Staff Augmentation VS. Outsourcing: Which Is Better?

Relia Software

Relia Software

Quoc Bao

Relia Software


The choice between IT staff augmentation and software development outsourcing depends on your company's unique needs and circumstances.

Staff Augmentation VS. Outsourcing

Table of Contents

In order to complete a significant project or fill a void in the workforce, businesses may need to bring in outside help. There are a variety of approaches that businesses can take to fill skill gaps and ensure that their existing employees aren't overburdened with tasks beyond their capabilities.

Here, we compare two of the most talked-about options: staff augmentation and outsourcing. Both are gaining a lot of traction in the computing world. How about picking one?

>> Read more: Staff Augmentation vs. Independent Contractors

Pros and Cons Comparison between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing


Staff Augmentation



  • Work is closely monitored.

  • Sharing systems and tools with in-house teams.

  • More scope-change flexibility.

  • Full project or task removal.

  • Training and unanticipated fees are not your responsibility.

  • Easy solution to internal capacity issues.


  • More control over expenses, deadlines, and training.

  • Need for internal project management.

  • Complex to scale. 

  • Integration with the existing team is harder.

  • Less project control overall.

  • Limited work scope, no flexibility.

Staff Augmentation VS Outsourcing: Which is Your Best Choice?
Detailed Comparison between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing (Source: Internet)

Detailed Comparison between Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing

All-Around Overhead

Both technologies increase software development budget efficiency and assist organizations minimize the high expenses of employing and training full-time personnel. Staff augmentation vendors are cheaper than IT outsourcing on average.

Staff Augmentation:

Staff augmentation providers hire contractors for project managers' specialized needs. Thus, maintaining this outsourced crew is usually inexpensive. Non-in-house programmers are usually off the client's payroll. These contractors have no long-term costs like salaries or benefits.


Project outsourcing demands a bigger upfront investment than personnel augmentation. Why? Because project outsourcing agencies outsource more IT operations, this model contract is usually long-term and may include a variety of services and dedicated team jobs. Product development takes a lengthy time from ideation to completion. Making a customer's concept happen requires more than app development.

In addition to software development, outsourcing teams must manage infrastructure and cybersecurity. Hiring project outsourcing vendors is more expensive than staff augmentation since they invest heavily in infrastructure, manpower, and tools to give the best output quality to the client.

Main Tasks

Both outsourced services offer a speedy IT personnel solution. Staff augmentation and project outsourcing effectively identify core activities while serving clients with diverse goals.

Staff Augmentation:

Staff augmentation involves recruiting competent specialists for assigned responsibilities in a client's project in-house team. Thus, augmented staff has a narrower and more specialized scope than project outsourcing, where developers focus on product development. This type of specialist usually has the right experience and only serves until the job is done.


In contrast, IT outsourcing is a distinct team hired by the customer to manage the software development process. This type of service provider is self-sufficient, outsources work, and has more project management control because it operates separately from the company's core business. IT outsourcing includes application development, infrastructure management, and cybersecurity.

Place of Work

Staff augmentation and IT outsourcing differ mostly in location.

Staff Augmentation:

Because staff augmentation is used to cover gaps or create a temporary team, the customer can choose a developer's working location. Software engineers might join the team in the office or work remotely.


However, IT outsourcing service development teams often include remote developers. Remote dedicated teams can be offshore, nearshore, onshore, or freelance. Working remotely makes it easier and cheaper to finish a project. Outsourcing providers may tap into a worldwide talent pool and provide high-quality development services at cheaper costs, making them appealing to IT clients.

Project Management

Due to the varying purposes of each service model, the leader and principal responsibility for the project and team vary.

Staff Augmentation:

Staff augmentation is normally managed by the client's project team lead. This person is in charge of supervising project contractors. Since these resources are contracted to work directly with the client's team, they follow the project team lead and act as additional team members.


However, a third-party provider manages an IT outsourcing team. This vendor manages the outsourced project with its own team lead and management structure. At the outsourcing provider's headquarters, this team leader coordinates with the client's project team lead. The IT outsourcing team reports to the outsourced provider's team lead and completes client duties and projects.


Staff Augmentation:

Team augmentation resources are quick and easy, eliminating the need for long hiring processes. These contractors are usually employed temporarily and can be onboarded rapidly.


Due to the intricacy of the dedicated team, project outsourcing takes longer to onboard than team augmentation. IT outsourcing involves more time and resources for service provider selection, contract negotiation, and onboarding. It may take time to implement, but the vendor will often manage a variety of IT responsibilities for the client.

>> Read more: Top 10 countries for outsourcing software development 2023

Staff Augmentation VS. Outsourcing: Which Approach Is Better for Your Company?

Determining whether IT staff augmentation or software development outsourcing is best for your company depends on various factors, including your project requirements, budget, timeline, and organizational goals. Consider the following points when making your decision:

1. Project Scope and Duration: For short-term or project-based assignments with a specific skill requirement, IT staff augmentation can be a suitable option. On the other hand, if you have a long-term development project or need to build an entire software product, software development outsourcing might be more appropriate.

2. In-house Expertise: Evaluate the expertise and capacity of your existing in-house team. If your team lacks certain skills or resources required for a project, staff augmentation can help bridge the gaps. Conversely, if your team is already equipped with the necessary skills, outsourcing might not be necessary.

3. Budget Considerations: Cost is an important factor in decision-making. Compare the costs associated with hiring additional staff and training them against the costs of outsourcing. Consider the long-term financial implications and weigh them against the potential benefits of each approach.

4. Risk Tolerance and Control: Consider your organization's risk tolerance and the level of control you want to retain over the development process. IT staff augmentation offers more control and allows you to manage the development internally, while outsourcing transfers some responsibility to external providers.

5. Cultural Fit and Collaboration: Assess how well external teams or augmented staff can integrate into your existing organizational culture and collaborate effectively with your in-house team. Communication and cultural compatibility play a significant role in the success of any development project.

 Where to Find a Software Development Outsourcing Company
Staff Augmentation VS. Outsourcing: Which Approach Is Better for Your Company? (Source: Internet)

Where to Find A Software Development Outsourcing Company?

Finding a reliable software development outsourcing company can be a crucial step in successfully implementing your outsourcing strategy. Here are some effective ways to find reputable outsourcing companies:

1. Online Platforms and Directories: Various online platforms and directories specifically cater to connecting businesses with software development outsourcing companies. Some popular platforms include ClutchUpwork, and GoodFirms. These platforms provide detailed information about the companies, including client reviews and ratings, portfolios, and areas of expertise.

2. Referrals and Recommendations: Seek recommendations from colleagues, industry peers, or business networks who have experience with software development outsourcing. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights and help you identify trusted outsourcing partners.

3. Attend Industry Conferences and Events: Participate in industry conferences, trade shows, or networking events focused on software development or technology. These events often attract outsourcing companies and offer opportunities to interact with them directly, assess their capabilities, and build relationships.

4. Online Research and Reviews: Conduct thorough online research to identify reputable outsourcing companies. Visit their websites, explore their case studies and portfolios, and review client testimonials. Pay attention to their expertise, experience, and track record in delivering similar projects.

5. Consult with Outsourcing Advisors or Consultants: Engaging outsourcing advisors or consultants can provide expert guidance in identifying suitable outsourcing partners. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of the outsourcing landscape and can help assess your specific needs, narrow down options, and facilitate the selection process.

6. Request for Proposals (RFPs): Prepare a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) outlining your project requirements, timelines, and expectations. Share the RFP with outsourcing companies or post it on relevant platforms. This approach allows you to receive proposals from interested vendors and evaluate them based on their responses.

7. Pilot Projects and Trial Periods: Consider starting with smaller pilot projects or trial periods with potential outsourcing partners. This approach allows you to assess their capabilities, communication skills, and compatibility with your organization before committing to larger projects.

8. Social Media and Professional Networks: Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and professional networks to connect with outsourcing companies and explore their offerings. Engaging with industry professionals and participating in relevant groups or discussions can help you identify potential outsourcing partners.

When evaluating outsourcing companies, consider factors such as their expertise, past experience, team composition, communication capabilities, security measures, and scalability. Conduct thorough due diligence, including interviews, reference checks, and reviewing their legal and contractual terms, to ensure you choose a reliable and competent outsourcing partner that aligns with your project goals and organizational requirements.

>> Read more:

Where To Hire A Software Developer Via Staff Augmentation?

When looking to hire a software developer through staff augmentation, there are several avenues you can explore to find qualified professionals. Here are some common methods for hiring software developers via staff augmentation:

1. Staff Augmentation Companies: Many dedicated staff augmentation companies like Relia Software specialize in connecting businesses with qualified IT professionals. These companies maintain a pool of skilled software developers and can match them with your specific requirements.

2. Online Freelancing Platforms: Platforms like UpworkFreelancer, and Guru allow you to hire individual software developers or teams on a freelance basis. These platforms provide a wide range of developers with varying levels of expertise, and you can review their profiles, portfolios, and client feedback before making a decision. 

3. Professional Networks: Leverage professional networks such as LinkedIn to find software developers interested in staff augmentation opportunities. Utilize the platform's advanced search features to narrow down your search based on specific skills, experience, location, and other relevant criteria. You can directly connect with potential candidates and assess their suitability for your project.

4. Local Job Boards and Tech Communities: Explore local job boards and online communities dedicated to technology and software development. These platforms often have sections specifically for contract or freelance positions. Posting your requirements or browsing available candidates can help you find software developers interested in staff augmentation.

5. Industry-Specific Online Communities: Engage with industry-specific online communities, forums, or discussion boards related to software development. These platforms often have dedicated sections for job postings or collaboration opportunities. Participating in these communities allows you to connect with software developers who have domain-specific expertise.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is important to thoroughly vet and interview candidates, review their portfolios, check references, and assess their technical skills to ensure they are a good fit for your project. Clearly communicate your project requirements, timelines, and expectations to set the right expectations from the outset.

>> Read more:

Wrapping Up

The choice between IT staff augmentation and software development outsourcing depends on your company's unique needs and circumstances. Both approaches offer distinct benefits and considerations. By carefully evaluating your project requirements, budget, and long-term goals, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's strategic objectives and sets you up for success in 2023 and beyond.

We hope this guide has shed more light on the specifics of traditional outsourcing and staff augmentation. 

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