Difference Between IT Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing

From time to time, your IT team might have too much work to handle, and then a more urgent project comes in. 

In that case, the IT manager will consider several options, but the top two are outsourcing part or the whole work, or augmenting the in-house team with temporary employees to work in the office or virtually. 

Choosing either option depends on many things. But the determining factor is how much control you want over the project. 

Both options are perfect when your internal team has a heavy workload and they need to meet deadlines.  

As it turns out, augmenting staff or outsourcing work are not the only available options. There are more! The main ones available are as below: 

  • Hiring new employees
  • Bringing in a contractor
  • Hiring remote employees
  • Outsourcing the work
  • Hiring employees on temporary basis

Most of the time, hiring new employees on a permanent basis is not an option. The others too have their demerits. The two viable options come down to outsourcing and IT staff augmentation. Keep reading to see their differences. 

What is IT staff augmentation?

When you decide that staff augmentation will work for your project, well, you will be responsible for the results. 

Here, you are bringing in people into your office to work with your in-house IT team. When the project is over, they will go. 

You might also hire external talent to work on a virtual basis. You will manage the project, so the augmented staff will work under your direction and control. You are responsible for the results. 

If the project is delicate, you should retain more control over it. That is why augmenting the in-house team is a sounder option. 

With a strong internal IT team, you can augment them with extra virtual staff rather than outsource the project in its entirety. 

What is IT project outsourcing?

If a big IT project has come in and the deadline is tight, you can split it into parts and outsource some to a remote team. 

The company you outsource the work to will be fully accountable for the results. The outsourcing team is responsible for managing the IT project

If you want the job done fast and without much input from your internal team, you can choose the outsourcing option. This option is also best when your internal team has a huge workload. 

The work can be done fast because you do not need to train your team. The outsourcing organization goes for this job because they have the people and all of the other resources required to complete it on time. 

Staff augmentation gives you more control over the project

This is the biggest benefit of staff augmentation over outsourcing. You determine how the work is going to proceed because you will be held accountable for the results. 

There are more benefits of staff augmentation. Integrating the project with your internal systems might be hard if all of it was outsourced. But if your team builds it internally, this will be easy. 

When you are in control of the work, you can control the pace. You will oversee its implementation with your company culture and internal systems in mind. That way, integration will be simple. 

Staff augmentation allows faster adjustment

If the date of delivery of the project you are working on is pushed forward, you can get the in-house team to adjust its pace accordingly. Communicating any changes with your internal team is easier than with an outsourced team. 

It seems as if IT staff augmentation is the best option for you. But it has its flip side. For instance, what happens when you don’t have the resources to do a certain project internally? You can only outsource since getting the required resources would be too costly.

IT project outsourcing helps when you lack internal capacity

IT is very dynamic. New concepts come up every time. If a new concept comes when you are in the middle of the project, it can be hard to upgrade your systems and train your team on time. 

However, when you have outsourced the whole work, the outsourcing company is responsible for the results. Therefore, how they will achieve the results is their headache. This saves you from the trouble, and the budget of buying new products that you had not planned for. 

You also save your company the training costs it would have paid to train the in-house IT team. 

Outsourcing meets deadlines easily

Outsourced IT projects are more likely to meet the deadlines than those done by your in-house team.

The outsourcing company has a lot at stake, and their reputation depends on how well and fast they meet their deadlines. Even for the most urgent projects, they are going to meet the set date. 

The outsourcing organization can also scale operations fast when the need arises. Outsourcing is their core business, so they have funds for just any arising thing. 


There is no clear answer whether outsourcing a project or staff augmentation would be perfect for you. The method you choose will depend on your needs and the nature of the project.

The main consideration is who you want to control the project more. If you want to be in control, augment your in-house team. If you don’t mind delegating everything, outsource the whole project.