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Choosing Between Staff Augmentation And Managed Services

There are some significant differences between these two employment models, namely: in firm focus, client focus, and consultant focus. Find out which outsourcing strategy will suit your needs best.

Firm Focus

Generally speaking, staff augmentation agencies and managed service providers differ in focus and with the staffing requirements of their contract workers. The former dedicates its energy to supplementing an existing workforce with skilled persons; the latter aims to work alongside the companies either as a replacement of their employed service providers or as a fractional provider.

A lot of staffing firms offer very short-term contracts for their resources: from a few hours, to a few months, to a few years â all depending on the needs of the company. On the other hand, managed services let companies enjoy both complete and partial outsourcing of resources with the required skill set for the job.

Typically, staff augmentation is the most convenient and flexible choice for businesses, especially for really short-term projects. A lot of managed service providers wonât allow these services since they are completely against their model and philosophy.

Client Focus

A staff augmentation agency is employed, in the simplest terms, for ârenting bodiesâ, while managed services are employed for expert assistance and guidance. Clients that can benefit the most from staff augmentation are businesses that know they donât have enough resources for completing an important project on a strict deadline. Having to hire resources â the process of screening applicants, launching job postings, and interviewing candidates â is a burden completely lifted off of their hands and taken over by the staff augmentation firm. More often than not, these are businesses who already tried in-sourcing the work needed but cannot find the right person for the job (usually due to the short term nature of the job), and thus seek for prompt and temporary help.

On the other hand, clients that can benefit most from managed services are businesses that believe they can still cut down their technology costs, or that they arenât at their most efficient and most productive work at present. These tasks can be taken care of by an experienced consulting firm instead. Itâs a lot about looking toward outcome goals: reliability, security, flexibility, efficiency, and accountability â instead of being simply about talent and staff shortage (thatâs what staff augmentation is for).

Consultant Focus

Both models employ qualified and experienced consultants and technicians. However, managed service providers are often integrated with the IT department of the business or company. This way, they become just like any other employee. On the other hand, staff augmentation subcontractors enjoy less room to actually be âpart of the teamâ.

So how do staff augmentation agencies profit? The answer lies simply in the fact that they keep hiring â constantly â since contractors have to be 100% billable as much as possible. Otherwise, if they are just benched like sitting ducks while waiting for projects to come in, they would not earn a dime. This is why a lot of staff augmentation firms may require a couple of weeks or so to hire and send a full team onsite. Will it be possible for them to hire a sub-par resource just to meet a looming deadline? Yes â this is a possibility â and a risk that businesses have to dip their feet into when choosing this model.

Usually, managed services would employ a whole team for years at a time, gaining their resourcesâ loyalty and trust. Their consultants have been trained to solve complex problems in almost all industries known. Consistent training and long-term projects with businesses often expose them to strategic end results: improving productivity, efficiency, security, and compliance, among others.

The Verdict

Both models can become very effective on the job at hand, depending on the specifics of the project, as well as the unique needs of the company. Short-term work or projects requiring only a handful of resources can benefit from staff augmentation, while long-term projects that need highly experienced consultants can benefit from managed services.

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