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Staff Augmentation vs. Professional Services: Which Is Right for My Business?

May 8, 2023

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WillDom
A great staffing company like WillDom will only provide professionals with amazing technical skills.
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Are you looking to streamline your software development process effectively? Do you find yourself facing the challenge of integrating new skills and expertise swiftly? Do you feel drained, seeing your project stalled or not meeting its potential because you don’t have the right resources at the right time?

Like many business leaders, you may have experienced the frustration of resource gaps impacting your project timelines and outcomes. We understand these challenges deeply. That’s why, with our extensive expertise in IT outsourcing, we’re here to guide you through the best staffing solutions available today.

These options may usually include project-based consulting services, managed services, plain outsourcing services, and even hiring a full-time software development team. However, it eventually comes down to choosing between staff augmentation vs. professional services. Understanding the differences between the two methods is essential to making the best decision for your business.

What Is the Staff Augmentation Model?

The staff augmentation model allows businesses to quickly obtain the necessary personnel for IT projects without enduring the burden of hiring permanent employees. This approach is typically used to supplement the existing in-house team, with the staff augmentation company handling the entire recruitment process.

What are the Pros of Staff Augmentation?

The staff augmentation model has various benefits. By understanding these benefits, businesses can leverage team augmentation to more effectively meet project objectives.

Here are the four main advantages of choosing the staff augmentation outsourcing model:

Cost savings

This alternative to full-time hiring enables businesses to quickly access the skills needed for a project without the additional costs associated with employee management.

Increased productivity

This model gives access to qualified and experienced personnel with a strategic focus, ensuring improved efficiency and enabling businesses to reach peak performance.

Access to specialized skills

By adding external resources to your existing team through talent enhancement, you can tap into the specialized capabilities needed to bridge any skill gaps in your workforce.

Scalability & flexibility

For businesses needing to tailor their personnel to the project requirements, IT talent augmentation provides the flexibility to adjust staffing levels to best suit the project.

What are Potential Challenges with Staff Augmentation?

While staff augmentation offers flexibility and access to specialized skills, it also presents certain challenges that businesses need to consider. These challenges can impact the integration and effectiveness of the augmented staff within the existing team and the overall project dynamics.

Here are four common challenges associated with staff augmentation:

Lack of trust

Without trust, connections will become strained, making it nearly impossible to create an atmosphere of unity and unlock the potential of a team.

Build a strong bond with the external team to guarantee everyone is aligned on completing shared goals.

Poor communication

When communication is lacking, it can disrupt the harmony of a team.

Set clear expectations from the outset to prevent misunderstandings and guarantee everyone agrees.

Poor quality of work

When a job falls short of expectations, it can lead to extended schedules and extra expenses, making everyone involved feel dissatisfied.

Thoroughly investigate the credentials of the staff augmentation companies you are considering to ensure they possess the skill set to maintain a high level of performance.

Hidden costs

Failing to factor in potential unexpected costs could be a costly miscalculation during the strategic planning stage of a project, resulting in delays and disruption.

Be ready for unforeseen costs and stay in close contact with your service provider to ensure that you and they agree on all financial arrangements.

When you work with experienced staff augmentation service providers like WillDom, you can be sure that all costs are upfront. WillDom will talk you through the costs and ensure you understand your project’s full financial implications.

Graphic about the Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation.

When is Staff Augmentation the Best Choice?

Suppose you must cover a sudden or temporary staff gap in your team or require a certain level of expertise not available from your current personnel. In that case, staff augmentation services are the perfect option.

What Are Professional Services?

Professional services are provided by professionals who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their field. They involve outsourcing an entire project or a specific business process to an outside provider.

What are the Advantages of Hiring Professional Services?

The professional service model is often favored by companies looking for comprehensive solutions delivered by teams that bring expertise and full accountability for the results. 

Understanding the advantages of professional services can help businesses decide if this approach aligns better with their strategic goals compared to other staffing solutions.

Here are the four main pros of the professional services outsourcing model:

Specialized expertise

It gives access to specialized knowledge and experience in specific areas that organizations may not have in-house.

Time savings

It helps complete tasks more quickly than if you were to do them yourself, as they already have the skills to complete the job.

High-quality results

Professional services guarantee high-quality outcomes, as these providers have focused their careers on mastering specific skills in a particular field.

Objective insights

These professionals can give impartial and objective advice and recommendations to help you make the best decisions for your project.

What are Potential Challenges Associated with Professional Services?

Businesses might face inherent challenges when opting for professional services. Awareness and proactive management of these issues can lead to more effective collaboration with professional service providers.

Here are four common downsides that come with professional services:

Inexperience

If the skilled service providers are inexperienced in the particular field of expertise needed, it will lead to poor quality results and long-term dissatisfaction.

Double-check the potential providers have a proven track record of success in the specific field of expertise needed by reviewing client testimonials or asking for references.

Lack of ownership

When organizations hire professional services, there can be a lack of project ownership since the provider is not a full-time employee.

Set expectations for the project from the beginning and ensure regular communication and feedback to meet the desired outcomes.

Conflict of interest

If providers work with other organizations and do not give their full attention to either, there can be a potential conflict of interest.

Have a clear contract with the professional services provider outlining the expectations, objectives, and potential conflicts of interest.

Difficulty in terminating services

Terminating services can be difficult due to contractual obligations and potential financial penalties.

Ensure that the professional service providers are aware of the termination process and have regular meetings with them to ensure that they are meeting expectations with their project management.

Graphic about the Pros and Cons of Professional Services.

When are Professional Services the Best Choice?

Professional services are a great choice when organizations need specialized skills that are unavailable in-house and don’t possess the resources to hire full-time employees.

What is the Difference Between Staff Augmentation and Professional Services?

Choosing between staff augmentation and professional services involves understanding how these two staffing solutions differ fundamentally in their approach, management, and impact on a business. Both models come with distinct operational philosophies that cater to different needs and project circumstances.

Here are the ten main differences between staff augmentation and professional services:

Aspect Staff Augmentation Professional Services
Control over staff Businesses retain full control over the project, and augmented personnel integrate into existing teams. Control is largely handed over to the service provider, who manages the project independently.
Integration with teams The augmented workforce operates closely with existing in-house teams, often blending into the current crew. The service provider’s team operates independently, with minimal integration with client teams.
Cost structure Typically has costs based on the hourly or daily rates of the augmented staff. Professional services: Costs are usually structured around deliverables or project milestones.
Project management responsibility The client is responsible for managing the augmented staff and the project’s progress. The service provider manages the project from start to finish, including all operational details.
Expertise level Provides specific skills for particular tasks, supplementing the existing team’s capabilities Offers comprehensive expertise and solutions, often bringing advanced knowledge and methodologies to the project.
Flexibility High flexibility in scaling workforce up or down as project demands change. Less flexibility once a contract is in place, as changes might require renegotiations.
Duration of engagement Can be ideal for both short-term and long-term needs, adjustable as required. Typically engaged for the duration of a specific project or defined period.
Scope of work The scope is generally narrower, focusing on specific roles or tasks. The scope is broader and includes complete project management and delivery.
Outcome responsibility The client remains responsible for the project’s outcome, as augmented staff are directed by the client. The provider is accountable for the final outcome, relieving the client of this burden.
Strategic vs. tactical More tactical, aiming to fill particular skill gaps or provide additional manpower. More strategic, offering holistic solutions that aim to achieve specific business outcomes.

Which one is right for my business?

If you have a short-term project or need a quick solution, staff augmentation may be the best option. Professional services may be the better choice if you are handling complex projects and require specialized skills. Ultimately, evaluating your needs and determining the best option for your business is essential.

Managed services are also a great staffing option because of the comprehensive project management they offer.

Factors to consider when choosing between staff augmentation and professional services

When deciding between staff augmentation and professional services, it’s essential to consider the potential impacts each may have on the company in the near and distant future. To make the most informed decision, ask yourself the following questions:

Short term

  • Project duration: What is the expected timeline of the project? How long do we expect this project to take to complete? Are there any milestones or deadlines that must be met?
  • Immediate needs: What immediate needs must be addressed to ensure the project is successful? What are the most critical objectives that must be achieved? What are the potential risks involved in embarking on this project?
  • Budget: What is the total cost of the project? How much money can be allocated for each option? Is there any room in the budget for unexpected expenses?

Long term

  • Resource management: What resources will be needed to complete the project? How will those resources be managed? Who will be responsible for managing those resources?
  • Organizational culture: What is the overall culture of the organization? How will each option fit within that culture? Are there any potential conflicts of interest between the organization’s goals and staff augmentation or professional services?
  • Scalability: How easily can the project be scaled up or down if necessary? What is the potential for future expansion of the project? What is the potential for long-term engagement with each choice?

Staff Augmentation Real-Life Case Studies

WillDom‘s staff augmentation service has helped multiple clients successfully complete multiple projects by supplementing their in-house staff with highly skilled professionals. Companies have taken advantage of this approach’s cost and time savings, improved efficiency, and competitive edge.

Read the following case studies to learn how businesses have realized success through WillDom‘s staff augmentation service:

WillDom’s success story with staff augmentation in the media and entertainment industry

WillDom provided two experienced Full-Stack Developers to join an internal team of eight in creating a free, advertiser-supported video-on-demand platform.

The project included:

  • Transitioning from traditional development to a cutting-edge framework
  • Building video-on-demand, front and back-end development
  • Analytics
  • Architecture redesign

Technologies utilized for the project included React, TypeScript, JavaScript, Redux-Thunk and Redux-Saga, CSS, and HTML.

Thanks to WillDom’s assistance, the customer could move to their new platform without disrupting their regular operations.

WillDom’s success story with staff augmentation in the sports industry

WillDom‘s client needed a way to streamline their sports event operations and ensure that teams stayed on track.

To make this happen, WillDom provided a team of native app developers to make the customer’s platform more efficient, squash any issues, and build new features to make the system easier to use.

The team worked hard to understand the client’s culture and vision, and the project was a success, promptly meeting the customer’s needs and delivering the desired results.

WillDom can take your organization's existing workforce to the next level with top-notch consulting services.

Making the Right Choice – Let WillDom Help!

Are you uncertain as to whether staff augmentation or professional services are the best fit for your business’s needs? WillDom can help you make the right decision! 

Our IT professionals will assess your budget, timeline, and requirements, so you can rest assured that you are getting the best value for your money. Contact WillDom today or on LinkedIn, and let us help you find the perfect IT staffing solution!

FAQ

1. Can staff augmentation and professional services be combined?

Yes, staff augmentation and professional services can be combined by leveraging a hybrid approach. This approach allows organizations to take advantage of the benefits of both services, such as having access to a broader range of skills while reducing costs.

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