Got a supremely fantastic idea? Great, so do millions of other people around the world.
For business success, planning is crucial. Doing that will separate those who take action, from others who are just dreamers.
There will be risks along the way, which are unavoidable; so spend time on extensive research.
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A bend in the road is not the end of the road… Unless you failed to make the turnHelen Keller
Learning about staff augmentation, and its benefits, would be a good place to start the journey.
So much chocolate and nowhere to sell it
These days products and services must be easily available online and on every single platform, including a mobile app. Back in March, when the pandemic was gaining a foothold in North America, one company learned that lesson the hard way.
As businesses closed across the country, Lindt Canada went into crisis mode. Easter was quickly approaching and the company had no way to sell its chocolate bunnies without retail stores. Lindt turned to an outside company for help to establish an online retail shop in less than a week.
A business plan, with a built-in staff augmentation model for a short term web development project, could have provided a solution that included an e-commerce site.
There are two takeaways from this story:
- It is vital to keep up with current technology.
- Sometimes a dedicated team of outside experts is needed to get the job done….and fast.
Why should staff augmentation be part of a technology strategy?
The chief technology officer is tasked with understanding the technical requirements of the business, and how that connects with the overall business goals.
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The document should include:
- A detailed overview of the company’s strategic objectives for the next 5 years. That would likely involve new product development, new client acquisition, and revenue targets.
- Hardware and software requirements, as well as operational costs.
- An analysis of the current tech talent available and what skillsets are needed in the future.
At some point, the CTO may conclude the team members on site aren’t sufficient to carry out the strategy; either in numbers, experience, or qualifications.
The outside experts who join your team
Some business leaders and managers shudder at the thought of having people they don’t know working on a top secret or vital company project.
But that’s where there is often confusion between ‘managed services’ and ‘team augmentation’.
Both options can fulfill a company’s technology demands. With managed services (outsourcing), a full-service job or project may be contracted out. The outsourcing company fulfills the contract within certain parameters, including the budget. For example, some businesses outsource cybersecurity. Given the damage caused by hackers, that might be a wise decision, especially for small to medium-sized organizations.
Under a staff augmentation model, the tech specialists are not on your business payroll. However, you choose whom to hire, you manage the remote team, and determine how long you need them.
Hiring the right way
It has often been said that you have to spend money to make money. That is true, to a point.
A growing business, for example, should probably not go on a wild hiring spree that dramatically increases headcount in a short period of time, without understanding the overall impact.
IT staff assigned to software development must be highly skilled, but they don’t need to be full time employees.
Besides the salary, permanent employees are entitled to annual leave (vacation), medical/dental/pension benefits, and more.
As well, there is the time associated with managing personnel, including quarterly and annual performance reviews.
IT staff augmentation
Wikipedia defines project management as the “process of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria at a specified time” and “.....within the given constraints.”
Whether that work is for finance, engineering, or IT, there are common denominators.
If you have ever hired anyone, even someone to build a backyard deck, you know it takes time and energy.
- Posting notices on job boards and then waiting for people to apply.
- Researching and actively recruiting.
- Reviewing resumes and selecting possible candidates for interviews.
- Contacting candidates and arranging interviews.
And that is just the beginning of the process which can take weeks, if not several months.
Don’t forget that there is a lot of competition for developers, and experienced ones are expensive. According to Indeed, the average base salary for a Python Developer in the United States is more than $100,000 per year. That figure does not include bonuses, perks, etc. A remote dedicated team situated in a more affordable location overseas could be a cost-effective option.
Retention of top talent with rare skills is also a serious issue; so a staff augmentation company with expert tech recruiters is a big plus.
A business may not actually need an experienced developer(s) full time, just for a specified period of time for a specific project.
IT staff augmentation gives businesses the flexibility to scale up or scale down to meet their current and long term needs.