IT outsourcing is a growing trend in today's workd, especially as mobile use, cloud computing, an increase in online threats and a decrease in company budgets all collide to create a perfect storm. However, should your IT department look to outsource for more personnel (staff augmentation) in order to better serve your organization? That depends on you. Let's look a little deeper.
Is IT Outsourcing Right for You?
There are many IT outsourcing companies who provide IT systems and technology you may lack. But outsourcing companies that offer a staff augmentation model don’t actually provide technology, only staff. It’s up to your department’s level of IT security technology to determine if the extra “bodies” will serve your needs.
Let’s take a closer look at staff augmentation through outsourcing to see if it might work for your company or department.
Staff Augmentation May or May Not Be a Silver Bullet
Staff augmentation means to add to, to strengthen, or to bolster. The rising prevalence of this practice is happening today because of the narrowing margins companies that need these IT and IT security services.
But let’s break it down to see if staff augmentation through outsourcing really can be beneficial in today’s IT environment?
First, like mentioned above, remember that staff augmentation is different than traditional IT outsourcing because the vendor only provides workers to you without providing any service model or proven practices behind them. Staff augmentation is used most often to temporarily replace any individuals that are no longer employed at your company, or during your busiest business times when internal resources and expertise are especially needed.
These hired workers tend to have higher skills than most “temps” but how truly skilled they are for your IT needs will be determined by you. Using this augmentation model to staff your IT department means you will be highly dependent on your company’s current technology, maturity, and capabilities. This approach is very much like hiring from a temp agency to add more staff. It’s up to you how you use them.
Many augmentation choosers ultimately begin to feel a lack of true value since they look at the staff they have been given as just personnel and piles of invoices that must be dealt with each and every week. Many IT departments who aren’t mature enough in their abilities already may soon learn that they need something “deeper” in their outsourcing solution than just staff augmentation.
When IT Outsourcing Can Work for You
In today’s busy IT environment, outsourcing can still be valuable even if staff augmentation isn’t the way to go. There are IT managed services that can be outsourced, which means the vendor not only provides “butts in seats” for your lacking IT department but also establishes for you some basic standards and proven methods that come from the vendors years and years of experience in the IT industry.
These practices and methods are usually based on ITSM frameworks and can enable the top IT outsourcing companies to bring consistent results and cost savings to your IT department and help you better meet your goals.
Staff Augmentation vs. Outsourced IT
To sum it up, whether or not augmentation is the right investment for you and your situation truly depends on your department’s capabilities and your long-term goals and needs.
Most CIOs and VPs of Operation will want to look at the cost drivers for the organization and the IT department and then truly consider whether you just need warm bodies to get a project done, or whether entrusting your day-to-day IT operations to an IT outsourcing company is a better option. It really comes down to you.