5 Ways Businesses Can Benefit from Staff Augmentation
As organizations everywhere grow alongside technological advancement, they're finding a greater need for specialized IT personnel. Many have in-house IT staff, especially large enterprises, but what should businesses do when that isn't enough to keep up? IT is a huge and complicated field, and often businesses find it too expensive (and lately, too difficult because of talent shortages) to employ enough skilled individuals to effectively manage IT systems. Luckily, IT labor is easy to outsource. IT contractors like iCorps can provide all the needed expertise and coverage through staff augmentation, and often at a fraction of the cost of a full in-house IT team.
Here's How Your Business Can Benefit from Staff
What Is Staff Augmentation?
When an organization needs extra help but doesn’t want to hire another employee, they can bring in staff from a consulting firm or agency to fill talent gaps. Because these talent gaps are usually related to a specific project or goal, it often makes more sense to bring in a qualified expert that can quickly adapt and align with an organization’s goals than a new hire. And because of the large pool of expertise you can find when working with contractors, staff augmentation is a highly scalable method of outsourcing labor.
Many organizations are increasingly turning to a staff augmentation model to staff HR, customer service, and operations departments, but the IT department is typically where you’ll find the highest percentage of outsourced labor. The technology field is large and complex, and highly particularized skillsets are often required to complete IT projects. Employee turnover is also highest in the technology sector, so, finding and keeping qualified talent has been a struggle for many organizations in the last two years. It’s also a roadblock for any company looking to stay up-to-date with software, migrating to the cloud, following cybersecurity best practices, and a host of other IT tasks that keep a business running efficiently. This is where staff augmentation can be a huge relief to in-house IT teams.
What Types of Projects can Consultants Help with?
In the staff augmentation model, companies outsource components of their IT operations to managed services providers (MSPs) to balance budget with a sufficient level of service to end-users. Ideally, consultants deliver enterprise IT support while focusing on industry-specific needs. Consultants can offer a deep bench of experience across a broad range of disciplines and technologies, because exposure and training are baked into their day-to-day work. And the staff augmentation model can be extremely cost effective when compared to the costs associated with hiring, training, and paying an in-house employee. An outsourced consultant can step in at any stage of hardware and software deployments, upgrades, and migrations, or for large-scale project outsourcing. Their goal is to enhance performance, improve productivity, facilitate access to information, and align technology with changes in your business processes.
Managed Service Providers can Provide Staff Augmentation Services
iCorps offers staff augmentation through a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Gartner defines an MSP as an entity that, “Delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.” Organizations benefit from this kind of staff augmentation in several ways. Staff augmentation:
- Frees Up Time - Internal IT staff tend to spend more time responding to day-to-day IT tasks like password resets, server crashes, and printer issues than leading proactive projects that can be a catalyst for business growth. A Managed Service Provider can assist with those day-to-day tasks to free up valuable time for an IT team to focus on meeting long-term strategic goals.
- Bridges the Gap - During transitional periods, an MSP can help meet IT needs while you hire and train permanent employees. Perhaps a company has undergone a mass migration of IT professionals or is moving to a new location and needs transitional staff. iCorps has experts trained in many different areas to make sure we can meet any client needs, from .NET to VPN setup to cloud migration and beyond. The modular nature of staff augmentation services allows the company to adjust staff levels as full-time employees are brought into the fold.
- Picks Up the Slack - The previous sentiment is true for other cases, too. Some businesses are seasonal in nature and need high levels of staff during certain seasons and not nearly as much during off times. In these cases, bringing in a fully trained staff from an MSP can eliminate the need for costly training every year. The plug-and-play nature of the service makes it perfect for use with these businesses.
- Provides Continued Support - IT work is a 24/7 endeavor, so what happens when someone in your IT department needs a break? There are several functional departments that require daily technical assistance. In a small company, it may not be possible to budget for multiple IT techs to cover vacation or sick days. By using staff augmentation to outsource the IT needs to a managed service provider, a company can give its IT staff time off without compromising the everyday workings of the business. iCorps offers solutions that monitor, measure, track, and manage servers around the clock.
- Provides Needed Talent and Skills - Many projects require highly specialized expertise, and in the IT field there are a ton of areas to build a specialty, meaning no one can realistically be an expert in everything IT. When a company needs a particular specialty, like help with complying with government regulations (think compliance frameworks like HIPPA or the GDPR) or VPN setup for a short-term project, it often makes more sense to use staff augmentation services to outsource the project than to hire an additional staff member. With no long-term commitment and an endless array of outsourcing solutions, a business can follow any path without worrying if the staff can handle it.
Every Industry Can Benefit from IT Staff Augmentation
In the past, iCorps has helped many organizations with a variety of tasks, such as:
- Healthcare - One of our clients is a healthcare technology firm that centers on customer service. But with the onset of Covid-19, they realized it was time for a better communication platform. By working with iCorps, they migrated to Microsoft 365, implemented cloud telephony, and kept their customers moving forward.
- Biotech - In March of 2018, a biotechnology start-up partnered with iCorps to build a secure, scalable foundation. With priorities outlined by the company’s CEO, iCorps' team of expert technology consultants helped them create an IT infrastructure befitting their unique working environment.
- Financial services - A Boston-based public accounting firm was locked into a lagging private cloud. After reaching out to iCorps, we moved them to Azure via our Encompass program, modernized their application stack, ensured they complied with all federal and state regulations, and cut their cost of ownership in half.
- Construction – iCorps helped a construction company to institute and implement their first server environment. They’ve since evolved and replaced multiple servers and virtualized their environment with a cloud migration.
- Manufacturing – iCorps is the single-source IT vendor for one of the Northeast’s oldest packaging companies. iCorps was initially called in to help with a few problems that the company was having with its mainframe system and soon performed an in-depth audit of their existing systems, processes, and future business objectives. This audit led to a comprehensive partnership with the company, which has reduced the company’s on-site maintenance and support costs by 45% while maintaining service standards.
No matter your industry, the future of your business is intertwined with the future of tech. Don’t let your business fall behind because of IT inefficiencies. Instead, look to outsourced experts for cost-effective IT solutions. Reach out to iCorps for a free consultation today!