How IT staff augmentation can help businesses overcome tough economic times


How IT staff augmentation can help businesses overcome tough economic times


By Nick Durrant, co-founder and MD of Bluegrass Digital


The world certainly has experienced its fair share of disruption in recent years. While market uncertainty and tough economic times can be challenging for businesses, a downturn doesn’t always have to spell bad news. Especially if you’ve put the right strategies in place, if you have the right people in your corner and if you’re willing to adapt. During times of hardship, innovative businesses embrace change and pivot strategically in order to survive.


Staff augmentation is an outsourcing model that sees businesses bringing in outside personnel on a temporary basis to handle their current staffing needs and objectives. This approach can help business leaders navigate through a crisis by providing access to skilled professionals without driving up costs and allowing the business to scale up or down as needed so that they don’t fall behind their competitors.


Here are a few ways that IT staff augmentation can help businesses successfully navigate a market dominated by doubt and disruption.


Access the right talent despite job cuts


There has been a lot of talk about layoffs this year and much of the chatter seems to centre around one particular sector: tech. While there are a multitude of reasons behind the layoffs – from shrinking economies and inflation to investor pressure and higher interest rates – overhiring during the pandemic has been a major driver behind widespread downsizing.


The use of technology grew significantly when lockdown restrictions moved everything online, but many aspects of our lives have now returned to normal. And lower demand for tech services, means less need for new hires. But what if you’ve cut back your workforce but now you suddenly need specific skills or a few extra hands to push a project over the line? Staff augmentation allows you to fill temporary skill gaps and access experienced resources for a specific period of time, to meet predefined project deliverables. And you only have to pay for this resource for as long as you need it. This is particularly attractive at a time when market factors require responsiveness and speed.


Navigate tight budgets


Let’s face it – budgets are tight. Wouldn’t it be nice to tap into top talent without having to worry about things like full-time salaries, overheads and training? By supplementing your workforce with IT staff augmentation you can dramatically cut down on many of these costs without sacrificing quality or productivity. In addition, this approach is highly cost-effective because you don’t have to incur any recruitment costs – these are all borne by the vendor who charges the business a service fee. Augmentation is typically more affordable because you only have to cover the costs related to the amount of time a specialist spends on a particular project. But as is the case with everything, there is no “one size fits all” strategy. If a project requires a depth of historical knowledge that only existing employees have, staff augmentation won’t be a good fit. Similarly, if you need extra help for a longer period of time, staff augmentation can become quite costly because the business has to pay the placement agency and the worker.


Ease the burden of skills shortages


The global IT skills gap is increasing at an alarming rate. This reality has enormous implications for businesses, especially as IT becomes more and more integrated into every aspect of our lives. According to an extensive study by global organisational consulting firm, Korn Ferry, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled by 2030 because there simply aren’t enough skilled people to take them. This figure is equivalent to the entire population of Germany. Attracting and retaining skilled local workers to meet development needs has become a challenge in many countries, which makes offshoring and staff augmentation appealing because it eliminates the burden of having spending time and using important resources to recruit talent to fill roles that are hard to fill.


Overcome challenges around supply and demand


In line with the point above, it makes sense that keeping staff is a major challenge today. In a highly competitive landscape, it is very difficult to retain talented workers once they are hired because skilled tech workers are regularly poached by other companies or lured away by better benefits and higher salaries. We hear this all the time – companies find the right employees, they train them up and give them valuable experience only for these workers to take a job elsewhere. While no one can blame skilled workers for grabbing good opportunities with both hands, this reality can prove very frustrating for businesses and can have big implications for overall productivity. Staff augmentation allows you to connect with experienced professionals who already have expertise and who are ready to hit the ground running. With this approach to staffing, you don’t have to worry about them leaving you in the lurch in the middle of a big project just because something better comes along. Having this level of certainty and reliability in a challenging market is invaluable.


At Bluegrass, our IT resourcing model is designed to service clients who need onsite resources. These staff members function under your supervision and become part of your existing teams but they still officially work for us. We supervise and train them to ensure that they always get the job done. No matter what industry you’re in, being able to connect with people with the right skills can boost overall productivity, promote innovation and up your competitive advantage. Click here to find out more.


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