IT Staff Augmentation: Which Model is Right For Your Business?

Today, more and more organizations are using IT staff augmentation to access the right talent at the right time without the long-term financial implications of putting more employees on the payroll.

Businesses need to implement technologies quickly and effectively in order to stay competitive. While it can be increasingly challenging for companies to find employees with a wide range of skill sets for a variety of projects in a timely manner, all while staying within budget, IT staff augmentation companies are making it easier.

IT staff augmentation models

What is IT Staff Augmentation?

IT consulting and staff augmentation is a business practice in which companies work with a consulting firm to hire employees that meet specific requirements. The IT staff is employed by the consulting firm, which manages payroll and other administrative tasks.

Different from “outsourcing,” IT staff augmentation services allow a company in need of more tech resources to manage the added staff themselves and retain complete control over the projects and workflows, instead of contracting the process to another company.

The Advantages of IT Staff Augmentation

IT staff augmentation is gaining popularity thanks to the many benefits:

  • You can hire someone with the right skill sets instead of investing in internal skill development to increase cost-effectiveness.
  • Compared to hiring an external team, it’s easier to integrate staff augmentation resources with existing business processes.
  • Resources are available to start work immediately so you can meet aggressive development timelines.
  • You can fill specialized skill gaps for which hiring a full-time employee may not be the best solution (e.g., for a one-time need.)
  • Your company retains complete control of the project to ensure that the work is done according to the organization’s guidelines or regulatory standards.

Models of IT Staff Augmentation

There are three main models of IT staff augmentation. Here’s what you need to know to select one that’s right for you:


Offshoring is the practice of hiring IT staff located in a different country, which typically has a lower labor cost than the country where the employer is located.

The main advantages of offshoring include lower cost, access to specialized knowledge, and more available resources.

However, offshoring can present challenges such as communication issues caused by time zone differences, language and social barriers, as well as lack of compliant safety measures.


Nearshoring refers to the hiring of IT specialists from neighboring countries that typically share a common border with your company.

It allows you to optimize business efficiency since there’s no time zone differences and minimal cultural or language barriers. Also, the proximity makes in-person meetings possible to enhance collaboration.

Some disadvantages of nearshoring include potentially higher costs and limited availability for specialists with skill sets that you’re seeking.


This model seeks out lower-cost options that are located within the employer’s country (e.g., hiring a freelancer located in the same city.)

The pros of onshoring include efficient coordination and communication since there’s no cultural and language barrier or time zone differences.

On the other hand, onshoring is often more expensive, and your choice of available specialists may be limited. It may take you longer to find the right resource with the appropriate skill sets.

How to Choose an IT Staff Augmentation Model For Your Company

Each IT staff augmentation model has its pros and cons. These questions will help you decide which one is the smartest strategy for your business:

  • How aggressive is your timeline? Onshoring and nearshoring resources may be more responsive, while offshoring often gives you access to more readily available workers.
  • What’s your budget? Offshoring allows you to get more done with a smaller budget.
  • What are your efficiency standards? Time zone overlap with onshoring, and nearshoring facilitates coordination and collaboration.
  • What are the communication needs? Offshoring may pose more communication challenges due to time zone variations, different holiday schedules, and cultural/language barriers.
  • Are face-to-face meetings critical? Onshoring and nearshoring allow for in-person interactions.
  • Are there strict protocols and safety measures in place? Onshoring and nearshoring make it easier to monitor and ensure compliance.
  • What specific skills gap(s) are you looking to fill? You may need to be more flexible if you want to access a larger talent pool.


IT staff augmentation allows you to access the talents and expertise you need when you need it. Based on your timeline, budget, and the skill sets you’re seeking, you can leverage IT staff augmentation companies to grow your software development team quicker than if you were to pursue a traditional hiring route. This will help you increase output and productivity while improving cost efficiency so you can stay competitive in today’s fast-changing business environment.


John Griffin

John is the CEO and co-founder of Spiral Scout, a software development company based in San Francisco, California.

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