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IT Team Augmentation: How It Compares to Other Models

IT Team Augmentation: How It Compares to Other Models

When it comes to building a tech project, you can choose from different engagement models to gather a team and run your software development project. IT team augmentation is only one of them. 

This article overviews the essence of the staff augmentation model and compares it with other approaches to hiring a development team so that you can tailor your hiring strategy to your project specifics as accurately as possible. 

The essence of IT team augmentation

First things first, what is staff augmentation? This is one of the approaches to project outsourcing, according to which, the company hires additional team members who will work remotely. In this case, the augmented team operates under the roof of the development vendor but is managed by the customer, becoming an integral part of the client’s in-house team. IT staff augmentation is a strategy to extend the existing staff at less operational costs – that’s why team extension is another word for staff augmentation

When choosing staff augmentation is a winning strategy

Staff augmentation model becomes value-adding only when it accurately matches the specifics of the project. Below are the most frequent cases when the companies decide to strengthen their full-time employees with remote software developers. 

  • Your company isn’t ready to scale an in-house tech team. Running an in-house tech team is usually more costly compared to having your team fully remote. That’s why companies that aren’t financially ready to expand their in-house staff prefer team augmentation
  • Your business needs specific talent that isn’t available locally. 54% of global companies reported that talent shortage holds them back. Staff augmentation services allow for bridging the talent gap at a reasonable cost. 
  • There are hard-to-fill positions while the company lacks recruiting expertise or hasn’t the necessary resources at all. Filling the position in takes 42 days on average which can be a pretty long term for companies in need of urgent tech support.  The staff augmentation process takes significantly less time since the vendor usually has the necessary talent available or has enough expertise to quickly satisfy the request for hiring the needed talent. 
  • The company would like to outsource non-core processes. 37% of small businesses opt for such a tactic. Getting in touch with an outsourcing company and applying for an IT staff augmentation service is a good way to align an in-house team dealing with the most important tasks with the remote one that will support non-core business processes, like QA or marketing, for example. 
  • Your project temporarily needs additional hands and minds. Strengthening your in-house tech team with augmented staff is a way to get a competitive advantage under the pressure of deadlines, increased market competition and during the peak development loads. 

Hire remote tech talent! Bridge can help you find and hire engineers all over the globe. 

IT team augmentation vs other models

Before deciding on the necessity to extend your team with the help of staff augmentation services, let’s take a critical look at other tactics available to make the most cost-effective choice for your project. 

1) Running a full-fledged in-house team

Hiring additional specialists in-house seems to be the most winning option for those companies who already have an IT team under their roof. Below are the pros and cons of this idea. 


  • Control. Controlling an in-house team is usually less challenging than controlling a remote one. From this perspective, gathering all the team members in your office is a good choice. 
  • Engagement. Expanding your development team and having everyone under your roof is a good option to drive engagement, let all the team members feel their importance, and develop a strong corporate culture.


  • Cost. The cost to hire and onboard an employee is $2300 on average. If you need to significantly extend your team, the final cost to hire them will be pretty high, plus keep in mind the salaries you should pay to each of the team members. 
  • Less flexibility. In-house teams are also challenging to adjust to the changing business needs since you can’t just fire those specialists whose help is no longer needed, and vice versa – the hiring process isn’t instant as well. 

Extending your staff with the help of an augmented team allows for dealing with the abovementioned cons effectively since the cost of team extension is more reasonable compared to hiring them in-house, plus an extended team can easily be adjusted and scaled if the project development course changes. 

2) Having a remote full-time team

In our recent articles, we have already discussed how to hire a remote team. Having a remote full-time team actually is a good option for companies with remote management experience. While 30% of employees globally work remotely now, there is nothing weird about running your software project remotely as well. This model also has its pros and costs listed below. 


  • Engagement. When managed right, fully remote teams will be fully engaged and committed to the project development. Letting your in-house team work remotely or have a flexible schedule is another way to drive engagement. 
  • Cost. Having a fully remote team is a cost-effective tactic. According to a recent study, companies can save $11,000 per employee per year when the latter works remotely at least half of the time.


  • Management challenges. While 84% of managers believe that having a fully remote team is a new normal,  managing it can be challenging in reality, especially when it comes to evaluating the team’s productivity. 
  • Communication challenges. 17% of remote workers themselves report communication issues and misunderstandings as some of the biggest issues they face, according to Statista

How to Hire Top Remote Talent – The Ultimate Guide

Staff augmentation can be a more winning tactic compared to having your team fully remote. When getting started, your vendor will support you with the process of onboarding to ensure that an augmented team stays on the same page with an in-house one. 

3) Project development outsourcing

Despite its popularity, project development outsourcing is a match for those companies that have no in-house team or need one-time support with software building. Here are the benefits and risks of this strategy. 


  • Global talent pool. Most companies outsourcing their project development appreciate the opportunity to hire top-skilled talent without being limited to their location. 
  • Cost. When it comes to comparing insourcing vs outsourcing, the latter option is usually more cost-effective. Software development outsourcing allows for saving up to 60% of the development budget because of the salary gap between the company’s homeland and the outsourcing destination. 


  • Control and communication challenges. Outsourced projects are mostly difficult to control, so control and communication are the top concerns the companies considering this strategy usually have. 
  • Culture mismatch. Choosing the right software development destination is another question to solve. In this case, finding the smart balance between cultural fit and cultural diversity is essential for seamless project development. 

Staff augmentation, in turn, allows for dealing with control and communication challenges in a better way since an augmented team becomes a part of an in-house one for some time and is fully managed by the customer. 

4) Setting up an offshore development center

Setting up an offshore development center (ODC) is a value-adding tactic for large businesses in need of constant tech support at a lower cost compared to their homeland. Running an ODC is also a good strategy for companies eager to expand their business presence in a new country.  


  • Cost. Setting up an offshore development center is the most expensive outsourcing strategy, however, it still costs less compared to extending your development team in-house.
  • Flexibility and scalability. If you are about to open an ODC with the help of an offshore development vendor, you can expect ultimate flexibility and scalability since a tech team powering your ODC can easily be adjusted according to your business needs. 


  • Data protection. When it comes to data protection, any of the models we are analyzing comes with certain risks. However, data security practices are still the same – signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), using reliable cloud providers, and keeping your team well-aware of data protection policies. 
  • Management challenges. An offshore development center works as a separate and distant business unit, so all the remote work issues are applicable to this model as well. Plus, you have to align the work of ODC with the work of the head office. 

An augmented team, in turn, is much easier to manage compared to managing the whole development center. That’s why a lot of companies with the strategy to set up an ODC, usually start small by hiring an augmented team from a chosen country, then, scaling it to a full-fledged remote team, and then, opening an ODC. 

5) Hiring a freelance team

Gathering a freelance development team can be an option for low-risk projects on a budget. Despite its seeming simplicity, this is a pretty challenging and time-consuming tactic to hire tech talents, so keep its pros and cons in mind. 

Toptal vs Upwork: Which Platform Should I Choose to Hire a Tech Team?


  • Global talent pool. There were 59 million freelancers in 2020 in the US only, so the opportunities to find the right talent are pretty extensive. Plus, you can hire from a global talent pool and get a lot of great candidates to choose from. 
  • Cost. Freelance development services are fairly affordable, especially if you consider global hiring. What’s more, freelance rates are usually negotiable so that you can tailor the rate of the necessary specialist to your project budget. 


  • Low engagement. Most freelancers are usually engaged in several projects at once, so you shouldn’t expect 100% commitment to your project only. 
  • Control and communication challenges. Managing a freelance team is even more challenging than managing a full-time remote team, especially if your team members work in different time zones. A freelance team gathered from scratch may also have communication issues because of the language barrier. 

Extending your in-house team with freelance specialists is pretty risky because of the cons we have reviewed above. Team augmentation, in turn, promises a better alignment and more seamless collaboration between in-house and augmented developers. For companies with no in-house team, outsourcing project development is still a more beneficial strategy compared to hiring freelancers. 

IT augmentation and other models – the pros and cons comparison chart

Let’s make the final comparison of the software development models available so that you can choose the tactic that promises the most value at the lowest cost. 

CostEngagementControl and communicationFlexibilitySuitable for the projects
IT Augmentation++++In need of specific talents or temporarily team extension
In-house team++Running ongoing and large projects for highly competitive environments
Remote full-time team++Small to medium projects with skilled leadership
Outsourcing+++Medium to large projects which don’t want to hire in-house and need help in project management
Offshore development center+++Large projects eager to expand their business presence
Freelance team++Short term, low-budget and low-risk projects

Top destinations to hire an augmented team from

As well as with software development outsourcing, a staff augmentation project will be winning when the destination to hire a team from is chosen wisely. Let’s take a look at the most promising destinations. 

Latin America: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia

Latin America is a good destination for the projects that need to augment the team with fairly affordable yet well-skilled IT professionals. In our recent articles, we have already discussed reasons to hire developers in Mexico, for instance. This country is one of the leading countries in offshore business services worldwide, it has a great talent pool (223,000+ software engineers), and the hourly rate to hire them is reasonable too. 

You are also welcome to consider Argentina – this is the country that boasts of high English proficiency, the local developers are well-educated and are especially great at data analysis, according to the Global Skills Report 2021. The cost to augment your team with specialists from this country is one more reason why hire developers in Argentina – their hourly rate is up to $50. 

Get in touch with Bridge to quickly augment your in-house team with Argentinian developers for the best price-quality match! 

Eastern Europe: Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic

Eastern Europe is one of the most popular software development outsourcing destinations. Hiring an augmented team from Eastern European countries can be a winning choice as well since most destinations offer a great match of the talent pool available, English proficiency, solid engineering education, and reasonable cost. Eastern Europe also promises a good cultural fit and convenient time zones overlap.

4 Reasons to Hire Your Next Remote Development Team in Ukraine

Pay special attention to Ukraine and Poland. While the first is a global software development outsourcing leader, Poland stands out with a wider talent pool and better English proficiency. Still, the cost to hire developers in Ukraine is more affordable than hiring them in Poland, while the Ukrainian programmers’ skills are more competitive, according to the Global Skills Report 2021

Ready to strengthen your team with top-skilled developers from Eastern Europe? Ask us for instant team augmentation services now! 

Western Europe: Portugal

While most Western European companies decide to augment their staff with specialists from Eastern Europe, there is still a destination that allows for shortening the distance. Portugal has all the chances of becoming a kind of a new Silicon Valley, according to the Guardian, because it perfectly matches social and political stability with an instantly available talent pool, high English proficiency, and a convenient time zone. 

Portugal’s business culture greatly overlaps with one of most European countries, plus Portuguese developers are easy to collaborate with and hire at an affordable cost. The average hourly rate of tech specialists in this county is $25-50.

Let’s augment your development team with Portuguese specialists. Our company would be happy to share our recruitment expertise and find the perfect match talents for your project! 

Bonus checklist! When IT augmentation isn’t the right choice

Despite all the benefits of IT staff augmentation, it isn’t a one-fit-all strategy. Below are the cases when team extension isn’t the best choice. 

✅You need a larger tech team for the long run

✅You have the necessary expertise, resource, and time to hire on your own

✅Your in-house team copes with the current tasks pretty well

✅Investing in a business process automation makes more sense (for example, QA and testing)

✅The talent you need is easily available locally at the reasonable cost


While tech team augmentation can’t fit all the projects without exception, it is still a value-driving choice for the companies in need to bridge the talent gap quickly, extend their teams at lower costs compared to hiring add-on talents in-house and better deal with temporarily development tasks that can easily be delegated to a remote team. 

Bridge is here to help you with IT team augmentation by hiring and sourcing the necessary talents from the most cost-effective locations of your choice. 

Drop us a line now for a free consultation! 

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