control over IT projects and ensure that IT services align with organizational objectives.

2. Higher Training Cost

Staff augmentation also comes with a higher training cost, since the outsourced IT staff need to constantly be trained in order to keep up with IT projects and changing IT demands. This can lead to increased IT costs for businesses.

3. More Difficulty Scaling IT Team

IT teams may also find it more difficult to scale IT services with staff augmentation. IT service providers might not be able to provide IT professionals whenever needed, which could cause delays in IT projects and other IT services.

Determining The Best Option For Your Business 

Ultimately, whether IT project outsourcing or staff augmentation is the right fit for your business will depend on your specific IT needs and goals. If you need access to specialized IT skills or resources quickly and don’t require a lot of control over the IT team, IT project outsourcing may be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you need IT resources for a short-term need or require more control over the IT team, staff augmentation might be the better fit.

Are You Still Unsure which Service You Need? AIS Can Help

At AIS, we know how important managing your IT projects are. That’s why our IT consulting services are designed to help you determine which IT services are right for your business. Our IT experts can provide one-on-one consulting to develop a tailored IT solution.

With our help, you can determine how to best meet your business goals and objectives efficiently and effectively at a price you can afford. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help your IT operations succeed!

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