The demand for qualified software developers is growing faster than ever. Companies in the USA and the UK often fail to find qualified candidates to meet their tech needs. The CNBC quarterly poll shows that about 57% of tech executives surveyed in 2021 consider talent shortage to be their first-priority issue.
It is hard to find experts with the necessary skills, experience, and background. That is why more and more companies opt for IT staff augmentation services and hire offshore dedicated developers in different parts of Europe. But what are the key advantages of scaling your team with foreign experts? And how to select a reliable partner that will take responsibility for staffing and seamless integration into your core team? In this article, you will discover:
- Advantages of IT staff augmentation;
- Aspects to consider when looking for an offshore staff augmentation company;
- How to choose the best-suited cooperation model for offshore staff augmentation;
- Examples of companies that benefited the most from staff augmentation services.
1. Get access to the most skilled engineering talent worldwide
A lot of companies face the talent shortage issue. In the US and the UK, for instance, there is a gap between the demand for experts and their supply. According to the ManpowerGroup report, in 2020 69% of US companies struggle to fill in vacant positions. When you look for software developers offshore, you get access to extended talent pools. For instance, there are over 1.6M engineers in Central and Eastern Europe, and many of them work for outsourcing projects. For companies that need to grow their development capabilities fast, this is a considerable opportunity to make use of IT staff augmentation services, hire the best talent, and increase time-to-market.
2. Gain more control over product development
Offshore staff augmentation allows you to keep maximum control over product development. It provides flexibility in changing the project scope and thus allows a company to swiftly react to new market trends. When augmenting your engineering team, you can promptly find tech experts that will take over specific development processes. For example, within the team extension model, you keep control over the team, track the working process, assign tasks, and monitor progress. However, the managed team model allows you to delegate this function to the outsourcing vendor. Ultimately, software developers are integrated with the on-site and distributed teams, so they all become a single unit sharing the same coding practices.
3. Improve your project’s scalability
One of the greatest benefits of offshore staff augmentation is the ability to promptly grow the engineering capabilities. This is especially critical for large ISVs and enterprises when they need to set up several teams at once. For instance, our partner Travelport Locomote (part of Travelport, an industry-leading corporate travel platform), needed to augment its resources with several Scrum teams within a limited timeframe. So the ability to find the necessary people fast was among the most important criteria when choosing an IT outsourcing partner.
4. Keep up with the latest tech trends
The staff augmentation also allows companies to tap into new technological expertise. In many cases, introducing best practices in AI, Machine Learning, Big Data, is costly and time-consuming. Therefore, developing such expertise in-house is not always feasible. Software outsourcing vendors, at the same time, work on projects across various industries and have a pool of specialists in many different technologies. So, businesses often use their expertise as a foundation for modernizing their platforms and adopting emerging technologies.
Choosing an outsourcing vendor for providing staff augmentation services is not an easy task. The vendor landscape is vast and diversified, so it is important to establish clear criteria for selecting a partner that would meet your business needs. Here are a few aspects to consider:
High security standards
When it comes to intellectual property, security issues cannot be underestimated. It is crucial that the vendor complies with international standards such as ISO, PCI, and HIPAA, as well as dedicates much attention to educating its employees and establishing an effective security policy. You should ask vendor about its security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
Moreover, your IT outsourcing partner should have protected IT infrastructure and people responsible for mitigating any security risks. They should share international standards in data protection and risk management.
The location of the vendor’s delivery center is a significant factor when it comes to finding a reliable offshore team augmentation company in Europe or Asia. In order to find the most suitable outsourcing destination, you should take into account such aspects as cultural compatibility, time difference, size of the talent pool, and even the level of English proficiency in the country.
More and more often, Western businesses delegate their engineering projects to Eastern European vendors. This region has a highly qualified workforce, solid STEM education, and a rich talent pool. Also, it is culturally close to Western Europe and the USA, which ensures more effective communication.
After you decide on the country where you would like to hire your software development team, it is time to choose an IT staff augmentation vendor. You can start by checking the reputation of the shortlisted companies. The best way to do it is to go through client reviews on Google, Clutch, GoodFirms, and similar platforms. Also, you should ask a company to provide references when you contact them.
Secondly, take into account industry awards and rankings that prove the vendor’s high reputation and credibility. You might look for well-known international recognitions such as Top 100 Global Outsourcing Companies by IAOP, Software 500, GSA Awards, European IT & Software Excellence Award, etc.
Capacity to scale a team
One of the primary reasons for opting for offshore staff augmentation services is an acute need to grow development capacities. Even in countries with vast talent pools, recruitment may take months, especially if you need rare talent in such technologies as Scala, Golang, Hadoop, etc.
If you are planning to set up a big software development team or a development center with multiple teams working on different projects, you should consider the size of the potential vendor and its recruitment capabilities. Mid-size and large outsourcing providers are likely to have some of the resources you need internally.
The vendor’s ability to scale your team fast depends heavily on its employer brand. So you need to make sure that the company has a good reputation in the local IT market, and that people are willing to work there. Again, you can look through Facebook and Google reviews to check the employees’ feedback.
Moreover, it is easier to control the retention rate within your software development team if the vendor cares about its employees. A reliable IT outsourcing partner will work alongside you to motivate your developers, boost team morale, and create an inspiring work environment.
Ready-to-use office facilities and IT infrastructure
The productivity of your software development team will also depend on the working environment. So make sure your potential partner has all administrative facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure required for the business.
Another aspect is the IT infrastructure. Your IT staff augmentation company should have a fully-fledged IT department that is able to run the working processes efficiently. In addition, the company should have the hardware, software, network resources and services required for delivering IT solutions and services.
Convenient delivery models
Hiring software developers is not enough. Both the client and the vendor have to do a lot of work before they can build a strong team for lasting cooperation. Therefore, we suggest choosing an offshore staff augmentation company that has a solid track record in building software development teams that deliver real working software products. Also, you are more likely to achieve success with a team that is experienced in completing projects like yours.
So, thoroughly study the vendor’s portfolio, paying special attention to long-lasting partnerships. This will help you to determine whether a vendor is a reliable business partner.
Before you shake hands with your outsourcing company, you have to select the cooperation model that will perfectly match your project goals. Businesses that go for IT staff augmentation services usually have three options: an extended team, a managed team, or custom solution development. These models differ according to the level of client’s engagement in the project, the initial requirements, the project scope and flexibility, and many other aspects.
Within an extended team model, you augment your core team with top tech specialists that fill in your specific expertise gap. Before the cooperation, you have to provide your outsourcing vendor with clear skillset requirements for team members as well as the project history, established processes, and goals. Speaking about an extended team model, knowledge transfer is of the utmost importance. If done correctly, remote experts will seamlessly integrate into your existing team and keep the product knowledge throughout the project. This model suits best for short-term projects and allows you to scale promptly and flexibly.
The managed team model allows you to hand over a part of your project to autonomous remote specialists. After you provide your offshore vendor with a project vision, it sets up a self-sufficient team of engineers that will cover your tech requirements. Though the day-to-day technical management is on your partner’s side, with effective communication and review flows you can make sure that your team always stays on track. Typically, this model is used for long-term collaborations (1+ year).
Let’s say you have to solve a specific business need within a defined deadline. In this case, organizations opt for custom solution development. The client’s responsibility is to outline the issue to tackle your business challenge. In the scope of the partnership, your outsourcing vendor will build a team that will deliver a tailored solution from scratch. This cooperation model is the most comprehensive and covers all stages of end-to-end development: from Product Discovery to release and maintenance.
With staff augmentation services, you can engage the best tech skills in the industry to promptly fill in your expertise gaps. Offshore specialists complement your in-house team and work hand in hand to achieve sustainable business outcomes.
Many well-known brands such as Microsoft, CNN, The Economist, Lebara, Currencycloud, OpenText, and others have opted for IT staff augmentation services. Many of them have set up their own R&D centers in other countries and gained tangible business value from hiring IT specialists offshore.
- A global telecom provider Lebara, has cooperated with N-iX for over eight years. The company has started with a team of 10 software developers and extended it to 77 IT specialists. As a result, Lebara has built a large development center with multiple teams working on different projects. Software developers at N-iX cover a broad range of expertise including software development, mobile application development, quality assurance, business intelligence, DevOps, and more.
- Gogo, a North American market leader in in-flight connectivity, has partnered with N-iX to expand its development capabilities. The N-iX team has provided end-to-end software development of the cloud-based platform which collects data from more than 20 different sources and found the reasons for ill-performance and equipment failures, reducing the number of not-fault-founds by 8 times. By opting for team augmentation services in Europe, Gogo has sped up the software development process and improved the performance of its product.
- Fluke Corporation, a leading manufacturer of industrial test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment, started cooperation with N-iX with a small development team of 8 specialists. Within several years, it has increased to 20+ members. Thanks to the effective knowledge transfer plan in place, N-iX team easily integrated with the client’s other remote teams located in the USA (Everett, Florida), India (Bangalore), and Ireland (Dublin) and ensured the successful delivery of the products.
Offshore staff augmentation can solve a lot of challenges for your business such as the need to scale up, grow your development capabilities, and adopt innovations faster. However, to benefit from staff augmentation services and hire skilled software developers, you have to consider a number of factors.
It is important to define the most suitable location for your outsourced team, go through the vendor’s portfolio, and learn about its reputation. What is more, the IT staff augmentation company should have enough capacity to satisfy your growth needs and attract even the most scarce talent.
Why choose N-iX as your IT staff augmentation provider?
- N-iX is a reliable European vendor with more than 20 years of market experience in custom software development and for manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, retail, agritech, and other industries;
- The company’s in-house team consists of 2,000+ seasoned tech experts that offer help with Cloud development, Big Data, Data Analysis, Business Intelligence, IoT, DevOps, Embedded software development, and other services;
- Our portfolio includes long-term projects for top global players, including Gogo, Lebara, Fluke, Currencycloud, as well as many Fortune 500 vendors;
- N-iX adheres to international compliances and regulations, namely, ISO 27001:2013, ISO 9001:2015, and GDPR, PCI DSS;
- The vendor has earned industry recognition: N-iX reached top positions in the IAOP Global Outsourcing 100 list, CRN Fast Growth ranking, was named a Rising Star in Data Engineering by ISG, and more.