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December 09, 2022

Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services

Since IT has become such a major part of running a service, businesses need to ensure they are getting proper technical help with their information technology. To ensure optimal business growth, business owners can choose to get IT support from an in-house team, staff augmentation, or through managed service providers (MSPs).

Hiring an in-house team was previously the norm, but more businesses are shifting to outsourced IT assistance due to the many benefits it offers. To determine the best IT support option for your business, business owners need to understand the pros and cons of staff augmentation vs. managed services.

Running a business and ensuring client satisfaction is an ongoing job and requires a lot of time and effort. Most business owners do not have the time or resources to ensure optimal IT performance on their own — alongside everything else they are doing. 

By opting to work with staff augmentation services or a managed services model, businesses can rest assured that qualified and skilled technicians take over and manage their critical IT tasks.

Staff augmentation and managed service providers both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these IT services has to offer.

What Are Staff Augmentation Services?

Staff augmentation gives businesses the chance to hire IT professionals from across the world, and simply integrate them into the current in-house team. This business process outsourcing (BPO) strategy focuses on adding remote technicians with specialized skills to the internal team to complete a short-term IT project.

Learn more about outsourced IT services:


Since engagements are flexible, it means staff augmentation allows you to ‘recruit’ IT professionals with the right skill set even on a long-term basis if that’s what your business requires. However, remote technicians hired through staff augmentation services work on a per-project basis and will likely only work on one project at a time so this is not recommended.

Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting

Sometimes staff augmentation is confused with consulting. Whereas staff augmentation adds members to your IT team, consulting assists your existing staff. With IT consulting, a team will advise your IT staff on best practices.

IT consulting is meant to be a short-term engagement. IT is useful for when you’re looking to expand your IT network, add new tools, or develop new IT policies.

The Benefits of Working with IT Staff Augmentation Companies

With staff augmentation services, business owners are given a list of professionals to select from, so they can choose the individual who has the most relevant experience. This is  beneficial for specific projects that require a specialized set of qualifications that would be otherwise nearly impossible to find on a local level.

Statistics published by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reveal that the average cost of hiring an employee is $4700. Since the vendor employs the technicians directly in staff augmentation, businesses can save money on the hiring process as well.

Staff augmentation is a good option for your business if you are:

  • Hiring IT staff for a temporary period or short-term project
  • Looking for IT technicians who have a rare set of qualifications
  • Constantly adjusting your IT team as your business needs change

However, staff augmentation has some disadvantages, too, which you should consider. 

The Cons of Staff Augmentation Services

Resource and staff augmentation services are viable options for businesses in certain conditions, but it is not the best choice for every organization. It is important to highlight that this BPO strategy works best on a temporary basis or as a short-term solution.

When examined long term, there are significant disadvantages your business may face if you opt for staff augmentation services.

Increased Management Expenses

Staff augmentation may reduce hiring costs, but they increase costs in other areas. When you hire a remote technician to join your in-house team, not only do you have to manage the expenses of your internal team, but you also have to hire managers and pay for more resources to oversee the work of your augmented staff.

Reduced Work Insight and Accountability

Since the augmented staff members work remotely, it can be difficult to ensure they are using their work hours optimally. This is especially the case since the staff augmentation contract does not offer service level agreements.

Limited Competencies

Staff augmentation services also keep businesses reliant on their internal processes. Since one hand-picked staff member is hired at a time, business owners cannot be sure they have all the required competencies on board to make their IT infrastructure successful.

Since the disadvantages of staff augmentation make it a poor option for most organizations, MSPs may be a better choice.

What Are IT Managed Services?

Information technology managed services offer a cost-effective solution for hiring skilled remote IT staff. By working with an MSP, businesses are able to outsource their IT management to a professional service provider who has the skills, resources, and knowledge to grow their IT infrastructure.

The Cons of Staff Augmentation Services

 

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With an MSP, there is no need for an internal team, as they provide a talented team of IT specialists that carry out all your information technology tasks remotely.

The Advantages of Working with Managed IT Services

Managed services provide several benefits to organizations that choose to outsource their IT databases with them. These include:

Cost Savings and Effectiveness

Hiring an in-house team is expensive and requires a lot of time to screen and train applicants. Managed services already provide a fully equipped and talented team who can carry out the required IT tasks within the agreed-upon budget.

Integration of a Broad Range of Skills

Since managed service providers work remotely, they have a broader range of technicians on board who have a wide range of rare skills and talents. Finding this level of expertise is very difficult when done on a local and on-site level.

Guaranteed Work through Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

One of the greatest benefits of working with an MSP is that they are backed by service level agreements (SLAs). SLAs document the time limit and goals of each project, so business owners can rest assured the MSP will fulfill the agreed-upon expectations and commitments.

Enhanced Business Growth

Since the MSP will take over all the business's IT tasks this saves time and opens up a lot more room for business owners and other employees to focus on growing their business instead. MSPs also ensure your business stays up to date by continuing to grow with the current dynamic technological and software development trends.

The Cons of Managed Services Agreements

Working with an MSP is a great option for long-term projects and IT support. However, like all services, the managed IT services outsourcing model does come with drawbacks as well.

The Cons of Managed Services Agreements

MSPs offer remote full-time IT services that are very cost-effective. However, because they offer remote services there may be some issues with communication.

 

Businesses also fully hand over their IT infrastructure to the MSP, and this can lead to a decreased level of control. To combat miscommunication and the concern of having less control, business owners should make sure they clarify roles, tasks, and goals very clearly when the initial contract is created.

Understanding the Difference Between Staff Augmentation and Managed Services

The terms staff augmentation and managed services are often wrongly used interchangeably. Though both MSP services and staff augmentation offer remote IT solutions for businesses, they tackle the approach very differently and have a different set of advantages and disadvantages.

Managed Services vs. Staff Augmentation

Managed Services

Staff Augmentation Services

Advantages

  • Cost effective
  •  Access to a broad range of skills and new talent
  • Guaranteed work through Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • Enhanced business growth
  • Lower hiring costs
  • Access to skilled technicians
  • Ability to scale as required

Disadvantages

  • Less Control
  • Possible communication issues
  • Increased management expenses
  •  Reduced work insight and accountability
  • Limited competency due to dependency on internal processes

Figure: A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of opting for managed services vs. staff augmentation services

 

The staff augmentation model is a viable option for organizations looking for the short-term hire of a skilled IT technician as they can save on hiring costs and get more exposure to the talent they need. 

 

However, business owners who are looking for a full-time IT service that is cost-effective, gives them access to a wide range of talent, and offers guaranteed services so they can focus on their business growth — are better off connecting with a managed service provider.

 

Get in Touch with Attentus Tech Today for All Your IT Needs

If you run a small or medium-sized business in Washington, and you’re looking for comprehensive IT support at all levels — we can help. 

 

Attentus Tech is a one-stop shop for all your IT needs, and we offer a wide range of IT services from CSSP to field IT support to optimize your business IT infrastructure. We strive to help our clients reach their business goals by offering customizable support packages at affordable rates.

 

Get in touch with us today to learn more and sign up for our IT MSP services.