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Managed Services (MSP)

What is the difference between staff augmentation and managed services?

staff augmentation and managed services

When it comes to IT outsourcing, businesses have to choose the right technology outsourcing model to reduce costs, increase productivity, and remain competitive.

Some of the most popular approaches that you can consider are staff augmentation and managed IT services. To make the best decision, you should understand what each of the approaches involves and the benefits they offer. 

Here's what you should know when comparing staff augmentation to managed services. 


What is staff augmentation?

This solution involves contracting a staffing vendor to hire and manage supplemental staff for a specified period of time. The outsourced technical contractors will work alongside the in-house team, either remotely or on-site. This approach is usually used as a short-term solution. 


Advantages of staff augmentation

There are a number of benefits you will enjoy when you choose staff augmentation. Here are a few. 

Cost-effective: This option lets you fill in-house skill gaps without hiring niche experts on a full-time basis, helping you save money. 

  • Flexibility: By making it easy to increase your team's intensity, this approach allows you to stay flexible. 
  • Prevent attrition: Hiring temporarily depending on your needs helps you avoid loss of employees. 
  • Better control: The parent company manages both the in-house team and external developers. This allows you to control the process and quality of the end product. 


Disadvantages of the model 

Staff augmentation is not without some disadvantages. Here are some of the cons of this approach.

  • Costs are higher with time: More augmented staff will mean higher labor costs, resulting in a significant price increase. 
  • Hard to find a perfect fit: The augmented staff may need additional training to carry out various tasks, which can lead to higher costs.
  • Short-term solution: Because this solution focuses on current needs, larger goals may not be considered. 


What are managed services?

In the managed services model, a client outsources IT tasks and functions to a vendor who typically provides the services from a remote location. The client specifies their requirements, and the vendor takes full responsibility and control of the services. 


Pros of managed services

There are several reasons why you can consider choosing managed IT services. Here are some of the advantages of this option. 

  • Time-saving: Managed services involve the vendor taking control and responsibility of IT services, saving you time, allowing you to focus on running and growing your business. 
  • Flexible pricing: Under this option, pricing is tied to the project's output. As such, you will pay more as the project's scope increases, allowing you to budget accordingly. 
  • Access to versatile skills: Managed services not only offer an external viewpoint but also give you access to a broad range of skills so you can get the expertise you need.
  • Well-determined outcome: Under this approach, the commitments that the IT provider has to meet are outlined in the agreement. 


Drawbacks of managed services

Just like with staff augmentation, there are certain disadvantages associated with managed IT services. Below are some of them. 

  • Less control and flexibility: Because the conditions of cooperation are fixed and you are relying on the vendor's expertise, you will have less control and flexibility. 
  • High running costs: The skills and technologies that managed service provider offers come with significant expenses to you, making the solution costly. 


In a nutshell, the decision over whether to go for staff augmentation or managed services will depend on your needs, focus, and goals.

As such, it is important to find a reliable technology partner who can offer expert advice. At Network Connections, we seek to understand your IT needs and help you find the right solutions to enable your business to grow. Contact us today to request our services. download cloud migration guide


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