Closing The IT Skills Gap With Team Augmentation

As organisations continue to deal with the IT skills gap, many businesses are outsourcing their IT needs to keep up with the pace of change. One such type of outsourcing, team augmentation, may be able to help your business tackle the skills shortage more efficiently.

The author of this page: James Donohoe
James Donohoe, Microsoft Business Applications Account Manager Mar 27, 2024

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, the way we work continues to evolve. Businesses must continually adapt to stay ahead, from catering to emerging consumer needs to embracing new technological advances. However, this pace of change has led to an emerging skills gap, according to McKinsey with 87% of companies worldwide aware that they either have a skills gap or will have a skills gap in the next five years. While the skills gap can be seen across all areas of business, it is the IT skills gap that appears to be most concerning. According to Deloitte, organisations are struggling to find the technical talent they need to drive innovation-focused initiatives. Further, an IT Skills Gap Report for 2023 by Forbes highlighted that 93% of UK businesses reported a gap in IT skills in the job market.

Today, companies have several options when it comes to tackling the IT skills gap and a growing number of businesses are opting to outsource the skills they require. One outsourcing method that is growing in popularity is team augmentation. But how does team augmentation compare to other outsourcing methods like managed services and professional services?

What Is Team Augmentation?

Team augmentation which is also known as staff augmentation is a hiring model that allows businesses to temporarily add skilled resources to their workforce for a specific project or to tackle an internal skills gap. This hiring model allows companies to access a skilled talent pool without the costs and commitment of hiring permanent employees.

How Does It Compare to Managed or Professional Services?

Managed Services is a type of outsourcing where the management or development of an entire task, system or business function is handed over to a third-party company. The managed services team do not join the company’s IT team and operates independently. Managed service providers are commonly used for things like cybersecurity, platform migration, backup recovery, database administration and various types of software maintenance.

Opting to work with professional services organisations in the IT sector often means using an outside company to oversee and deliver a specific project. This is ideal when a business requires a particular set of skills or services that relate to a specific timed business need, for example implementing a new finance solution to modernise financial operations. Typically, businesses only pay for the services required for a defined duration of time where they have access to skilled professionals as they deliver the project for the business.

Managed Services, professional services and team augmentation all share similarities primarily because they all involve leveraging external resources and expertise to meet specific business needs. They all offer businesses a way to access expertise beyond their company in a way that works for that business. However, team augmentation stands out from other forms of external resources offering several unique benefits. Some of these unique benefits include:

The Client Maintains Control

One of the primary things that sets team augmentation apart is that with this outsourcing model, your businesss maintains control over the augmented resource which helps maximise resource utilisation, which can ultimately deliver a better return on investment.  This is unlike managed services where an external provider manages operations.

Integration With In-House Teams

Team augmentation allows for the seamless integration of external resources with the client’s existing workforce. The augmented staff work alongside in-house teams, collaborating together to achieve business goals. This collaborative based approach fosters knowledge transfer and skills development between employees and augmented staff. Plus with the added benefit that the augmented staff remains employed by the team augmentation provider, your business can tap into additional skills and expertise to further enhance knowledge sharing.

Customised To Client Requirements

When opting for team augmentation, clients have the flexibility to select the resource skills and expertise they need. Whether they need a software developer to work on a specific project or some data analysts to help build a new internal capacity for data analysis, there are many different ways in which team augmentation can work for clients.

More Cost Effective

When compared to hiring full-time employees and engaging a managed service provider or professional services company for a set period, team augmentation can prove to be a more cost-effective solution. Clients can control the costs by paying for the services of augmented staff as needed.

While team augmentation offers several unique advantages, it is essential to choose the correct outsourcing model that best aligns with the organisation's specific needs, objectives and challenges. If you would like to learn more about team augmentation, please get in touch to speak to one of our specialists today.

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