More and more businesses have woken up to the power of staff augmentation – the outsourcing technique of adding to in-house IT capacity to meet specific, temporary project challenges or exploit business opportunities.
Now while it’s absolutely the case that staff augmentation makes sense on an on-going, perhaps even regular basis. It’s a bit like hiring a car every weekend. Sure, it’s nice to slide behind the wheel of a fancy motor you don’t have to clean and maintain, but it’s also kind of silly to spend cash on something you’re treating as a luxury, when really it’s a necessity.
An issue that doesn’t apply with vehicle hire, but which is a definite problem for the CIO: what if you can’t actually get the talent you need locally anyway… maybe not even in the UK, at least at the prices you’d like to pay?
But – and it’s an important but – you don’t want to solve this by going PAYE and getting permanent assistance; that’s why you went to market in the first place, after all, to avoid the hassle and delay in acquiring expertise and you still don’t want to add to payroll cost.
A reliable partner = a lot fewer headaches
Is there a way out of this dilemma? There genuinely is. It’s to keep the flexibility and dynamism you’re getting out of tapping into external expert help but instead of growing headcount, it’s to move to what’s called a managed service model instead.
Despite the name, this has nothing to do with hosting! What the term means is a more structured relationship with a third party, where a discrete part of your IT needs get handed over in a tightly-agreed way with a services firm. That removes a big headache, as you know that the situation is always covered. It also means that you will continue to benefit from the same great aspects of staff augmentation – that you can scale up and down on an as-needed basis, you don’t have to find budget for training and skilling up, and that you can be sure of a quality service.
Put it all together, and it’s clear that the next step up from traditional staff augmentation is looking for a reliable managed service partner. Isn’t it reassuring to know how many options you really do have as an IT leader when it comes to resource?