In this contemporary era of innovative technologies, rapid advancements, and remote work, businesses must maintain an elite staff – particularly IT professionals – are to remain competitive in their respective markets. Companies don't just hire these talents; they ensure these professionals are valuable and beneficial to their long-term success.

Managing and maintaining an IT team can be complex. Companies may encounter skill gaps within their in-house teams, talent scarcity, and high-cost hiring of IT professionals. The freedom to choose a remote or hybrid work setup has also become significant in Americans' employment decisions. Statista's research reported that 41 percent of IT professionals believe that educating on best remote work practices is the top action plan to support the IT workforce.

Ivan Serrano is the author of this article. He is a technology and business writer who has been working with companies like StartupNation, SmallBizClub, Time Doctor, and Namecheap since 2015. He loves writing, and working in business development has given him unique perspectives. Serrano states, "The staff augmentation process in IT can be invaluable to companies when done right. Still, companies must remember to assess its suitability to their workflow. After all, the ultimate goal is to implement the appropriate growth techniques that guarantee a higher return on investment."

Companies don't have to rely on just educating their IT team about the best remote work practices. The staff augmentation process in IT is another approach to enhance the IT processes. This comprehensive guide explains IT staff augmentation and its advantages. It will also discuss its drawbacks, differences with other models, how to find the right one, and how to make the most of it.

Understanding Staff Augmentation Process in IT

IT staff augmentation refers to outsourcing skilled IT talents or teams to manage, set up, and implement the company's current projects and objectives on a flexible contracting basis. 

This hiring model is anchored on the business's required assistance—web development, software testing, software engineering, cloud computing, or information systems management.

Suppose a company aims to develop a comprehensive e-commerce website or platform, requiring an IT team of 10 to 15 staff, but they only have five. Hiring the necessary skilled talents might take months, delaying the project setup and launch. 

The last thing the company wants is to lose the potential revenue this significant project will bring. That's how staff augmentation enables them to augment their IT team's capacity for faster project implementations.

There are three types of IT staff augmentation: skill-based, commodity-based, and highly skilled.

  • Skill-based augmentation: This type focuses on hiring skilled workers. These talents have higher education levels and more experience than average ones 
  • Commodity-based augmentation concentrates on augmenting the IT team. It hires employees who can perform basic tasks. Companies with employee shortages and require quick hiring are usually the ones who do this 
  • Highly-skilled augmentation: A company outsources highly skilled talent from agencies or organizations for specific projects that require more expertise. They can be short- or long-term.

The IT Staff Augmentation Process

Staff augmentation can be manual, but investing in a dedicated service or platform might provide a more seamless, straightforward, and faster outsourcing process. Here's how the staff augmentation process in IT goes:

  1. The first step is identifying and evaluating the company's needs. The augmentation team will help determine the organization's strengths, weaknesses, and primary IT goals.
  2. Once goals are set, the augmentation team or platform will shortlist top-notch candidates based on required skills and specializations.
  3. Screening and interviews are next after shortlisting. This stage is where the company interviews the pre-selected candidates. A series of screenings may occur to find the right combination of highly skilled talent.
  4. The company will finalize the people they want to hire once they finish the screenings and interviews. The augmentation team will assist in onboarding as new team members familiarize themselves with the workflow as quickly as possible.
  5. Augmenting continues beyond onboarding. The augmentation team or platform should provide post-hiring support, including offshore employee assistance, to achieve the best project outcomes.

The Advantages of IT Staff Augmentation

The staff augmentation process in IT workflow is a flexible way to augment the IT team without exhausting company funds, resources, and time. This process can also support nearshore and offshore employees and provide many rewarding benefits. 

The core advantages of adopting IT staff augmentation include:

1. Flexibility and scalability

The flexible nature of IT staff augmentation enables organizations to work with skilled professionals who will meet their specific needs. It allows them to adapt to rapidly changing demands, last-minute priorities, and workflow fluctuations. 

Rather than exhausting their resources on an intensive and time-consuming traditional hiring process, they have a dynamic approach suitable to the contemporary business pace.

Concurrently, the staff augmentation process in IT doesn't limit organizations' workflow to just an in-house team, allowing them to scale their daily operations. 

Companies can quickly integrate skilled talent within their teams when a project requires additional assistance and support. Consequently, they can maximize efficiency and avoid delays without overloading the in-house team.

2. Secure intellectual property (IP) rights

IT staff augmentation can ensure that companies have control and security over their projects' IP rights. Unlike other outsourcing models that might be subject to shared ownership, staff augmentation provides maximum ownership and protection.

The staff augmentation process in IT involves contracts that outline timelines, scope, payment terms, and IP rights. These agreements can provide higher IP security to prevent miscommunication and legal issues. They ensure the companies can establish successful engagement and relationships with the temporary staff. 

With staff augmentation, companies remain in charge of their workflow, directing their teams' efforts according to the project vision and predicted outcome.

3. Increased productivity and efficiency

Since IT staff augmentation offers flexibility, scalability, and a faster recruitment process, companies can increase their productivity and efficiency. They can instantly work with highly skilled professionals ready to collaborate and contribute right after the onboarding. No time is wasted, as everyone starts to work full force.

The augmented professionals can also cooperate with the in-house team, dividing project management requirements with a clear set of goals. They will work to ensure the project aligns with the company's goals and needs. 

This partnership creates an efficient, specialized, and dynamic team that meets deadlines, accelerates the project implementation, and delivers high-quality results.

4. Projects and business objectives are the top priorities

Another advantage of the staff augmentation process in IT is that the business's objectives and projects become the top priorities. 

The dedicated IT team aligns all their time, skills, and effort with the project for successful development and launch. It allows companies to concentrate on what matters to their growth and avoid pitfalls that could compromise the results.

Furthermore, projects and objectives remain at the forefront because the augmented professionals are devoted to contributing to the development process. 

It establishes an avenue where they can actively participate in refining efforts and strategies for positive outcomes. They can provide innovative insights, proactive problem-solving, and focused expertise that delivers the appropriate solutions to potential challenges.

5. Cost-efficient

Hiring full-time IT employees who require salary and perks is a long-term commitment. However, companies can hire and outsource talent whenever needed with IT staff augmentation. 

No long-term costs are usually involved, allowing businesses to change their team capacity based on their urgent requirements.

Companies that practice staff augmentation simplify their expenses by paying what they only require. They can complete their projects without needing to manage long-term costs. Hence, the augmented team can help a company save money and encourage better workload management.

Moreover, companies can avoid traditional, high-cost hiring—job postings, ad creation, publishing, and marketing—enabling them to align their budgets to more significant business goals.

6. Expanded access to a broader talent pool

Since technology enables global communication and collaboration, IT staff augmentation allows companies to expand their network of skilled professionals. Gone are the days when businesses were restricted to the local workforce. 

The staff augmentation process in IT breaks the geographical barriers, letting businesses hire remote employees regardless of location and time zone.

With access to a broader talent pool, companies can build IT teams with diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and expertise that will enrich their project management. 

They can handpick each employee across the globe and work towards success even without meeting face-to-face. As such, a globally scaled team can deliver high-performing efforts that empower their growth projects.

7. An augmented staff doesn't require training

Companies usually have to dedicate time to training candidates. Training new hires is a standard practice to make them comfortable and familiar with the work environment. It helps them hone their skills to become invaluable team members. But it can also be expensive and time-consuming.

Fortunately, this is different with an augmented IT staff. Companies expanding their teams can already find and recruit highly skilled professionals who don't require special training. 

They will screen, assess, and interview these professionals to determine the strengths they can contribute. Then, when deemed fit, direct onboarding to the project will occur, diminishing the need to organize training sessions.

Pitfalls of Staff Augmentation Process in IT

The staff augmentation process in IT is no exception to potential pitfalls. Like other outsourcing models, it has its fair share of drawbacks, which companies should be aware of. Before adopting IT staff augmentation, here are the pitfalls to understand and avoid:

1. Augmented staff may not fit the company's culture and workflow

While access to a global talent pool is beneficial, it can also be disadvantageous. An augmented staff may not fit the company's culture and workflow without proper screening. Sure, they don't need training, but there's a necessary learning curve to become accustomed to the existing environment. They may struggle during this process, particularly when they're offshore employees.

Additionally, some business projects require institutional knowledge that only in-house teams have. Without a comprehensive onboarding process, it can be challenging for augmented employees to understand a project's context. 

Consequently, the in-house staff may need to educate this external team throughout the project management process. Thus, hiring employees who share the same values is essential.

2. Not suitable for long-term projects

Since the nature of the staff augmentation process in IT is usually short-term, it may not be ideal for long-term projects. An augmented staff may cost more than the in-house team over time. Companies should pay the salaries and benefits of these temporary workers.

Concurrently, not all augmented employees may have the same level of commitment as in-house teams. They may leave the project early, disrupting the entire team's workflow. Companies are also at risk of losing expert information when an augmented staff leaves or is temporarily unavailable.

Moreover, they may be unable to access some internal resources, making it challenging to perform their tasks. This aspect can compromise a project's progress and lead to unnecessary delays.

3. Reliance on a service provider

The staff augmentation model usually relies on a service provider. It means that remote employees are shortlisted by a third-party agency specializing in IT staff augmentation.

Finding a competent staff augmentation service or platform can be time-consuming when companies don't know what to search for. Companies may need to exert effort in choosing one with the most suitable skill set for their needs.

Suppose a company decides to terminate its contract with the provider or its augmented staff suddenly leaves. This company is now back to square one and may need to find a new staff augmentation vendor or remote employees again. Instead of saving time and costs, they become counterproductive by spending more time and money on reorganizing the team.

4. Complex time zones

Augmented staff management involves coordination that adheres to the temporary staff's time zones. This factor is significant for companies with augmented remote teams outsourced from different countries. However, coordinating the workflow with the remote employees' respective time zones can be challenging.

Finding a mutually suitable time to schedule meetings, reviews, and planning sessions can take time due to complex time zones. Remote workers may also miss some important messages or forget to respond. Consequently, communication and collaboration become inefficient. This inefficiency can lead to misunderstandings and delays, affecting the project's workflow and progress.

5. Additional management commitment and resources

The staff augmentation process in IT introduces additional commitment and resources. Expanding the workforce requires more management responsibilities. Besides managing the in-house team, companies must also oversee their external teams. With additional obligations, it can be challenging to supervise all the necessary workflows at once.

Additionally, companies working with remote teams may be at risk of oversight. They may sometimes be unable to track performance, determine risks, and ensure everyone is on the same page. Cultural differences can also affect management, so companies must be mindful of communication and employee expectations.

Comparing Staff Augmentation With Other IT Outsourcing Models

Outsourcing models have other types besides staff augmentation. Before choosing IT staff augmentation, companies must assess whether the augmented model suits their needs

Here's how the staff augmentation process in IT compares to these outsourcing models companies should also consider.

Managed Services Model

The managed services model refers to outsourcing an entire team to work on a dedicated project from planning to launching. Unlike staff augmentation, which involves specific needs and collaboration, a managed service team works independently. The project, budget, and work responsibilities are fully transferred to this development team.

Companies aren't necessarily involved in the development process. Project managers will be the ones to guide their teams. Planning strategies, identifying challenges, determining solutions, and launching lie in a managed service team's hands. This model enables organizations to focus on other business matters.

Project Outsourcing

Project outsourcing is a model that hires third-party agencies to fulfill projects. These service providers are responsible for the workflow—from planning, setup, and deliverables to maintenance and other relevant tasks.

The main difference between staff augmentation and project outsourcing lies in the process. A staff augmentation vendor only provides a few developers, with the company's technical leader managing them. Conversely, an outsourced project management service will establish milestones and oversee progress. Companies can involve themselves or leave everything in the agencies' hands.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are self-employed IT professionals or agencies contracted to provide IT services as non-employees. Hiring one means not paying a commission to a vendor, but the company still covers the entire management responsibility. 

Contrarily, a staff augmentation provider offers services that can make the hiring and onboarding faster.

However, with an independent contractor, companies aren't required to provide perks and pay overhead costs. Additionally, these contractors have limited access to data and information, which companies typically share with their augmented staff.

Tips for Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Service

With many factors to consider, finding the most suitable staff augmentation service might be challenging. Companies must ensure their chosen providers meet their expectations and achieve the best results.

Evaluate staffing needs and potential expenses

Before searching for options, companies must evaluate their staffing needs first. They should determine whether they require a reliable remote IT team, software engineers, product designers, or front-end developers.

Consulting with managers, HR executives, and employees provides an overview of what needs to be enhanced, such as skill sets and workflow management.

Once done with evaluating staffing needs, companies should determine the potential costs of augmenting their staff. Staff augmentation is an investment. The last thing companies want is to waste money on services that won't meet their expectations. 

Consider the project duration

Project duration is crucial in the staff augmentation process in IT. Since staff augmentation is usually better for short-term projects, companies must consider the timeline of a project. Choosing other outsourcing models might be better if the project will take a year or more.

Considering the project duration enables companies to make wise decisions. This way, they can allocate resources and establish business growth strategies without compromising finances and operations.

Ensure data privacy and confidentiality

Staff augmentation providers must uphold data privacy, confidentiality, and IP rights. They should be committed to establishing a secure work environment.

As such, a reputable staffing agency ensures comprehensive background checks on potential candidates. Signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) is also paramount for temporary hires.

Furthermore, the agency should equip its staff with comprehensive training sessions about IP and data security processes and cybersecurity tools.

After these steps:

  1. Find a service provider with the experience and expertise to deliver highly skilled professionals to the team
  2. Remember to consider reviews, testimonials, and case studies
  3. If available, request a demo to assess how suitable the services are

How To Leverage Staff Augmentation Efficiently

Staff augmentation delivers various benefits when used correctly. But ensuring an efficient team is also one thing. 

So, how can businesses guarantee productive, proficient, and dedicated augmented workers? Find answers from the tips below.

1. Promote transparent communication

Communication is crucial to the success of any project. Companies must ensure transparent communication within the team. They should encourage a two-way communication system—where the in-house teams, remote workers, and management can exchange ideas and feedback.

Showing empathy and building camaraderie are also essential. Assure that the remote workers can seek adequate assistance when they struggle with some responsibilities. Concurrently, building rapport means allowing employees to talk about non-work topics.

Moreover, companies should invest in internal messaging solutions that everyone on the team can use. This way, everyone—from the management to in-house and external teams—collaborates and communicates seamlessly.

2. Establish a comprehensive workflow with clear roles

Internal and external teams' understanding of their responsibilities is significant. It helps them focus on their duties and dedicate their skills to the project. For this reason, companies need to establish a comprehensive workflow with clear roles. This system also makes it easier for companies to coordinate with their staff.

3. Embrace project management solutions

Like internal messaging tools, project management solutions have also been the rage in every industry. These platforms can streamline, automate, and monitor projects. Embracing them can ensure that IT systems are optimized. Such tools can also provide data-driven insights to help companies make wise decisions.

4. Keep a record of the codes

Software solutions require regular updates and maintenance, which involves codes. Since these tools consist of various code lines, code documenting is essential.

Code documenting includes clear images and textual descriptions of each codebase and how to use it. It ensures code readability and usability. This process also enables companies to update and scale their solutions regularly.

5. Encourage flexibility

With different time zones, remote workers may also have different work hours. Personal work environments don't necessarily mirror traditional workplaces anymore. Unpredictable life events and home responsibilities are also significant factors. 

For these reasons, flexibility has become paramount to the contemporary workforce.

Encouraging flexibility accommodates these aspects, enabling companies to foster a culture of trust and understanding. This culture can empower the staff's most productive work hours. 

Consequently, the augmented staff can cultivate a sense of autonomy that promotes job satisfaction, reduces burnout, and enhances efficiency.

Upscale Project Management With the IT Staff Augmentation Process

Businesses constantly determine ways to expand their horizons in today's digital era. Many companies aim to improve technical support to niche areas like digital marketing and immigration law firm SEO. Thanks to IT staff augmentation, they don't have to undergo extensive and time-consuming recruitment procedures.

The staff augmentation process in IT can be invaluable to companies when done right. Still, companies must remember to assess its suitability to their workflow. After all, the ultimate goal is to implement the appropriate growth techniques that guarantee a higher return on investment.


In this ever-evolving landscape of technology and business, the significance of maintaining a highly skilled IT team cannot be overstated. Companies today hire IT professionals and strive to make the most of their expertise to ensure long-term success and competitiveness in their respective markets.

Managing and nurturing an IT team can be a complex endeavor. Challenges such as skill gaps within the in-house team, talent shortages, and the high cost of hiring IT professionals can pose significant obstacles. Furthermore, the option of remote or hybrid work setups has become a key factor in attracting and retaining IT talent, as highlighted by Statista's research.

As we conclude this article, authored by Ivan Serrano, a seasoned technology and business writer, we emphasize the importance of the IT staff augmentation process. It is a powerful approach that can effectively enhance IT processes and bridge skill gaps. However, companies need to evaluate its suitability for their specific workflow.

The article has provided a comprehensive guide to IT staff augmentation, covering its definition, advantages, drawbacks, and differences from other outsourcing models. It also outlined the staff augmentation process, from identifying needs to onboarding and beyond.

The advantages of IT staff augmentation, such as flexibility, cost-efficiency, and access to a global talent pool, have been thoroughly explained. This approach allows companies to adapt to changing demands, protect intellectual property, increase productivity, and prioritize projects and business objectives.

However, it's crucial to acknowledge the potential pitfalls, including cultural fit challenges, suitability for long-term projects, reliance on service providers, complex time zones, and increased management commitments. Companies must be aware of these issues and proactively address them.

Lastly, the article compared staff augmentation with other IT outsourcing models, highlighting when each model might be more appropriate. It emphasized the importance of evaluating staffing needs, project duration, data privacy, and the expertise of service providers when choosing the right staff augmentation service.

In conclusion, the IT staff augmentation process offers businesses a flexible and efficient way to bolster their IT teams. It can increase productivity, cost savings, and successful project outcomes when implemented thoughtfully and strategically. However, companies must carefully assess their needs and consider the potential challenges to make the most of this valuable approach in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and business.

Ivan Serrano
Business and tech writer
SaaS-y content
Ivan have been a technology and business writer since 2015 working with companies like SmallBizClub, StartupNation, Namecheap and Time Doctor. Ivan love writing his whole life and being in business development has given him a unique perspective. He's obsessed with our constantly evolving fast-paced society and finding new ways to integrate that into amazing content that teaches the readers something new.

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How Does the Staff Augmentation Process Work in IT?