Being a global digital consultancy with technology specialization in just about any IT vertical, we at Perficient work with some of the world’s largest organizations to help grow their brand and business. In recent years, our client project engagements have seen an influx of requests to fulfill specific subject matter expertise project roles, as opposed to our more traditional line of business fulfilling project outsourcing deliverables to cater to and execute the business requirements. This resource augmentation model has been a game-changer for our clients by shortening time to delivery, increasing customer satisfaction, and enabling stronger employee morale while achieving greater well-rounded software development results with cost savings.
So, you might ask yourself what is resource augmentation, and can this truly be an effective hiring model for me? In my first blog of this series, I will provide further clarification aimed at helping to answer such questions and sharing some of the main benefits our customers are experiencing from this alternative project staffing model.
What is Resource Augmentation
Resource augmentation, also known as extended software development, is hiring outside personnel from an external provider for a certain period of time to fit a specific business requirement instead of hiring and maintaining such resource(s) as regular full-time employees. It is one of the most effective hiring models to increase labor capacity and acquire specialized skills from experts temporarily, without necessarily making a long-term development commitment to them. Project outsourcing refers to outsourcing certain aspects of a project or the whole project to an external firm. On the other hand, resource augmentation incorporates temporary contracted resources that integrate into your in-house team. These augmented roles work directly alongside your full-time employees to aid in managing the workload, leaving the client business sponsors responsible for the results. Sharing of project tasks, goals, KPIs, and often reporting to the same business sponsor and/or Project/Product Manager helps achieve seamless integration between contracted and internal resources. These engagements are formed on a contract basis, only requiring the role(s)/resource(s) for the certain requested period which typically varies based on the project’s length.
Benefits of Resource Augmentation
Ease of Recruitment
It takes an average of six weeks to fill technical vacancies, which is a serious problem in this modern world of agile development because it contributes to productivity loss. Although the gap has shrunk significantly post Covid 19, the demand for technical talent still currently outweighs the available supply. You no longer need to spend valuable time, allocate resources, or spend money to source, interview, and hire resources. An outsourced vendor will provide you with rapid access to a large, qualified, and ready-to-go talent pool.
Highly Skilled Specialization
There is a fairly large gap between the skills companies are looking for and the skill sets their teams currently hold and/or are being trained in. Although you may employ a powerful roster of developers and adjacent project teams, new project initiatives may evolve and demand specific skill sets that your current in-house team simply does not hold. In such a case, you will need to expand your project team’s capacity and knowledge to successfully execute. Resource Augmentation has become one of the simplest options when forming a software team or tackling a new project that utilizes some form of unfamiliar technology. Since these professionals have adequate expertise in your required segment, they do not need much time to train and/or onboard your project.
Strong Balance of Hard and Soft Skills
It has become somewhat easier this year to source candidates who are fairly technically qualified on paper. However, companies are starting to understand the equal importance and benefits of soft skills. Communication, collaboration, presentation, mentorship, leadership, and some degree of emotional intelligence are core soft skills that are being prioritized. These soft skills provide greater team synergies and help with team morale and retention. Sourcing that well-balanced blend of both hard and soft skills can be a challenge. Resource Augmentation firms focus on that balance with a ready-to-go resource pool filled with personality, charm, and a high degree of emotional intelligence.
Many companies tend to scale up to attempt to achieve their goals and gain favorable market conditions. However, they face challenges with risks of project failures, shortage of capital, and employee retention. It is challenging for companies to scale their technical teams if they are unable to find qualified candidates within a timely fashion who align with their project needs. One of the biggest benefits of resource augmentation is the flexibility it provides. With the constant change of work priorities and business requirements, this model allows you to scale on a project basis and find adequate skills at the right time. Quickly scale up or down on demand without sacrificing project timelines or quality.
Controlled and Reduced Costs
There are costs associated with recruitment, training, and benefits, not to mention the costs of salaries and other compensation. With the labor shortage the tech industry has faced over the last few years, many organizations have attempted to rectify their shortages with competitive wages, increased bonuses, and generous benefit plans, but their budgets are limited. Hiring full-time employees to strictly fulfill a project-specific need can be costly. Many organizations struggle with downtime and allocating team members to additional projects and/or tasks to work on during slower periods. Resource augmentation services cut these costs as you only pay for the time worked throughout the duration of the project, rather than engaging with HR onboarding activities, providing sufficient insurance and health coverage, and sustaining employee retention efforts. Through this outsourcing strategy, a business can fulfill project-specific needs through controlled and predictable fixed costs with no long-term salary commitment.
Access to Global Talent
IT staff augmentation providers can help you access global talent pools, which can be especially beneficial for businesses that operate in multiple locations or have international clients. This can provide you with access to a wider range of skills and expertise, as well as local knowledge and cultural insights. Acquire talent without geographical and time zone limitations.
Remote work is no longer a trending concept but instead the new norm within the software development sector. Global consultancies providing resource augmentation, such as Perficient, are uniquely well-positioned to fulfill the needs of specialized skill sets in this remote first global economy. Companies worldwide are reaping the benefits of the alternative staffing model, especially when there is an unexpected sudden need for development acceleration, when consumer demand increases, and/or when faced with increased employee attrition. My next blog of this series will highlight the Experts on Demand Program our Custom Product Development Business Unit here at Perficient has established to cater to our client’s project needs of this nature.